The Token Interviewee

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by lmha01, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. lmha01

    lmha01 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2017

    This is a little bit of venting here, so bear with me...

    It seems that every job interview I've gone on, it's been like I'm only interviewed as the token interviewee. I am currently in the process of gaining my professional certificate through alternative licensure in my state. I have been teaching now for a couple of years and am at the tail end of the program. One of the major reasons why I am looking elsewhere is that I drive almost an hour to work and almost an hour and a half back (due to traffic). It is wearing me down. I also have small children, so I want to be closer to them should anything comes up. The other biggest reason is that I do not get along well with the new administration this year. I almost feel bullied and certainly intimidated this year by them and for the sake of my sanity, I need to go elsewhere. It is so bad (the two reason combined), that I am willing to give up the entire thing and just stay home with my children. That brings me to my title of this post. Every year now, I've gotten interviews from a few school districts. Few and far between. Each one, I feel as though I've been brought in just so that they can say they interviewed X amount of people. I'm confused as to what it is about me that makes me so expendable. Even when I got this current job, the principal just brought me in to be a warm body in the classroom. It wasn't until later that they were impressed with my classroom management and teaching. I have been told, however, that the previous administration (all except two) has thrown me under the bus on the way out.

    I had an interview last Wednesday. It was at 12:50pm, so I do my normal thing. I arrive 15 minutes early and wait. At about 12: 45pm, the principal comes to the door with the previous candidate. The candidate is a nephew of one of the teachers there at the school (I overheard him ask to go back to see their relative). My heart drops....12: 50 rolls by, 1pm, 1:15pm, and I finally get called back. When I get called back, the principal sits behind her laptop and asks me to direct my answers to the panel. I felt like the interview didn't even start off too good. I answered all questions and was even excited to show off my mini portfolios that I had made for each of the panel members. Towards the end, as I was asking a question, the principal told one of the assistant principals to answer it (barely looking up from the laptop). The only glimmer of hope was that I asked could I receive feedback on my interview (because I am truly a life long learner) and the principal gave me her direct line. That and the handshake was stronger on the way out.

    What can I do to find out if I am just being interviewed to fill a quota? How can I prevent this from happening? I am honestly beginning to think I am no good at what I do. That feeling is awful when you work a stressful job each and every day.

    Thanks for listening and I welcome any feedback!!
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Apr 2, 2017

    You can still be hired on that token interview. Being the underdog does not mean you won't get the job.
     
    greendream likes this.
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 2, 2017

    Unless you are one of only two people interviewed, I fail to accept your interpretation of being "token". Most schools try to limit the number to less than ten, which means all but one of those interviewed will walk away without the job. There is nothing token about that - that is HR looking for the best fit.
     
    czacza likes this.
  5. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2017

    My local districts have been capping interviews at 3...which makes competition for interviews even tougher.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 8, 2017

    If they are capping them at three, I am guessing that many have been excluded to get to the three. I still don't see that OP is a "token interview". OP would still have to seal the deal, or walk away jobless with another unfortunate candidate. I was AR, so I know the pressure to measure up, but there is nothing token about any interview, IMHO, and I suggest that OP sharpen interview skills and not see all admin as the enemy. I certainly understand that the post was a good part vent. However, if that attitude makes it to the interview, it will be much harder to be successful. That's just my opinion, however.
     
  7. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2017

    I'm agreeing with you. Every interview is a shot, no matter how remote it looks.
     
  8. Lumi

    Lumi Companion

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    Apr 17, 2017

    I think what the OP means by "token interview" is that she is still requested to come in for an interview even though the principal has already decided who she is going to hire and the district has a rule that at least two other people must be interviewed for the position before the person selected can be offered the position. I've been in this situation before where I had a decent interview and was even offered a tour of the school/classroom but after a week of not hearing I contacted the teacher who suggested that I apply for the position and she said the principal had hired someone else who had already been selected. She even admitted to me that I was a quota interview. I'll be honest, it hurt and I felt used. So I can relate.

    However, on the positive side, just consider it to be interview experience. We all need more of that, right?
     
    Leaborb192 likes this.
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2017

    In NJ we are used to having huge numbers of applicants for positions, so even if the principal thinks they know who they want, it is never a done deal. As far as not hearing back - well, that is very common almost everywhere.
     
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Apr 18, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2017

    This. Exactly. There is no required number of interviews. Consider yoyrself competitive that you make the 'top three'.
     
  12. christie

    christie Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2017

    Supply and demand is totally a thing. At this point in the year, it's a sellers' market. Schools are competing for experienced teachers who already have professional licenses and/or certificates. The fact that you're getting interviews is a good thing. It's not surprising that someone who has a provisional license is losing out to people who already have that license and commensurate experience.

    Once teachers are locked into their contracts - no later than July 1 - it will become a buyers' market. New teachers (and like it or not - teachers with alternative and/or provisional certificates) will be competing with far fewer more experienced or better credentialed candidates and their odds of being hired improved.
     
  13. IloveSF

    IloveSF Rookie

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    May 4, 2017

    I feel this way too. Still, I guess I feel it's better than getting that "we already filled the position" email or hearing nothing at all as if you are invisible. I'm terrible at selling myself no matter how much passion I put behind my answers, so I probably turn myself into the token candidate.
     
  14. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    May 4, 2017

    In my area of Louisiana, it's VERY common for principals to know exactly who they are going to hire - even before the interview process starts. Many (over 80%) of the people I graduated with, went straight back to their old high schools or middle schools to teach. I've also met many teachers in the area, who told me they got the job, because their family member already worked at the school/they went to the school/they interned at the school and made it a point to befriend the principal. o_O So, there are many job positions that interview a ton of people - already knowing they are going to hire the old student/family member/intern/whatever. "Token Interviews" to make sure school districts don't get sued do happen.

    I don't have much advice. I can only tell you what I've been doing.
    1. Send your resume to every school district near you. Send resumes to the private/catholic schools, too.
    2. Don't be scared to email principals personally in regard to interviews. Like, if you see that X school is hiring, apply on the district site and than send an email to the principal saying how amazing the school is, etc.
    3. If you don't have one already - make a portfolio to bring on interviews. Make a digital one using a free website software, too. Link that one on your resume.
    4. Go to job fairs. Sometimes districts hold job fairs and don't say anything, they just link them on their website. If you can't make the job fairs (too far, your working, etc) send the principals of the school you are interested in a nice email explaining that you wanted to attend the job fair, but couldn't. Include resume and other important documents as attachments. Offer to do a phone interview with the principal, if they have time after the job fair.
    5. If it gets really bad (like July and nothing) look into subbing in the district/districts that you most want to work in. AND/OR start looking into other job options. If you got an alternate certification, I'm guessing you have some kind of Bachelor's degree.
     

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