We need to laugh...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by teacherfan, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Well, I am sort of depressed about the whole job thing (not getting one:( ) and I am reading how everyone else is getting down so I thought we should try and look at the funny side to this whole "job seeking" process. Anyone really bomb an interview, said something totally off the wall, made a fool of yourself? I know I have. I have posted before how I have cried druing an interview (but got an offer anyway). Another one was when I was asked "why should we hire you?" Now I have read the interview thread and all the other posts and have a good, clear, intelligent answer to that question but do you know what popped out of my mouth? "Because I want to be a teacher!" Did not get that job!

    I can look back and laugh at myself now but, goodness, at the time I thought I would die! Anyone else been there, done that?
     
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  3. emmyblemmy

    emmyblemmy Companion

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    I was asked a question (can't remember what it was about) where I must have sat there for a full 2 minutes trying to think of something to say. It was one of those screening interviews that you do with the district before any with the school/principal. Totally embarrassing!
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    When I was looking last spring, I interviewed with a private school in Seattle.

    They asked me what textbooks I preferred. I said that I didn't really have a preference and that there was just one textbook I didn't want to use. I gave the name of the textbook and said how I thought it was too dry and boring for high school kids, plus there were a lot of typos.

    It turns out that that was the textbook they used. Fabulous.
     
  5. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Once I was trying to say "hispanic girl" and said "hispanial" instead. Nice. Didn't get the job.
     
  6. srh

    srh Devotee

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    During a job fair interview, one interviewer asked me "What would I see on your classroom walls if I dropped in to visit?" Easy, right? I thought of a million things I had learned in teacher ed: environmental print, colorful displays, multicultural references, etc., and named them all. Well, almost all.

    He just looked at me, and I was stumped. What else could I say? I realized it was getting awkward, so I smiled as brightly as I could, and said..."I know I'm not saying what you want to hear!" He (slightly) smiled back and said, "The only thing you DIDN'T mention is the most important thing: student work."

    Aarrgghhh!! Oh well, didn't really want to work for that district anyway! :-D
     
  7. funeoz

    funeoz Comrade

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    When I was younger...applying for a summer camp job, I was asked why they should hire me. My response was... "Well I can't play a musical instrument or anything, but I'm good at other things (did not specify what other things)" They had not asked me whether or not I play musical instruments, I just decided to throw that in for whatever reason. I have no idea what I was thinking. Didn't get the job.
     
  8. Mldouglas

    Mldouglas Comrade

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    I have been out of school a number of years and I have made some stupid mistakes over the years. I also tend to fidget if I sit too long due to a disability. I think some of my biggest mistakes stem from not asking questions if one of my questions has already been answered during the interview. I also interviewed for a Title 1 position at a school. The interviewer asked me what I knew about the Title 1 program. I said not a whole lot then told him what I did know. I went out to the car and told my mom that I just blew that job.

    Mldouglas
     
  9. njeledteacher

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    Interviewing is definitely a skill...the more you do the better you get. But in the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. The worst part is when they don't say anything or even nod when you're talking or when you answer a question.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Exactly!

    I did all my interviews except one over the phone. It made me totally nervous when they weren't responding to anything I had said, until I realized that they were probably taking notes. At least that's what I'm hoping.

    In other news, I'm really glad this thread got started. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who has screwed up!

    PS: If you're still looking for a job and want to move to Las Vegas, PM me. I can help!
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I didn't cry DURING the interview, but I was crying while waiting for the principal prior to the interview. Didn't go well! I liked the school, I was just having personal issues with the town (I can't explain it, but I started crying the night before when I got there. Just a feeling!)
    I didn't even get a rejection e-mail, phone call or letter! Never heard a word!

    I have found that the more comfortable I am, the worse I do. My first two interviews went great, but I still didn't get the jobs. Then I interviewed with a principal that I know and it was AWFUL! The crying one is the exception! During my last interview, I was told that I interview well :)D ), but STILL did not get the job.... That lack of experience gets me every time.....
     
  12. njeledteacher

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    Why was the interview with the principal you know so bad???
     
  13. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I agree that the worst is when they just stare at you when you finish answering.
    Also, when they keep asking the same thing just worded differently as if you didn't understand the question and that's why you gave the response you did!!
    I had an interview with a total donkey's "you-know-what" once. I got through that interview by being polite. I wonder if anyone has ever left an interview when they realize they are not interested for working for those people. I really wanted to leave after 5 minutes. They kept me for 45 minutes asking me redundant and stupid questions!!!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Why would you say 'hispanic girl' anyway?
     
  15. HufflePuff

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    oh man...that's a cringer. good idea for a thread, teacherfan! :)
     
  16. ParaPacker

    ParaPacker Rookie

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    I remember one of my last interviews a few years ago. I was interviewing for a gifted and talented position. They asked me what the acronym stood for and I had such a blank that I said "So how are the Brewers doing this season?" They laughed. I didn't get the job but that position was cut the next year.

    The interview for the job I have now was interesting. There were two principals that needed a teacher and they were interviewing many people. I decided that I was not going to get it before going in and also decided just to have fun with my answers. The principals liked me so much for just being funny and upbeat that they both wanted me. That was a shock. I guess they liked the non-serious side.
     
  17. Lovetoteachkids

    Lovetoteachkids Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2007

     
  18. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I went in not even thinking about it. It was my 1st interview this year (way back in March), so I hadn't thought about any interview questions in nearly a year. I just thought it'd be a piece of cake. Then, he asked me a question and I panicked! Lots of "ummms" and stuff. AWFUL!! :eek:
     
  19. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    czacza Because one can't assume that all "hispanic" people are Mexican. During student teaching I had 3 girls that spoke almost no English. One was from California, one from Puerto Rico, and one from Peru. None of them were Mexican. I also had a boy who was from Guatamala who would translate for these 3 girls. While I'm pretty sure that the rest of the hispanic students in the class actually were Mexican, I would never assume that.
     
  20. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    My favorite, that my interviewers got a kick out of was the "Tell me about a time when you didn't get along with someone and how you handled it"
    Well, my parents kept me from working so I could focus on my studies so I have never "professionally" run across someone I don't like. Most people I don't like personally I can avoid..

    Anyways, the first thing out of my mouth was "Does family count?"
    And I went on about how my dad's side of the family is difficult to handle and this is how I handle it, and how I handle dealing with other people I don't get alone with... I think they thought I was kidding with the family comment.. until I started talking about how I deal with conflict- oh well!
     
  21. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    That just goes to show that you never know what you're up against. So, why not just be yourself. And, if you're not the stuffy type (and they are) or visa versa, then you probably don't want to be there anyway.
     
  22. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Very few of the Spanish speaking people in our area are actually from Central America, not Mexico or S. America. And, a few are second/third generation Americans from Texas, Cali, etc. that are bilingual.
     
  23. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    OK, my turn...this spring, I interviewed for a position I really wanted in my "home" school. New principal. Good questions, nice rapport, things are going pretty well. Then, when it's over, he tells me he wants someone with a certification add-on that I don't have (nothing you can just Praxis out of). Gee, thx for telling me this... Anyway, he gets down to the eternal question, why should I hire you for this position? I answer, a la Bridget Jones (as in Bridget Jones' Diary ) "Because I'm desperate and I really want the job. I know I can do it." Open mouth, insert foot. Even tho Bridget got her job with an honest answer, I did not get this one. Maybe next year...
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I still never use 'hispanic'- Latino/a are the preferable terms at least in my area. I'm still not sure why you referred to ethnicity during an interview though... And when referring to students during an interview I think that 'labeling' them could be an issue. You can talk about kids' needs, learning styles but I wouldn't use nationalities or ethnicities when talking about them. My district passed on interviewees who used similar terms- be careful- the language you use can carry 'messages' that you may not be meaning to send...
     
  25. luvtoteach

    luvtoteach Rookie

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    I have been on so many interviews now I can't remember them all!

    The last interview I went on I went in such a bad mood because this process has been so LONG. I was a "fill-in" for a cancellation that they called me for the same day of the interview (she told me she was calling me because the principal wanted to keep all the interview slots filled - not a big confidence booster!). I got my stuff together and got over there then after waiting for 20 minutes and feeling like I was wasting my time on an interview I wasn't even good enough to get on the first list for, the principal took me back to a room with 3 other people in it. I think the surprised look on my face gave me away (I wasn't prepared well in the first place, but especially not for a group interview!). After the intial shock, I relaxed and even made a couple of jokes (they were taking meticulous notes and I told them once not to write down what I said because I didn't like the way I answered it - luckily they laughed!).

    The last thing I expected was an offer - but I got it yesterday and accepted this morning! You never know, seems that when the pressure was off me I did my best and got a job out of it!
     
  26. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Maybe it's all about being yourself. Congratulations on being "you."
     
  27. LouiseB

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    I was in an interview and it was the panel thing with each one asking a question. I'm not sure what happened but they asked a question that I should have been able to answer right away. I paused for a moment and during that moment I don't think I could have even remembered my name! I recovered and gave some kind of answer. Obviously I did not get that job! I felt stupid!
     
  28. luvtoteach

    luvtoteach Rookie

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    Thank you! :) I didn't think the job search would ever end!
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree with you about the labeling thing, but I did want to add one thing for clarification.

    Latino and Hispanic aren't really synonymous.

    Hispanic refers to people whose culture and heritage have ties to Spain and, in the case of second and third generation Hispanic-Americans, who may or may not speak Spanish.

    Latin America is a geographic location. People from Latin America are all Latin but not all are Hispanics. Brazilians speak Portuguese, which makes them Latin but not Hispanic.

    Around these parts, most of my students and their families identify themselves as Hispanic, so that's the preferred term. It's important to know that in some places people find the term very offensive because they see it as a term imposed by outsiders used to lump a whole bunch of different cultures and ethnicities together--kind of like lumping all Irish, French, Germans, and Swedes together and giving them one name.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Thanks for the clarification. Again I wouldn't label kids or groups- especially in an interview... Spanish speaking countries in Latin America do have ties to Spain so while the inhabitants fo those countries may be 'hispanic' they can also be called Latinos/as. Just like many African Americans don't have ties to Africa- they may come from other countries... it just gets messy when your start referring to people this way and it's just best not to assume or label. To me they are all "just kids".
     
  31. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    Okay, how 'bout this one! When I interviewed for a LTS job in January at a local charter school they were enjoying spirit week. This particular day was "Clash Day". No one was wearing anything remotely close to normal attire, so when I met the principal I assumed she was playing along with clash day. (she was wearing a teal/purple tie-dyed blazer with a hideous t-shirt underneath....seriously!) I mentioned something about how nice it is to get into the game with the students. She then advised me how she no longer takes part in spirit week b/c it's tough to meet parents/interview/discipline students when you look ridiculous. So, the hideous outfit was just that....a very poor fashion choice. Ooops! Didn't get that one...or a call....or a rej letter.
     
  32. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    LOL!! Priceless!!

    I plan to stay at my current school until retirement. No more interviews for me!!! YUCK!!
     
  33. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I had an interview and the principal asked a question. It was a two part question so I was answering it and lost my train of thought and couldn't remember the question. I stopped talking and was about to ask her to repeat the question, but thankfully she started to elaborate on my answer and I didn't have to finish the question. In the same interview I was talking and confused a word. I used the first part of a word that was in the question she asked and the last part of the word I meant to say (basically I made up a word). I said my made up word a couple of times while I was trying to remember the correct term. I couldn't get it so I said "wait that's not a word" and used a synonym of the word instead. The principal laughed and gave me the correct term. Overall though it was a great interview and I got the job.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I disagree. I think refusing to admit that people may prefer different labeling than you prefer is where there is an indication of prejudice.

    We all have labels for ourselves and claim affiliation to certain groups. I have a strong accent which many people identify as Canadian, but it's not. If people who knew me called me Canadian all the time, I would feel hurt that they didn't care enough about me to learn or remember that I'm an American.

    If my students prefer the term Black to African-American, I'll use it. They care about the terminology, and I care about them; therefore, I care about using the correct terminology.
     
  35. GatorGal

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    I LOVE this story...:D
     
  36. Christinak6

    Christinak6 Rookie

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    Interviews are just grueling aren't they? I've had all different types of interviews (panel style, teacher and principal etc) and each interview was quite an experience. I just figure that I said what I said during each interview and that if I get the job I will. If I don't get the job oh well!
     
  37. luvtoteach

    luvtoteach Rookie

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    They ARE grueling! I would love to say I am done interviewing for good, but we will be moving in two years, so I will be doing it all over again! I guess I have been getting lots of practice, so it won't be as hard next time (hopefully!).
     
  38. #1 Mrs. H

    #1 Mrs. H Companion

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    Well, I was weondering when the "p" word would rear it's ugly head. I don't think a moment of inadvertant ignorance in navigating the ethnic barbed wire should classify as prejudice.

    I agree with the post earlier about not referring to specific groups by making generalizations in an interview, but we don't know the exact circumstances of that interview or what questions were asked. It is nearly impossible to give a good answer to a question about diversity or exoerience teaching in diverse settings without referring to ethnic groups. As we all know, diversity is a term that refers to the many different cultures, ethnicities, academic abilities, socioeconomic status that make up our country and the students we teach.

    I cannot fault someone for generalizing, or making an assumption on the spot during an interview in order to answer that question. During an internship I had at an urban school, I had the pleasure of teaching in a very diverse setting. There were students that I honestly assumed or would have thought to have been of Hispanic descent, not even considering the option of Latino/a American. I didn't go in there and ask them to supply their lineage for me....I went to teach them Science.

    In the same token, I would never ASSUME Mexican/Hispanic/Latino/a when speaking with a student about their background or history. I would ask them, and then probably have to have them explain it to me. Truthfully, if I lived in an area or planned to teach in a highly diverse area I would have a lot of homework to do on the political correctness of referring to such topics.
     

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