Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interview Wardrobe

From the Star

I will start by saying that as long as you look professional you are going to look great at an interview. I have heard a lot of people ask, "What should I wear?" and I know that my mother and I have had our conflicts about this issue, because she is all about conservative. I, on the other hand, feel that you should be covered up but classy and comfortable all at the same time. If you don't feel comfortable with what you are wearing, then you won't feel relaxed about your interview.

I saw in the blog that someone had mentioned wearing a suit to the interview. While suits do look very nice, I don't even own one. I have found that most people don't wear suits and the ones that I have talked to that did decide to wear a suit have said that they felt a little over dressed after seeing what the people interviewing them were wearing. I like to think about it this way - Would you wear a suit to teach your students? I feel that when you interview you are giving a the people who are interviewing you a window into who you are and what you are all about. I have found that the best thing to wear for an interview is an over-the-knee length dress that fits well to your body and shows your figure a little. (Of course you don't want it to be too tight and fitted, but at the same time you don't want to look like the stereotypical frumpy teacher!) No denim - no matter how expensive - because I think some interviewers think it is just too casual. Also make sure that if it is a lower cut dress that you are wearing a tank top underneath so that your cleavage is not hanging out, because if it is showing at the interview, those interviewing will certainly feel that you will show it in the classroom. That is an absolute no-no (especially with the QUEEN -Yes, you guessed it - my mother). Another thing that I recommend is to wear some cute heels that are not too trashy but not too plain and boring either. A little make-up makes you look clean and fresh but definitely not too much. Oh and don't forget, wear your hair down! No matter what they say they always think you look more professional when you have your hair down. If it's up, very neat and attractive - no little blush brush-like ponytails.

And yes, Mother, I did get a compliment on how I was dressed at my last interview! I guess if I get the job, I'll know that I did it just right and if I don't, I'll be left to wonder...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

From the Apple

Over at Ellen's blog at CEC (she's also a first year teacher), she also is looking for a new job and asks the question - Do you think she should wear a suit for her interview? Courtney, since you and I have had so many conversations (and sometimes disagreements?!) about professional dress, I was wondering what advice you would give her and what exactly did you wear for your interview? Just wondering...


From the Star

So being the new teacher at my school with only one year of experience and the last one hired, there has not been good news for me lately. As you all can imagine I am the first to go on the chopping block. Hearing this news made me very uneasy and nervous... until recently. I found out that both of the schools that I want to go to next year offered me interviews in Pre-K Varying Exceptionalities. I could not believe it. Not only was I getting a chance for a job next year but I was getting a chance at a job that I have trained and longed for the past six years. It was a miracle! I guess good things do come to those who wait. I guess that I should not be this excited yet I have not yet heard anything back. from either of the interviews. They cannot hire until all of the allocations are in which is sometime in May. Don't forget to keep your fingers crossed for me.

Being a new teacher with little experience can be nerve wrecking when going into an interview. You are most likely interviewing against others who are highly qualified and more experienced then you are, not to mention that the interview is just a scary thing since your job and future depend on it. One thing that I have learned is that you just need to relax. Take a breath and relax, because I can tell you from experience that nothing good comes from stressing and being uptight. You just have to go in and imagine that you are talking to one of your colleagues instead of the big boss lady. You may think that I am crazy but trust me it really works. Another thing that I have learned is to never answer too quick. Collect your thoughts and put them together before you respond so that you do not repeat yourself and your answers comes out like you want it to. The last thing is to always tell them how excited you would be to join their team and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. You always want to sound interested because this makes them more confident in their choice if they are considering you.

Now onto the more intense part of the interview - the questions. I have had two interviews recently and they have both been completely different which tells me that you never know what you are going to get. I would like to share with you some of the questions that I was asked. Some questions are worded weird or may have big words in them. If this happens just ask them if they can repeat the question and they will usually explain what they want to hear.

I hope this helps. :) Questions:
  • Why did you choose our school?

  • What can you bring to our school that no one else can?

  • Why should we hire you?

  • What goals do you set for yourself and how do you reach your goals?

  • How will you help your students reach their goals?

  • What have you done in a classroom that other teachers have liked and actually tried?

  • What have you learned from other teachers and use in your classroom?

  • What is an IEP? (For ESE Majors) and what does it mean to set goals?

  • What do you do if a child doesn't reach goals that you have set for them?

  • How can you make sure that children are reaching the goals set for them?

  • What do you expect from the Principal?

  • What do you expect from your colleagues?

  • How would you set your classroom up?

  • What would you do with a child who just won't follow directions?

  • What kind of behavior plan would you use?

  • What would a normal day in your classroom look like?

  • What do you feel should be the relationship between the teacher and the students?

  • How do you use literacy in the classroom?

  • How would you manipulate the 90 minute reading block?

  • What characteristics make you a great teacher?

Don't forget keep those fingers crossed!