Skill? Experience? Personality? Looks?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by smalagreca, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    I have been teaching for many years and have been on many hiring committees. Now as I look for a new job I have begun to ask myself a question. When interviewing, what are the interviewees looking for most? Skills/knowledge about the area? How much experience you have? Your personality? Or if you fit the physical mold?
    How would you rank these in order?
     
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  3. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I think passion and energy are the two most important factors. Sharing my passion for teaching, particular methods, particular researchers has helped me to secure teaching positions.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I think this is how schools do it:
    Personality
    Skills/knowledge
    experience
    physical

    Me personally should be:
    skills/knowledge
    personality
    experience
    physical.
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    :(I hate to say this guys... I really, really, really do... But I think appearance has to be at the top. If a candidate walks in and is
    A) Dressed inappropriately
    B) Too Casual
    C) Too Business Like
    D) Does not fit the mold of the particular school in appearance

    That they, are already at a disadvantage. I am not saying it SHOULD be this way, I just think that it is society in general. I am not saying I agree with this either.

    I think the rank is:
    1) Physical (right or wrong)
    2) Knowledge
    3) Personality
    4) Experience

    Don't hate me.
     
  6. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    I think you are correct. Even the college books on how to get a job will tell you that. You looks can automatically mark you off the list.
     
  7. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    See, I think knowledge and skill are really important. However, I think districts do rank personality first. Sometimes I think this could be a disadvantage to a qualified candidate. There are many experienced, qualified, extremely knowledgable candidates that just don't interview well. They tend to freeze up and not let their personality and enthusiasm shine.
     
  8. Simba

    Simba Comrade

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    I thought you needed to have the perfect suit as well. A friend I subbed with went to both of her interviews with an outfit I thought was WAY too casual. It was for the #1 growing district where I'm from. There are over 2,000 applicants per position.

    It was a very long interview process and she got the job...

    Mind you...she knew someone at the school and they told the principal about her ( I swear this is the only way she even got the interview...she thought so too) and that person prepared he for the questions that would be asked for the interview.

    I'm not sure if I would/could actually rank them.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think in life people base impressions off of how people look and interviewing is no different. I think that could be overlooked if a person was very qualified.

    I think experience is important but inexperience can be made up for with passion and creative ideas.

    Personality is the big one to me. Principals and hiring committees want a team that's going to mesh and get along well. Depending on the position they are hiring for, they are going to be looking for a certain personality type. One we interviewed last week almost didn't get the job because the P thought she was a little overbearing and we already have an overbearing teacher on the team-he was worried they would clash.

    Skill is important, but it's hard to show that in a simple interview. People put on their best show, talk the talk, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are good in the classroom.
     
  10. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    How about age? Where do you think that ranks?

    I have over 6 years of teaching experience, took off over 10 years to raise my family, and recently sent out many resumes for middle school math positions.

    I only heard back from one district for an interview (and that was the district I worked for before I left on maternity leave). I'm thrilled that they took me back. But I can't help but feel that the other districts would rather have some young blood instead of me. I'm sure they had lots of applicants to choose from, and went with the younger crowd.

    But I think it would behoove them to think again. Because I am older, I won't be leaving their district to raise children. I'll be more likely to stay with a district until I retire. And I bring some experience to the classroom.

    Ageism is definitely out there.
     
  11. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    With this all being thought about, I have to say, the way we interview for teaching positions is quite crazy. Personality, appearance, knowledge, and experience has to be relied upon during interviews, because most Ps don't see the teacher teach before hiring!

    Clearly, it would be nearly impossible for a P of a big school to see all candidates teach before hiring them, but a P could learn so much more about a candidate in 15 minutes of teaching than in a 90 minutes interview.

    This is one area of success for most charter schools. Those I know of require a model lesson as part of the interview process.
     
  12. blondie77

    blondie77 Rookie

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    So is a suit not the way to go? I always wear a suit....like from Ann Taylor, very business but cute. Is this why I do not get a job?

     
  13. Junebug

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    Blondie, I think it doesn't matter if you are wearing flipflops and a summer outfit. If they like the way you look, they like you.
     
  14. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Yes. ALWAYS wear a suit!!!!
     
  15. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jul 11, 2009

    I think looks and personality have a lot to do with whether or not they give you a chance during an interview. Unfortunate, but more than likely true.
    Knowledge is a plus but for tose of us who've been teaching a while, think about how much we've learned on the job.
    Experience can help or hurt. Sometimes they want someone who has none so they have nothing to compare the school to. No complaints.
    Too much experience means someone might come in wanting to do things their way and not be a team player.
    It's all sucj politics too. A lot has to do with who you know. And if you don;t know anyone, it's probably going to be what you look like.
     
  16. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Wear a nice dress. Don't wear a suit. It sometimes says unapproachable. Of course, there are exceptions. Wear a nice dress or skirt and dressy top. Way better than a suit - trust me. Teachers are not stuffy. Suits are stuffy. Small heal is nice too. :cool:
     
  17. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Ann Taylor... cute suit? Maybe. :)Yes, I could see that. Old fashioned suit with jacket and skirt to knee - no, I don't think so.
     
  18. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Thanks Zoe. Since I knew no one - I must be a looker! I will take that compliment. I needed that today! I am feeling lucky! :):p:)
     
  19. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Nope. I have been on many interview teams. Many times a suit says too stuffy, too buisness like and does not know kids. Teachers don't wear suits. Of course the choice is always up to you. I am not talking about those cute little Ann Taylor suits. I am talking old fashioned, longish jacket - skirt to knee suit. I am sure your suit is not like that. :)
     
  20. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    My suits are actually "stuffy" and "business-like". But this may be bc I am a soon- to- be principal.
    However, I think it depends where you live. In NY, in the suburbs and the better districts, I advise a suit. I have been a part of many interview committees and if someone walks in without a suit on we don't even give them the full interview. Interviews over before it begins.
     
  21. rachaelski

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    My "trick": I have a great black skirt from Banana Republic, but I do not have a matching jacket. I have a black jacket, but the material is not the same. I come into interviews wearing my skirt, heels, and a nice button-down...with my jacket slung over my arm. Now, I was interviewing in the Southwest (read: hot). I was offered multiple jobs using this method! LOL
     
  22. MathManTim

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    At the job fair, about 95% of the male applicants were wearing dark business suits, and both of the other men who interviewed the same day I did at the school were wearing suits as well. Maybe half of the women at the job fair were wearing what I might consider a suit, but then again, I'm not exactly an expert on women's businesswear.

    Then again, we're men. We don't exactly have as wide a variety of acceptable businesswear as women. Somehow, I think that if I showed up for the interview in a blouse, jacket, knee-length straight skirt, and "business heels", the interview would not have gone quite as well. :rolleyes:

    Looks:
    I'm a *big* dude, girth-wise. In my dress shoes I'm about 6'1", and I weigh well over 300lbs. I was nicely dressed and groomed, so my weight wasn't held against me. Then again, as out of shape as I am, I am probably a more physically intimidating figure than a 95-pound woman who is just barely 5'1" in high heels (I work with a woman--an art teacher--like that currently. If I were to give her a hug, I would probably be afraid of accidentally breaking her in half.). Then again, I wouldn't think that schools hire teachers based on perceived ability to physically intimidate the students.

    Experience:
    I had been subbing for only a couple of months when I was offered the job.

    Knowledge:
    I have my bachelor's in the subject I will be teaching (math).

    Personality:
    I'm very easy going. My relationships with my coworkers vary from friendly, to polite, to casual indifference. I do love mathematics, however, and I love helping people. In the interview, I did my best to show this passion rather than simply state it.

    My guess:
    1a Personality
    1b Knowledge
    2 Experience - very nice to have, but lack of experience may not be a deal-breaker.
    3 Looks - look normal and professional and you should be fine. I doubt this comes into play unless you are dressed as either a hobo or a streetwalker, or you look like the Elephant Man.

    MathManTim
     
  23. MathManTim

    MathManTim Companion

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    I agree. It seems to be like that here in and around Chicago as well. At a career seminar I attended in college, the "clothing adviser" recommended a suit *always* for men, and advocated wearing different shirts depending on how formal the career was. I wore a grey business suit with a white shirt and red striped tie to my interview with Edward Jones (the finance company). I wore the same suit with a blue shirt, and a more festive purple, black, and gold, Mardi-Gras like tie to my interview with Harrah's.

    For women, she recommended either a suit or at least a blouse and jacket. She was fairly ambivalent on skirts vs. slacks, but to wear a skirt if you were applying to a fairly conservative industry. Her big fashion no-no for women was open-toed shoes. She said even if the interview is in Miami or Phoenix in July, "show no toes". I chuckled when she made all the girls wearing flip-flops at the seminar repeat those three words.

    For what it's worth, every time I have seen my principal and the vice-principals (all African-American women 40-55 or so), each was always wearing a suit with a skirt.

    MathManTim
     
  24. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    I couldn't agree more with no open toes shoes. Now let me state for the record I am all about fashion. For a non interview day I would probably be the first to be wearing cute open toed heals but never ever when I am the interviewer or the interviewee.
    Being a part of an interview team I have learned there are signals sent across the room. For example- a tap of the pen may mean that the principal is not interested.
    In one district I was in, if someone was not in a suit the principal tapped the pen the second the person walked in and we would purposely cut the questions in half.
     
  25. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    I know many people who experience interview anxiety. The tense and clam up the minute they step in the room, especially with a panel interview. They sweat and get hives and are very nervous. These people MAY be wonerful teachers and have TONS of creative ideas and experience. However many times, the panel does not get past the nervousness and anxiety they see.
     
  26. blondie77

    blondie77 Rookie

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    It was black suit with a shorter, tailored jacket to the waist. I wore a green shell under it. So should start wearing a pencil skirt with a blouse? What about nylons? Does anyone wear those anymore???
     
  27. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Your suit sounds cute, tailored, hip. I am talking about the department store suit - long jacket- skirt to the knee - looks like you are walking into a court room. Nylons? Do they still make those? It is tooooo hot where we live. My principal even laughed when someone had those on. Of course maybe up north where the weather is cooler that is more in fashion. I don't know. I can only speak from my tiny speck of the earth. And it is only a tiny speck. :cool:
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    YES!!!! I wouldn't dream of going on an interview-- on either end of it-- barelegged.
     
  29. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    I guess it really is different everywhere you live. Because here, in NY, you really must wear a suit (yes, like one from macys), dress shoes, and nylons.
     
  30. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    It is different depending on your region...I think principals would look at you strange if you showed up in a suit like that here in TX, especially during summer interviews!!!
     
  31. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Unfortunately, here in NY, in public schools there are not many summer interviews.
     
  32. ambritlit

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    I think it depends on the area. It is hot as heck here in TX. I went to three interviews week before last and the temps were over 100 degrees. I thought if they can't realize how impossible a suit is in this heat, they are too stupid to work for anyway...

    I wore a nice (although kinda churchy) skirt and a dressy top, with small pumps and hose. My daughter laughed at the pantyhose - said no one wears those - but I am fortysomething, fat, and have white legs the color of a dead fish (trust me, no one needs to see that!). I was offered all three jobs. By process of elimination, I can only assume it was personality and/or resume... LOL
     
  33. SCTeachInTX

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    Really? Well, in the south, no one wears hose anymore. But like I said, I am only on one small speck of the planet. So, I agree, every place is different. Just do what you can live with. Professional is professional is professional. Dress, suit, nice pant suit, ... Just be clean, professional and look somewhat hip. You can be 50 and look hip, and you can be 20 and look, not. You want to appear relaxed and totally ready for the interview. Just be professional.:hugs:
     
  34. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    It really does depend on the district and their needs.
    appearance - I relied on suits for both interviews, classic but with interesting variations. I always pick odd shoes b/c I think they'll remember the mulberry colored slingbacks with the gray linen suit. I was returning from a SAHM time and I wanted to be sure they saw me as professional so I didn't wear anything that looked like church either.
    experience - is important. my P didn't want someone who was too needy so I think they liked my age and that I had 7 years in before. Of course it helped me that the year before a young teacher had behaved inappropriately.
    Knowledge - don't think they found out much about that
    Personality - was #1 in my interview. For some reason I was relaxed b/c I knew this was my job. They needed someone to get along with an older soon to retire woman.
     
  35. MATgrad

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    When I go for interviews and look at the staff pictures, I tend to see clones. They all look pretty much the same with maybe one or two faces over 30. I once had a P tell me that she tended hire people just like her. Kind of scary if you ask me.

    It seems in my area,
    1) Personality
    2) Looks
    3) Knowledge
    4) Experience

    Stockings/Nylons~ I never go without them. My area is much more conservative though.
     
  36. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    Funny you say that b/c there is a proven study that most (not all) principals tend to hire people who look like themselves. I am not talking about someone who could pass for their sister, but someoine who has the same body type or features as they do. My principal is a tall beautiful blonde women and she tends to hire a lot of tall blondes.
     
  37. Junebug

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    You know what? I think you might have something there. Come to think about it the P that ousted me, when asked about would it be okay to wear something he said his wife liked to wear "it". He also likes blonds that are very similar to his wife! Hum, that could explain a lot.
     
  38. SCTeachInTX

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    Florida with stockings.... EEEKKK! You have gotta be dying. It is so hot. I guess for an interview, to get a job, I would do it. What part of Florida? My hubby is from Lakeland.:)
     
  39. MATgrad

    MATgrad Groupie

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    I'm an hour north of Tampa in no-man's land. The closest city is Brooksville.
     
  40. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I definitely agree that appearance is first. It is very hard to cancel out a negative impression and appearance is the first thing people see. I don't think this means that interviewers are nitpicking about hairstyles and weight and who looks like a beauty queen, but rather who presents a neat, professional, authoritative appearance. Who looks the part? So, I don't see this is as a minus. There are things we can all do to make sure we look appropriate. These are easy points to score right off the bat.

    I remember a poster on here (she is now banned for whatever reason) who had many posts about her unsuccessful job hunt and all the things she was trying to do to stand out. I sympathized as I read along, and then read a thread where she talked about wearing elastic waist colored denim pants to her interviews. She defended this as acceptable since aides wore similar clothes to work. I figured immediately that her wardrobe probably had a LOT to do with her getting interviews and no job offers.
     
  41. Yank7

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    If I was interviewing I would look at Knowledge,experience.appearance and personality in that order,but we all know that many other factors determine who is hired.
    In the time of budget cuts the lower pay scale may become important,some principals like to hire younger teaches because they feel they have new,fresh ideas.,some people are hired because they have the right connections.
    MY friend's daughter just graduated college last year as a Language Arts teacher grade 6-12. It is very hard to get a position in this field.However,the girl is really gorgeous,with a great body.She went on one interview with the male principal of a major high school in the area. She was hired the next day. Do you think her appearance had anything to do with it.Who Knows?
     

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