Sometimes people spend days and even weeks preparing for job interviews, but is there really a way to ever be completely prepared. Job interview are very intimating and scary even if you are confident that you fit the requirements for the job. You go into a room where all the attention is on you, multiple people asking questions, and waiting for what they want to hear. There are many resources out there that help you prepare for interviews, but with all the information who really knows what is right. Being part of the audience was interesting in many ways. I was able to observe an interview as a bystander, something I never thought I would do. Although the students who were interviewed volunteered to be interviewed, their composure and reactions during the interview was not what I expected. Also seeing how interview committees prepare before interviews and hearing from people who are truly involved in interview for their professions was helpful.
Going back to my first question about being fully prepared for an interview, I expected the students that were being interviewed to be more at ease. They were interviewing for a mock job, they knew the interview team, and they were able to look at the possible questions before the interview day. With all of these factors in effect, the students being interviewed were consumed with nerves. Having a chance to sit near all of them before they were called up was also interesting. They all seemed calm and discussed what they were going to do when they were up there, but none of them did what they said. They were choked up on words during the interview and were extremely happy when they were done. When they were finished many of them discussed what they should have said and were mad at themselves for some of the answers they gave, which tends to be how I fell after leaving many interviews. Seeing that these nerves exist in a mock interview made me think that they exist in every interview. I do not think that you can ever be fully prepared for a job interview, but I do think that you can be well prepared.
What can you do to be well prepared? Hearing from professionals who are involved with interviews at their current jobs was very helpful. I have never had the opportunity to serve on an interview committee, so I was not aware of what goes on behind the scenes until now. Knowing how candidates are looked at before and during an interview will help me to prepare myself for whenever my next interview will be. I have always seen interviews as being very formal and structured environments where professionalism should be displayed throughout. Dr. Roseth mentioned that he likes when candidates make him feel at ease because hiring someone that will make students feel at ease is very important to him. Being a teacher is a professional environment, but it is not the same as being a banker or business man. I never thought about how these interviews should be different. I always was the person who prepared the perfect textbook answers to the questions that I was asked. I do not think I ever gave answers that made me stand out from the other candidates. I feel that I will now focus on what makes me different as an educator and not what makes the perfect answer. I believe in myself as an educator, I chose what I do carefully, I strive to do better, and really think about my students. The next interview I go to, I will be prepared to show them who I really am and what makes me a good educator.
The biggest take away from the many events that happened this week was the importance of my portfolio. There were many times during the last school year that I thought about updating my portfolio and blog, but I never got around to doing so. It was always one of the last things on my mind because I never felt that I had the time to make it perfect. After listening to Steven Howell emphasize how important portfolios are as well as the discussion that occurred after the mock interviews, I realized that I should have taken these opportunities. Michelle Hagerman and Steven Howell made it clear that portfolios do not need to be perfect. They do not need to only include the best possible work. They are meant to inform other of your thoughts as well as how well you have progressed. This upcoming year I am going to work as hard as I can to update my blog regularly. They might not be the longest entries because of lack of time, but it will show my thoughts to others, which I now know is why I need to have a positive and thought out online presence. This month I have not only thought about my students, but I have really thought of myself as a professional.