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Home : 2002 : Feb : 23

    interview jitters
    By Carolyn

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    One thing I did when I went interviewing is to assemble a portfolio of my ideas--samples of work that I had students do, rubrics that I composed, a copy of my discipline plan which outlined consequences, etc. I felt I was very much prepared when I went to the interview with this stuff, because the moment they asked me a questions about something I believed in doing, or about my discipline policy, I just pulled it out of an organized folder. Being this organized alone is enough to impress them. Better still, you are able to answer their questions with concrete examples, rather than sputtering over questions you're not sure they'll ask or not.

    Have a friend pretend he/she is an interviewer at a job. Assemble all of the questions you could possibly include in the interview. Definitely include questions about your classroom management plan. Principals always ask about that. You may also be asked to tell about your strengths and weaknesses.

    One thing I also found helpful was to give a huge smile at the interviewers the moment I walked into the room to interview. Chances are great that they will smile back at you. This sets a pleasant and relaxing mood for everybody.

    In spite of it all, I think that some interviewers are just on a power kick. They want to try to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible. I encountered this. However, keep in mind that most of the people who are interviewing you remember what it was like to be in your place. They are "pulling" for you and want you to do well. I once went to an interview where there were three teachers and a principal interviewing me. Now that could have been very intimidating had they been on the power kick. But they spent a lot of time laughing and joking among themselves, for some reason, and I couldn't help but laugh and joke with them. This is an extreme in the other direction. LOL

    Just remember, too, that you are interviewing the principal. I met a teacher a couple of days ago who had interviewed in a school. He could tell within the first five minutes that he and the principal didn't "click" philosophically. He also did not especially like her personality. So, he spoke up right away and told her that he didn't think they should continue the interview any longer because he didn't feel it was a good match. He then left the interview.

    You will have a mixture of experiences as you interview. Some will be pleasant, some not so pleasant. If you don't "click" with a certain principal, as I know I didn't at times, then the job just wasn't for you. Something better is in the works for you. The principal will decide if he/she likes you or not--not from the words you speak, although they are important--but from the way you appear to get along.

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