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Interview Do's and Don'ts

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Ryan Dalton Ryan Dalton 190 Points

Hello, fellow scientists! My name is Ryan Dalton. I am a preservice Biology teacher at Wartburg College. With student teaching, graduation, and hopefully a new adventure in the realm of teaching immanent I was wondering for some advice on surefire do's and don'ts or even some buzzwords when in an interview.

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10180 Points

Hi Ryan!  This is from a Mentor blog I wrote for NSTA. -- Mary B.
Do some exploring before the interview in case you're asked what you know about the school or community. Look for nearby science-related resources (parks, museums, nature centers, etc.). Learn a little about the history of the community and what it's famous for. Visit the school's website to learn about the school culture, facilities, extracurricular activities. Look over the student and faculty handbooks if they are available online.
In your workshops, I'm sure it was suggested that you answer the questions completely and succinctly. Don't fake a response or answer with unrelated information. Write the question down on a notepad and add it to your list of things to learn about.
Even though you know to dress professionally for the interview, you could accessorize subtly with the school colors. 
Shake hands firmly and repeat names as you are introduced. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Jones." Turn off your cell phone.
Purge your personal social media sites of inappropriate information or photos. Don't continue to share things that you would not want your future students and their parents (and school administrators) to see.
The committee may ask if you have any questions. Show your interest by asking
·      What is the school's philosophy toward science instruction?
·      What mentoring and professional development activities are available?
·      What kind of lab resources and technology are available?
·      What is the role of extracurricular activities in the school?
·      How do teachers use community resources such as... (that you identified before the interview)?

Ryan Dalton Ryan Dalton 190 Points

Thank you, Mary!

The information you provided has given me ease of mind as I do prepare for an interview in the near future. I loved your recommendation to observe the surrounding science-related resources. I can definitely see myself bringing that up in the interview. I also liked the idea of wearing a little bit of the school colors. You can never go wrong with a little bit of brownie points. I really appreciate your advice.


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