The Interview: Details*

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Today I had my first “real” interview.

Last Thursday I applied for an English LTO position (Long Term Occasional–until the end of June) at one of my favourite schools, and like the other 150+ applications that I’ve sent out over the last two years, I didn’t expect a response. I had long ago accepted that my resumes were being sent out into oblivion–being lost in the shuffle of the 300 applications that could come in for one job.

So, naturally when I got the call to come in for an interview, I was a little overwhelmed.

I spent all of last night and this morning stressing myself out preparing and memorizing brilliant answers to the world’s most challenging interview questions. I had seven pages of typed notes, bundles of notes from teacher’s college and curriculum documents and I poured over them all. I was terrified that they’d ask me a question and I’d have nothing for them but a blank stare.

After consulting Peeah for some fashion advice, I played it safe and wore black dress pants, a white, long-sleeved collared shirt and a black vest. I straightened my hair and wore it half up, put on my teacher glasses and donned tiny pearls in my ears.

Then, just to make the outfit a little more “me”, I threw on my three inch black stiletto boots.

My interview was at 1:30, so prevent myself from being late due to some sort of  natural disaster,  I obviously left at 12:20.

It took me 15 minutes to drive there, which meant I was, ohhhh, 55 minutes early. (I’m a star.) I sat in my truck for 10 minutes (yes, I’m driving an enormous, beautiful truck this week) before deciding to head in.

In teacher’s college they tell you to arrive 40 minutes early for an interview as most schools will give you a list of  questions to review beforehand so you can prepare your answers. The school’s clocks are actually five minutes behind, so I was actually forty-five minutes early when I walked into the office.

I greeted the secretary, apologized for being obnoxiously early and introduced myself. She smiled, laughed and offered me a seat in the waiting area.

No interview questions.

I took a seat next to another girl who was also there to be interviewed. We chatted for a few minutes (I was scoping out the competition… obviously) and she hadn’t received any questions either.

She went in a few minutes later, and I followed at 1:30. My knees had been shaking while I sat in my seat, but by the time I reached the office door and shook hands with the principal and vice principal, I realized that I was no longer nervous.

The interview took 25 minutes, and I was asked about my educational background, diversity, discipline, communicating with parents, lesson plans, and why I wanted to be a teacher, among other things.

The principal immediately put me at ease, and by the end of the interview we were swapping stories about the school where I had volunteered (she had been the Special Education department head there for years) and the Great White North, as she had actually been to my hometown.

I felt good about it when I left, and even after replaying my answers over in my head for a few hours, I’m still pleased with how I handled myself in my first interview. I answered every question confidently, and expressed my love for this profession. They were smiling when I left, and let me know that they’d be making a decision tomorrow.

I’m cautiously optimistic, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. It’s rare to get a position from your first interview, and principals often go into the interview process with someone they’d like to hire already in mind.

That being said, every candidate I saw today was around my age, so I feel confident that my experiences can’t be all that different from theirs.

All in all, it was a good day, and a great first interview experience. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I promise to keep you posted. Thank you so much for all the advice, well wishes and love that poured in over Facebook–you’re all amazing. I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. It was such a boost and helped alleviate some of my stress. :)

Fingers crossed!!

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