On Monday I was lucky enough to experience three “mock interviews” with administrators from local school districts. I was pretty nervous going into the night because I wasn’t too sure of the format. I had the opportunity to interview with three different people and each of them had a unique style.
I really enjoyed the mock interviews which I honestly didn’t think I would ever say. The energy was much different than a traditional interview; I think this helped me enjoy the experience and not be super stressed out like I normally am. The interviews were both formal and informal. Each person that I interviewed with brought a set of questions that they use in the actual interviews for their district. One of my interviewers stopped after every two questions to provide me with feedback and the other two provided me feedback after all of the questions had been completed.
The feedback portion was my favorite part of the night. I’ve interviewed a few times and left wondering how I did and what I could improve but you never really get the opportunity to ask that type of question in a professional interview. That’s why this experience was so beneficial; I was able to respond to the questions and then receive direct feedback about what I did well and what I should change.
One of the most powerful moments during one of my mock interviews was a piece of feedback suggesting that I tell more about myself as a person instead of focusing solely on my teacher identity. There was a question about hobbies and my interviewer told me I sounded so excited (and like a real person) as I was telling her about my passion for baseball and how I travel to a new city each year for a game in search of reaching my goal of visiting every stadium. There was also a point in the interview that I mentioned I had done gymnastics for about seventeen years. After the interview was done, the interviewer told me those were her favorite parts to hear; she advised me to add these interests to my resume because people love seeing how well rounded the candidates are and what their interests are outside of the work place.
Another really cool thing happened in that same interview because of me sharing my interest in baseball. The interviewer came up with an amazing idea to use in my classroom. She told me every couple weeks in my classroom I could talk a little bit about baseball (showing my students some of myself) and a city that I had traveled to see a game. In each city I could either visit or research chemistry related labs, jobs, or individuals that could share something beneficial to the students in my chemistry classroom. I thought it was such a unique and relevant way to introduce my interests into the classroom. That might get a student who normally isn’t a fan of science to be interested if he or she is interested in travelling or baseball.
I’m so thankful that I was given the opportunity to participate in the mock interviews; this was definitely one of my favorite classes in this last semester. The feedback I received is something that I truly value and I think will greatly help me in my pursuit for a job for the coming school year.