I was prepared pretty well for my interview, but I got really shaky on my answers. The more errors I made, the more nervous I got, but I was still treading water until they asked me to demonstrate how I would teach math to an English Language Learner (used to be called ESL).
This was completely impromptu.
No warning, no preparation, just teach.
I got up to the board and blanked out. My ears were ringing, I could only see white in front of my eyes. Nothing came to mind, but I kept trying to think of something.
Then, one of the interviewers gave me a topic. I couldn't think how I would teach that to ELL kids, but I kept trying to think of something.
They all had warm encouraging smiles, but I still couldn't think of anything. I tried to write a few things, but finally I just sat down.
The principal said things like, "it is natural to feel nervous", and "I like that you didn't just give up", etc. but I knew that wasn't going to get me the job.
I got a phone call a day or two later and it was the principal. She wanted me to do a demonstration lesson for one of the ELL classes.
Now that was what I am good at.
I had a great lesson. Then she asked me to do another with a different type of student. That was even better.
I was hired! OMG!
She told me later that the reason she hired me was because I had a sweetness about me. The other two people on the interviewing committee said later that they felt that way, too. I know that if I had messed up the demonstration lesson, I wouldn't have gotten the job, but I don't think they would have asked me to do a demo lesson if they hadn't seen me as a good person.
There's a lesson in there, and it goes back to what I said before: Don't ever give up, even if you think you blew it.
I was hired! OMG!Written by Alan Carniol
I promised you a crazy interview story.
This one is from Sarah. I'm going to let her tell it:
I have been teaching for over twenty-five years, but when I moved I needed to find another school.
Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.