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Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 31st May '08 11:30 AM


I must hold a world record somewhere for being the worst job interviewee anywhere. I've already lost one school I REALLY wanted in Trophy Club for next year, and I thought the interview went great. Apparently, they did NOT so much.

Could you guys please give me some pointers on how YOU have been successful in interviews, being chosen for the job of your choice?

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 31st May '08 12:38 PM

Employers like to see the personality of their interviewees. Just be yourself, be relaxed. If you act all uptight & nervous, they will be afraid that personality will carry over into the job. When I am interviewing someone, I will usually sit and talk for several minutes about anything but the job, just to get a feel for the person's personality. Do they carry on conversations with ease? Do they look me in the eye? Do they act like they are easily insulted? If it becomes obvious that they will not be a good fit in the department, I will not consider them, regardless of their skills. Its impossible to have a smooth running unit when one person makes everyone else miserable. On the other hand, if I feel quite comfortable with the interviewee, then we start talking job stuff. Even if they aren't as qualified as I would like them to be, I know that they would be trainable and eager to learn. Best of both worlds: Someone very competent with a personality that will be a great fit within the department.

Kaufman  (Level: 267.7 - Posts: 3941)
Sat, 31st May '08 12:39 PM

My wife in her job has had to GIVE a fair number of interviews, so she has plenty of advice from her point of view. A couple things I can recall and mention:

Don't ramble on in your answers. Be short and to the point, and don't elaborate too much unless asked to. You don't want to bore the interviewer. On the other hand, if asked to follow up on something, be ready.

It's probably not the time to ask about pay, benefits, what's in it for you. That can come later, or if they bring up the subject, but otherwise stick to the nitty-gritty of convincing them they want to take a good look at you.

Tailor your resume to what they're looking for. Put on top the things most likely to be of interest to them.

Make sure that the way you answer their technical questions conveys your passion for the subject matter.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Sat, 31st May '08 12:45 PM

In my experience Jank....
when I was still in the job market,
It gets harder to interview and
to land that job, as you get older.

Once you are over 40, it's assumed
you are unable to keep up with the
ever emerging technology....AND if
you are a woman - smile a lot and
emphasize your ability to be a
"Team Player" ( NOT a M/A B****h)

Keep a note of the technical skills
being asked for these days,and make
sure you at least know the jargon....

Stress all relevant previous job
experience, and that you are still
willing to learn. Downplay all other
experience and years (decades) in the
job market.

"They" will not consider you for a job
that is below your Knowledge and Skill might leave as soon as you
find a better job with more pay

Recognize they want you to work as
cheaply as not expect a
high entry salary

Good Luck Jank, hope this has been useful

Allena  (Level: 266.2 - Posts: 1407)
Sat, 31st May '08 1:22 PM


You have a real problem. The more you can describe about your babie's ability to get care, the better off your interview's will go. Mom's with babies are excellent for schools since they have first hand experience. Mom's with Babies also seem to have poor attendance unless Grandma is always available.

I think Texas has some of the best mannered women and it is almost impossible for me to think you did anything wrong in the interview. We hire about 20 teachers a year in our growing Montessouri. Your previous abssentee rate is a factor and of course, how good is your child care ... back-ups etc. Nannies get sick almost as often as babies. I think that you might be a victim of unsaid excuses. Discrimination is so illegal that interviewers are reticent to say anything but positives and will often lie: "you were number two to a very well qualified candidate".

I note with awe your well phrased description of your fine pet dog. If you need an icebreaker, talk about him. You will demonstrate what Lodi was talking about and you will no doubt have the empathy of your interviewer. I suspect you are a very warm, loving inividual, ideally suited for schools. Now is the time for fall hires. Clearly, you can be a substitute until a permanant placement occurs. In this way you can talk about the 'twenty seven (?)' or how many, classes you were asked to join on short notice and never had a sick day ... not from your baby sitter, your baby or yourself.

If you wish, I can get you in touch with a person that has interviewed about 200 prospective teachers per year for the last 20 years. She might add to this. She is listed on Sploofus as DONA.

Write often, Allena

Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Sat, 31st May '08 1:50 PM

Also, just to add my 1 cent: Be aware of your body language... as Lodi said, eye contact is very important - but not creepy eye contact. Crossing your arms over your chest and/or slanting your body slightly to the side indicates that you are being guarded - not entirely sharing and also that you can be difficult when someone suggests something contrary to your opinion. And, unconscious or nervous habits are also a turn off for interviewers - licking lips excessively, adjusting your clothes or hair more than a couple of times, twiddling your fingers and/or a piece of your clothing shows nervousness and indecision. Try to be confident and calm and trust in your experience and knowledge of the field.
Never hurts to research the company/school you are interviewing for - having a good knowledge of the history and accomplishments of that institution shows that you are interested and have put some real effort into getting the job.
Hope these suggestions help, together with all other great ones above this post! Good Luck!!

Cujgie  (Level: 182.1 - Posts: 754)
Sat, 31st May '08 2:09 PM

Be aware not only of your body language, but also your general appearance--no gum chewing, no heavy cologne, clothing appropriate and clean and neat, appropriate shoes (no flip-flops), hair and body glowing with health and cleanliness.

Interviewees are often hired (or not) for reasons beyond their control. When my interview for an internship with Catholic Charities first started out, the supervisor chatted at bit with me just for fun and to put both of us at ease. When she found out I'm from western NY, she revealed she was from a small town to the east, around the corner of Lake Ontario. We spent the next half hour reveling in memories of our youth--hay rides and hard cider, ice storms, church potlucks, dairy farms, cherry and apple picking. The interview ended and I asked, "What about the job?" She looked at me in mild shock. "Can you start on Monday?"

Toledosugar  (Level: 51.4 - Posts: 281)
Sat, 31st May '08 2:14 PM

Take the time to research the company you are interviewing with. If you know what the company does and how they want to be represented, they know that you are really interested.

Mplaw51  (Level: 184.4 - Posts: 1581)
Sat, 31st May '08 4:50 PM

Toledosugar/Sharyn has given the best advice yet. If they have a website, check it out. Ask a few pertinent questions about them that don't have anything to do with rate of pay, benefits, etc. show that you know about them as well. Ask what the job entails and show some enthusiasm that is genuine for whatever it is. Sell yourself by getting accustomed to speaking about your ability to work independently and as a teamplayer. Get comfortable talking about your strengths and perhaps your weaknesses. Think about these things and be easy with these remarks so they roll off your tongue.

In every interview I give, my last question is: why should I give you this job? It invariably catches people off guard but my best employess have given me some answers to that question that have tipped the scale in their favor.

Follow the interview with a letter thanking the person who interviewed you for the opportunity to be interviewed. (don't use the word interview that many times!) If many have been interviewed, this makes a positive impression.
Hope this helps..(sorry if I've repeated other's advice also!)

Smaug  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 2765)
Sat, 31st May '08 5:02 PM

Sit down, look them in the eye, and say "My lawyer says you will give me the job because he has heard you don't discriminate against lesbians."

"You don't do you? I think he said that. Let me text him to confirm, he is ALWAYS in court...."

Pafork  (Level: 132.0 - Posts: 536)
Sat, 31st May '08 6:37 PM

What Lodi said. I look for people who seem confident, look me in the eye, speak up and sound sincere. I'd rather hire someone that would need training but who seems bright and personable and enthusiastic, than someone who already knows the job but doesn't have the "right" personality.

You should remember though, that not getting a job doesn't have to mean you did something wrong.
One thing I learned when I started interviewing and hiring people is that I should try not to take it personally the next time I didn't get hired for something. You never know what may have factored into their decision. You may have been qualified and given a great interview, but been up against someone with a similar resume but a little more experience. Or maybe you and the person they hired were equally qualified, but the other candidate reminded them of their best friend, or grew up in a small town near theirs and shared memories of apple and cherry picking with them. Or maybe a candidate had a leg up on you because they knew someone.
It can't hurt to try to improve your interviews, but keep in mind all those unknowable factors beyond what you did or didn't do that can also play a part in who gets hired.

Good luck!

Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Sat, 31st May '08 6:52 PM

Huh.. thought I said that (research) lol

Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2011)
Sun, 1st Jun '08 1:02 AM

Here's my 56 cents.

When interview someone, I'm looking for a personalilty "fit" I want to know that they can work in group environent and know their role, whether it be the leader or the one who attends to the tediuos details. What do you bring to the table?

Honestly I also want to know that this job isn't your life. I want to know that you have a life outside of the job and you are growing. I want to know you coach your kids softball team (it shows me you know the meaning of "team spirit"). I also want to know that you value your community.

My 2 cents.


Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sun, 1st Jun '08 7:20 AM

Thanks, you guys, for all the help. I'm copying and studying it toward the next interview, hopefully soon!

You had me at personality. That's my big problem! ha

Alvandy  (Level: 240.1 - Posts: 7692)
Sun, 1st Jun '08 8:31 AM

Some great suggestions, except don't pay attention to Jennifer [formerly Smaug].

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