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interviews ack

You guys after nine years at my school I've applied to teach at a fancy liberal private school closer to my home (better pay, better benefits, shorter commute NO STANDARDIZED TESTING.) I had my first interview on Monday and I was a fast-talking maniac. I'm SO bad at interviews! Luckily I have a good reputation at the school (I did my student teaching there) and I think that combined with less-spazzy written application bumped me to the next round. So on Monday I am going to the school for a FULL DAY to interview again and teach a sample lesson. The teaching is going to be fine but the idea of another interview with seven people staring at me while I sweat and fumble my words is a nightmare. Please give me your best tips for interviewing!


  • That's so exciting!!! I try to pretend I'm confident ("I totally got this"), and it sorta works. You will do great!
  • You'll do great!
  • DUDE.
    Interviewing is a nightmare!! I think about my interviews all the time, probably at least once a day.

    - act confident no matter what. DO NOT self-deprecate to curry favor
    - Be Real--don't be sycophantic. Say your real thoughts and ideas
    - Really listen to everyone who talks to you
    - bring emergency bathroom food (luna bar) for if you are too nervous to eat at lunch with them all staring at you
    - although, also eat something at lunch or they'll think you're weird
    - have questions ready to ask them that are actually insightful--show you know the school, the population, the goals of the administration, what parents care about there, through your questions

    You will do great!! You do know how to do this job--you're super qualified, seasoned, and professional. You know what you think, and you have the evidence and experience to back it up. GO FOR IT
  • I'm also a chatty fast-talking interviewee. My trick is to ask a lot of questions and start collaborating right away. You are a good teacher and love the subject so try to dig into some details with followup questions to get your juices flowing. Once you start jamming on your groove it is easier to cope with the microscope of the group interview.
  • I love interviews! I find myself using the "trick" FaceTweet describes, too. If I introduce a bit of an element of me interviewing them, and then start to problem-solve together with them, we're already working together, basically. You end up demonstrating comprehension, enthusiasm, team-work, and competence.

    All that generally works when I am enthusiastic and competent in the subject, and I really am considering this job opportunity against a few others.

    Though I do tend to fast-talk a little bit in these situations, there's no getting around that.
  • Thanks dudes. I will try to act confident- I appreciate the advice to not self-deprecate. Also follow up questions! Good idea. That wouldn't have worked at the first interview because the questions were all very scripted and each of the SEVEN people on the committee was in charge of asking one. Not conversational. Hopefully there will be more room for back and forth in the next interview.

    I appreciate your advice- thanks so much.

  • edited April 2015
    I had an interview like that, it was brutal.

    I'm so excited to hear updates about this!!!!!!!

    you can do it! FaceTweet and Zin give great advice--that thing where you ask a question and then actually have a conversation about it is HUGE!!!
  • Everyone here has much more actionable advice than I did at 7:51 this morning. Questions! So important. Finding ways to show that you've done your homework and are actively interested in what your interviewers are all about. So important, too!

    Wear a shirt that doesn't show sweat!

    Another thing I try to do: tell yourself this whole experience (interviewing) is fun! "What a fun thing I get to do! Meet these people, talk about something that I love and am good at and interested in...what a joy!"

    Good luck!
  • Yeah, think about how impressed they are with you!
  • I used to think interviews were just painful and awful, and they are, but somehow there comes a point where you get confident enough that you know enough of your shit that you can just approach them as "talking." Just have a conversation with people who are interested in the same stuff you're interested in! Share your ideas; be excited to hear theirs. If you can actually just feel that way, then you will always be great.

    I bet you're already like this!!

  • edited April 2015
    One honest-to-God trick that a public speaking teacher taught me a long time ago. Just before an important interview or presentation find somewhere private and adopt the "victory pose" for 1-2 minutes. Wide-ish stance, arms raised almost as high as possible, fists clenched, making a big X with your body. And hold that for a while with a (forced if necessary) smile on your face. It will seem very silly but it does things to your brain.

    Also some banana and a bit of water.
  • Victory pose!!!!
    I didn't know that was real!
  • Someone just told me about this!!!

    Also, eat some protein for breakfast so you have energy!
  • just thinking about the victory pose made me feel awesome and confident

    what a hot tip
  • You guys- I just got my interview schedule for Monday and it is 8-4, fully loaded, all day long. AND they want to get together for dinner at 6! I'll either be relaxed and myself by the end of the day or a total mess.

    (Power Pose!)
  • the last time i had a job interview i showed up an entire week early.
  • Oh lord, do I love a consultant I have an unfair advantage because I get/have to interview for most of the projects I win, so I have many chances to practice.

    I like to prepare a lot, at the bullet point list level. And I have to practice aloud many times, but if I do this, then in the moment I can improvise in a controlled way that is often better than my rehearsal.

    Wear whatever makes you feel best - professional, comfortable, and attractive. Remember to take deep breaths, turn off your cell phone, relax your muscles, and smile.
  • I'm late to this thread, but power pose has always worked for me and it worked for others I shared it with.
  • It went well- I didn't feel too nervous and I think my answers were honest and thorough. I didn't power pose with my body but I power posed in my mind. ;)
  • For next time: part of why power pose works is because it ends up giving off subliminal cues to the interviewers and changes the way they perceive you. It's not just a "feel good" thing for yourself.
  • I'm so excited to hear what happens!!! Want you to get it so bad!
  • Any word, Cherry??
  • I haven't heard anything yet! I've actually decided not to take the job if I get it though. Testing is killing me but also private schools make me feel bad. Yes the school is idyllic but it costs 20k a year to go there. That's bananas! And it's not like a lottery to get in- it's a straight up admissions process starting in pre-school. I don't know. My professional quality of life would be greater there, but ethically I just don't think I can do it. Public education is the foundation of democracy!

    But it may be a moot point- they might not want me! Who knows.
  • God Cherry this is a super dilemma. I so intensely admire your commitment to your vocation. I struggle with this same exact issue--I believe so strongly in public universities but I yearn SO DEEPLY for those nerdy well-read private liberal arts kids. The two teaching experiences are so vastly different (to say nothing of the two modes of bureaucracy and oversight--your testing nightmare is my constant weird injunctions from various vice assistant provosts to increase credit hours by creating more and more massively over-enrolled "general education" courses where you're mostly teaching like "look at this, class, this is a PAINTING. Can YOU say "painting?" and you have to use a microphone) and it is really hard to experience that difference and struggle to reconcile what would be way more fun, rewarding, and enjoyable to you personally with what you know to be right, like, in a global sense.

    I so admire your commitment to society and to the student population you serve. GOD. I'm so upset

  • I hate to see people keep themselves from moving up out of guilt :(
  • I just mean that I don't think you should be obligated to have a lower quality of life just because the overall system is crappy. Like, your life shouldn't have to suffer because of that.
  • A lot of people have tried to let me off the hook with that line of thinking, "Life is short, live a good one." That's super real. But it's not guilt that's holding me back, it's a sense of responsibility. I believe so strongly in public education- I want to do my part to make learning joyful and exhilarating for all students, not just a privileged few. There are arguments to be made that those privileged kids are the future leaders of tomorrow so steeping them in social justice education early on is extra important, but isn't that just perpetuating paternalism?

    And anyway, it's not like my quality of life is terrible. I love teaching, I'm in a generally supportive school and district, and I have more leeway than most public school teachers to create meaningful curriculum. Things were better before the recession and before this latest testing craze, but it's still not bad. I'm thinking a lot now about whether my next move should be to a needier area. I'm also taking classes to earn my administrative license (i.e. principal classes) but I'm a bit ambivalent about that route. The idea of shaping the tone, values and practices of a school and influencing other buildings in a district is exciting, but test culture is the reality at all levels of teaching/leadership right now. I think principals are probably as or more restricted than teachers.
  • edited April 2015
    I agree with Cherry.

    Deleted the rest of my comments because I sound self-righteous when really I am mostly ashamed of myself, in life
  • edited April 2015
  • Y'all are the ones living it, so I hear you.
  • edited April 2015
  • edited April 2015
  • edited April 2015

    using uhx like it is a text conversation; so many posts
  • sometimes I turn the boiler on solely in order to take a hot shower instead of a warm shower
  • edited April 2015

    sorry everyone
  • Dang, I missed these deleted rants and would have enjoyed reading them.
  • they weren't rants, they were all backpedaling
  • I'm glad y'all are passionate about what you do.
  • I read your first redacted post YT! It did not read as scold. Repost!!!
  • I too want to read the rants!
  • NO WAY!!!!!!!!!
  • I thought your first post was very real and not embarrassing.
  • I liked it and I "liked" it
  • thanks guys
    i am just trying not to hold forth and make obnoxious claims constantly and also not constantly talk about capitalism.
  • Way to go, Cherry. Do Good!
  • Even if you've decided you aren't gonna take that job, if you are offered it (or even if you aren't) you should use that as a negotiation tactic with your current job.
  • that's good advice uncle. I actually emailed the head of HR in my district today to set a meeting to talk about my professional future.
  • I have done that and had success.
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