As a principal it was so clear when a candidate just wanted a job and when he or she was truly interested in working at my school. We hosted a multi-step interview process that gave potential teachers an opportunity to interact with various members of the staff. Each stage of the process painted a clearer picture of the candidate under consideration. Additionally, however, each stage gave the candidate an opportunity to learn a little more about our school, its climate, culture and values. I typically will ask a simple question, “Based on the questions you have heard, what do we value?” Ask that question of yourself at the close of an interview. An interview process gives you and the potential employer an opportunity to see if there is a good fit. Pay attention. Listen for themes in the questions asked and scenarios posed.
Your homework is essential to your success and your ability to make an informed choice. Take some time to look at the school’s website. What are they highlighting? Can you identify points of pride or areas of focus? What is the principal’s message? But don’t stop at the website. When you arrive for your interview, take some time to read the school. Check out what is displayed and showcased. Pay attention to how the students interact with one another, to how the adults interact with the students and with one another. Is this a climate that you see yourself in? What makes you comfortable? What makes you uncomfortable? What is it about you that would make you a great match for this school? Sell it! What is it about you that will make you not a good match for this school? Probe this and be honest with yourself.
Ultimately as a principal it was clear through the final interview with me when a candidate was sold on my school and wanted to join the team verses one who was just looking for a job. Passion and connection won every time!
Tracey Grant, Director of Human Resources
Cherry Creek School District
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