should I bring this to an interview?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by teachart, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2014

    So beyond bringing our giant portfolios to interviews, what do you bring for the panel?

    I bring a mini portfolio that includes the most important pieces and I pass it to the panel.


    They always go to give it back to me and are shocked when I tell them to keep it. Maybe it isn't common around here? I'm pretty sure I got the idea in this forum.

    Maybe there is something else I should do instead of my packet?
     
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  3. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Jul 19, 2014

    I brought a simple portfolio to my interviews with my resume, credentials, sample student work, etc. However, I never ONCE referenced it in interviews. I partially forgot about it and oftentimes felt rushed to provide answers to the questions that I didn't have time to pull out the portfolio for examples. I felt kind of silly bringing it, but it was a sort of security blanket. I did leave a hard copy of my resume after one interview. I would guess that if you were to bring or leave anything, they would most like to see sample lessons or student work, especially because that sometimes shows more than you can explain through words.
     
  4. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2014

    That's a good point.

    I also wonder about people that use digital portfolios. There were a few people in my cohort that used an iPad to showcase their work.
     
  5. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Jul 19, 2014

    I have heard that online portfolios are popular now since you can just provide them access instead of leaving them with a bunch of paper. It also highlights your tech skills!

    I hadn't noticed you teach art (woops!), so the use of a portfolio may be different from that perspective!
     
  6. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Jul 19, 2014

    When I started interviewing for teaching positions last summer, I brought my portfolio to every single interview. Nobody ever asked to see it and the one time I brought it out and offered it the P who was part of the panel said, "I know how hard you work on these things, so I'll take a look" as she reached for it.

    The kicker for me was that there was some important stuff in there. I loved what my letters of recommendation had to say about me, my resume is impressive and I thought some work examples said a lot about my work. So I made brochures that included highlights from my portfolio. So I would walk into interviews with a tote bag, holding my portfolio and a bunch of brochures. I never pulled the portfolio out, but knew the one time I didn't bring it would be the one time someone asked to see it, so I continued to bring it. The brochures would also pretty much ignored. I would pull out one for everyone on the panel and they would either say they didn't need one ("If I kept everything offered in every interview we have done, I wouldn't be drowning in it by now") or glance at it and hand it back.

    So this year I did something a little different. I made copies of my three best letters of recommendation, a copy of my resume and credential, and copies of two of my weekly classroom newsletter I used as a student teacher. I loaded everything in a pocket folder, making sure to put the most important papers in front so they wouldn't miss them, and handed them out at every interview. At the end, when they would ask if I had any questions for them, I would pull out a couple of folders and offer one to the P and use the other one to show and tell what was in there and then offer it to the teachers on the panel. I would tell them that the folders were specifically for leaving behind, so they would have a resource to refer to after the interview was over. And then I would use some document in the folder to link to my first question, so pulling the folders out at that point seemed more natural. I always asked about collaboration, and would say something like, "As you can see from this letter of recommendation, I collaborate easily and it is important to me as an educator. How does your school handle collaboration time for teachers"? And as I was talking I would have the folder open and showcasing that first document in the pocket on the left side, which talked about how well I used collaboration. As they started to answer my question I would close the folder and hand it to the nearest teacher.

    I have to say that this worked really, really well for me this year. I had three interviews this year and each one commented on how much they appreciated having the folders to use while they deliberated. And one of those teams offered me the job.

    Good luck. The more you interview, the better you get at introducing these things into the normal stream of the the interview.
    Sheilah
     
  7. hep223

    hep223 Companion

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    Jul 21, 2014

    I recently asked a very good friend who is a P for advice on what to do better in my interviews. She told me to bring the portfolio and to put it in front of me so I remember to show it off. She told me that even if they don't ask to see it, show it! You have to market yourself.
    I leave each person in the panel with a folder that has my resume, reference letters, a brochure, and a lesson plan.
     
  8. kaeco510

    kaeco510 Companion

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    Jul 22, 2014

    I do something similar - I make folders with my resume, philosophy of education, best reference letters, license information, and a few other things. I also put a sticker on the outside that has my contact info. They have usually been well-received.

    When I have done demo lessons, I have also put all of my lesson info / materials in the folders, along with a typed list of reference contact info to go along with the letters. I have gotten a ton of positive feedback on these folders, and they allowed me to pretend the panel did not exist when I was teaching my demo :)
     

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