Day 26 (of 188) The Interview
Today I had the opportunity to do the job I both love & hate in equal amounts. Interviewing for a position at our school – even scarier, someone to partner teach with me!
I love it because I really enjoy learning more about the educators I am wining with in our school district.
I hate it because I only have one opening (not even a full time gig either) so I know automatically that more people are going to be disappointed than will be pleased.
Once upon a time there were (I know, still are) questions that wanted certain/specific answers. (I still recall seeing people circling words or tapping pencils on the paper to answers that were …. close)
Better are the behavioural interviews that allow for probing and ‘digging deeper’ on interesting topics and comments. (I do better with these questions because I make good connections and have some interesting stories to share!)
Best is when the interview devolves (?) into a conversation about life, learning and everything!
I’ve also been influenced by my Twitter PLN which has supported my desire to ‘do different’. For instance, as our learning community is anti-anxiety, I provide the questions to the candidates in advance of the interview. I do keep some follow-up questions to be the ‘surprise’ – but at least that way they are a surprise to both of us!
Sometimes interviews go too long (the early me pleads ‘guilty’ to rambling on) some too short – I mindfully did respond with a one word response to a question and got the job… but it was purposeful and I only did it once. Finding the right balance can be difficult – even if you have the questions ahead of time.
Mr Landys advice:
– have stories about things you have done in your learning community recently – even TOCs (maybe especially TOCs) should have good stories about quickly making connections and building relationships.
– do some research – check out school goals and newsletters (most if not all are online)
– bring in recent readings (and read – even if it’s an educational blog or a popular Twitter chat – but also ask what other educators are reading – I will always share books and don’t even expect the book to come back!)
– have a list of key things you want to make sure “I” hear: if you are an assessment geek, don’t keep it a secret!
– keep your answers directly to the question (ask the question to be repeated if necessary) -trust that the interviewer will ask for more information – but if there’s one thing that is burning to get out, set it free.
– use thinking time (especially if you weren’t given the questions earlier in the day)
– breathe and slow down. Really. Slow down your words and your thinking – one good example can trump three quick thoughts.
And of course, sometimes it’s a matter of timing – sometimes it’s about the right fit at the right time; it took three times over 15 years before the district I am currently in and myself were a match for each other – and when the timing is right…!!!