Worst Interview Ever! Need to Vent!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by NewTeacher05, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. NewTeacher05

    NewTeacher05 Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2011

    So I had 4 interviews for teaching positions 2 weeks ago, I thought they all went very well, but obviously not that well because I never heard anything from any of them again, since then no interview luck and I've been kind of depressed, well I landed an interview for a TA today! I was super excited because at least it was something!!

    Well super bummed, it was the worst interview ever....the P asked me if I was familiar with all these guided reading programs which I was not with a single one...he said that was fine and they provided training, but I could tell after that he seemed really disinterested....he also asked really odd questions making generalizations...I student taught 2nd grade and he was like so what do 2nd graders struggle with in math? Umm like it depends on the kid....I also have a B.A. in Communications and had 2 big internships in that field and he mentioned my internships and was like why do you want to be teacher? When I already stated that teaching was my true passion and I went back to graduate school to go into teaching in my intro about my self. It was so bad that the other 2 teachers in the interview only wrote 2 things on their papers and did not have questions for me at the end

    Oh well, maybe I'll get more interviews, but school starts Thurs the 25th : (
     
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  3. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    I guess they want another 20-something degree in education drone who may know the latest "buzzwords, but who knows little about his or her content area.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sounds like he already had his mind made up, New. Sorry this happened to you. Sounds uncomfortable. Keep slogging away...something good is out there for you.:)
     
  5. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Milsey... Are you for real? Do you think that interviewers are just "out to get" professional people? Interviewers look at the position. They think about the children and the individuals that will be impacted by the person they are hiring. They look for knowledgeable people and they DO keep in mind that individuals all come from differing levels of knowledge. They want the best fit for their school and for the children. They also understand that there are individuals that may be extremely nervous. They understand that this position is important to that person. And then, out of several good candidates make a decision that is based on facts, and a feeling that the person they are asking to join their team is a just right fit for their school community. I know when I am on an interview team, I am not looking for a cute 20 something that knows a few buzz words. However, if a cute 20 something is the just right fit for my school, I am all about hiring the right person.
     
  6. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    New Teacher - I hope that next interview is your just right position! Keep trying. The market out there is just plain tough. Good luck!
     
  7. Avery

    Avery Rookie

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    SCTeachInTX, that sounds very ideal. That's definitely how it should work and kudos to you for helping make that happen.

    But I'm not sure it always works that way in practice. New teachers at my school are often the kind that Milsey mentioned. Buzz words are a pretty big deal in some districts. I guess we need more interviewers like you!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm on my school hiring committee. Buzz words don't impress us. We don't hire candidates of the kind that Milsey described.
     
  9. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I have 22 years of experience and have worked in 4 districts, 7 schools, and been on countless interview teams for different schools within my districts. The one thing that these interviews (in both states that I worked in) had in common was the fact that the team wanted:
    Knowledge
    Flexibility
    Caring Attitude
    Ability to work with People

    I think that having an ideal candidate that impacts the lives of the children in our schools is not a lofty dream, but a concrete reality of what is happening in most schools and districts. I cannot imagine that with NCLB, a school would hire someone based solely on their looks when we have accountability and high stakes testing that we must deal with. But, I certainly will admit that I could be wrong. Because my experience is limited.
     
  10. Galois

    Galois Companion

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    Aug 19, 2011

    You haven't failed, you've gained experience. We all just have to persevere. All the best in your search.
     
  11. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    But again, I wish every new and teacher candidate the very best. Your commitment to sticking with this profession in these tough times is a tribute of your determination and passion for teaching.
     
  12. elateacher4life

    elateacher4life Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2011

    Use this interview as a learning experience for next time.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Any "20-something degree in education drones" care to reply?

    When I was doing the interviewing I never hired any.

    I did hire some young teachers who were open minded and had something of value to share with our school. Fifteen to twenty years later, several are still working in my school, and one is department chair.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Pfffft, what? And how did you come to that conclusion? hahaha, your comments....
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oh, and OP, how long have you been job searching? Getting 5 interviews is great in this economy! So, you're getting called for interviews (meaning resume and cover letters must be good), but we may need to tighten up your interviewing skills. What are you doing to prepare for your interviews?
     
  16. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Sorry to the OP that the interview did not work out. I hope I don't sound bitter but I don't agree with the policy of some administrators that previous experience to a specific program should be a deciding factor. What should matter (IMO) is the quality of the teacher. Teaching makes kids learn not programs.

    As far as the 20somethings getting the jobs, I worry about that too but if that was always the case, I wouldn't have gotten hired this year. :)
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I was about as far as you can get from a "20-something full of buzzwords" when I was hired.
     
  18. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Your outlook strongly resembles the absurd opinions of several teachers I work with. They think the "20 somethings" are trying to take over the school. The funny thing is that they were also 20 something when they were hired! Ha!:lol:
     
  19. geek412

    geek412 Rookie

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    I hate to say it Aliceacc, but comments like these are a dime a dozen for us, "20-somethings". These types of comments occur no matter what field is presented. Rather than looking for commonalities and success in numbers - they look for divisions.

    So I'm taking it with a grain of salt and going to put my focus into designing my curriculum for the 1st Day of School!

    Yay!:)
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Well, if the small minded aren't concerned about the 20-somethings, they're insisting that anyone with more than 10 minutes experience should move out of the way and open up the jobs for them... as though one way or another they're owed a job simply because they happen to hold a degree. The entitlement thing is out of control, and they tend to point their barbs at anyone they think will give it credence.

    Fortunately, few intelligent people do.
     
  21. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    In response to the question about what 2nd graders struggle with in math... I think it's a GREAT question. He wants to know if you know your students. Do you remember what you learned in your child development and ed psych classes? I know that 3rd graders struggle with abstract ideas in math class. Transferring a simple algorithm that they can do in their sleep to a word problem is tough for your average 8-9 year old. That's how I would have answered the question whether my response was "right" or "wrong." By answering that different students will struggle in different areas, I think it's a bit of a cop-out. Just my opinion.

    It seems like the interviewer was giving you a chance to expand your first answer as to why you're a career (or focus) switcher. Believe me, follow-up questions like that are rare. Don't simply reiterate that you have a passion. SHOW them what that means. Describe what it was about your communications internships that gave you further insight that teaching was for you. Did you not have the ability to inspire people on a daily basis? Do you feel that your communications background will make you a more successful teacher?

    I would brush up on some interview questions and maybe shift my focus from, "I can't believe he had the nerve to ask that" to "I'd better be on my A game and prove why I'm the best candidate for this job."

    As for the other posting on 20 something drones. That just sounds like sour grapes to me. It seems that there are unfortunately alot of "professionals" in the field (either jobseekers or gainfully employed in teaching) who feel the need to bash others in order to explain why life's not going their way. Sure, many recent grades know "buzzwords" but any good interviewer and school (and we all want to work at good schools) is going to probe to see if the applicant knows what the terms mean and how they're implemented. Their recent education and ST experiences do give them the leg up in some respects. Tough. If you're not one of the "young ones" go to the library, check out some of the best practices books and read. Or look at professional journals, talk to teachers (hello, there are plenty on here), and find ways to work with children. Then you'll be the ones with the leg up.
     
  22. geek412

    geek412 Rookie

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    Unfortunately though entitlement is everywhere in society. From those who wish to start a career to those who have been, "forced out" by, "cheap labor".

    Either school of thought is a fruitless and self-centered endeavor.
     
  23. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I'm a 20 something college grad who knows all the buzz words. I was hired after 23 interviews! Yes, I know a lot of buzz words but I am also confident, consistent, intentional, caring, dedicated, hard-working, and intelligent. I was not hired because I said the big buzz words of the year but because of who I am and what I was going to bring to the school.

    After I was hired, my principal told a handful of teachers, who had the same opinion as you Milsey and weren't afraid to share it, that I would be an asset to the school and that I was hired because of what I was bringing not because of my looks or shiny new vocabulary.
     
  24. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I would try not to feel too bad about the interview. Write down the questions that you can remember and learn from it so that you can answer those questions better if they come up in the next interview. I think that it's important to stay positive and go on.

    Also, if they seemed disinterested, it might not have had anything to do with you. I have heard of schools posting jobs and conducting interviews when they already knew who they were giving the job to beforehand. If that was the case, it didn't matter what you said. I hope that something works out for you soon!
     
  25. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    :thumb:
     
  26. shootingstar

    shootingstar Rookie

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    Milsey, I think that's really rude. Anyone preparing for an interview brushes up on "buzzwords" and that's not a bad thing. You need to speak their language if you're going to get anywhere. Bad interviews happen! They happen because admin. either loves you or isn't interested, and that can't be controlled. The other factor is how you perform. Nobody but the district knows what they're looking for and it can be a tough ordeal if you're young or old!
     
  27. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I like the response newbie23 gave for the question of what 2nd graders struggle with in math. It reminded me of a question from my first interview this summer.

    There were three middle school positions available in my district and the interview was for all three, so there were several principals on the committee, each with a somewhat different set of standards they were looking for. One was the P from the school I had just worked for, so I thought I definitely had an advantage with him.

    The question asked by another P (that reminds me of the newbie23 addressed) was "Describe a typical middle school student." I looked at the P and the first thing that popped out of my mouth was "There is no such thing as a typical middle school student. Every one of them is different." He and my former P both said "That's a good answer."

    I expanded a little bit by saying "Every middle school student is going through an entire series of changes; physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. In addition to academic ability, each student is trying to figure out who they are and who their friends are and they all go through this process at different speeds. So there is no way to pick any one student and hold them up as the "typical" middle school student, because every one of them will have different needs based on the day of the week and the month of the year and the grade they're in.

    For the OP, I feel your pain and frustration. I was almost positive I would get at least one of those three jobs in that first interview and was really crushed when it didn't happen. I've been fortunate enough to get several more interviews, all within reasonable distance of where I live now, but after 4 more interviews with two other districts, I still have no job offers. It has definitely made me begin re-evaluating ALL the answers I give to the standard questions asked in each interview to figure out how I can answer them better and make myself stand out more.

    In the meantime, I've printed new business cards with my updated credentials and begun passing them out to the local schools for substitute teaching. My first stop was at my previous school and my P told me I did give an excellent interview for the three positions, they just had 2 other applicants that had a lot more experience. I understand that, of course, but is also a little frustrating. I've got 1.5 years experience as a substitute and 1 year of teaching experience. How do I get "more experience" if the schools never give me a chance in the first place?

    The answer, of course, is that - sooner or later - I WILL be the "right fit" for one of the schools and the experience will come from there. In the meantime, I can continue increasing my experience through substitute teaching.

    So stay positive and try to learn from this last interview. I agree with a previous poster that it sounds as if the committee already had their mind made up, but it is also possible they were giving you a chance to expand a little on your answers (as newbie23 mentioned) and were disappointed when you didn't. More likely, though, the decision was already made and it wouldn't have mattered what you said. That bites, especially in this tough market, but if that IS the case, then that job probably would not have been a good fit for YOU either.

    I know it's very hard, but try to stay as positive as you can and keep pounding on their doors. Sooner or later, one of those doors WILL open up for you. :thumb:
     

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