I honored the invitation to appear before Ms. Cornelia's interview panel which took place that day before I could go to my final semester revision in my college. Unlike what I had been hearing, entering into Ms. Cornelia's office was welcome with smiling faces which indicated satisfaction in what the school had been looking for as a teacher. I embraced the warm welcome and accompanied that with a greeting.
They responded to my greeting warmly and made me feel to have started working already. Ms. Cornelia was chairing the panel and had an opportunity to introduce me to his colleagues. At that time I didn't know that I had already started answering the first question in silence. Yes! In silence because they decided to evaluate my patience level by delaying ushering me to sit down. At last, after the introduction, I was ushered to have a sit and appreciated it.
My level of confidence shocked them in that I have regarded them as fellow instructors. Ms. Cornelia opened the forum by asking me to explain briefly about myself. Without hesitation, I took the challenging question and gave back appropriate answers as regards to my education background, and any long period vocational volunteer work I ever did to acquire a working experience. I knew that family details were essential in such a question, but I decided to ignore it because of circumstances I couldn't avoid.
The most challenging pose was of that to describe myself using three words. I thought for a while and tried to imagine how I can put down a story about myself in just three words. After a short brainstorm, I just praised myself as 'great decision maker.' At that point, everybody laughed including me as I saw Ms. Cornelia open her notebook and wrote down. I held breath for a moment and thought perhaps my interview was over.
After writing, Ms. Cornelia asked me to talk about what motivates me. I know that I like working as a team, but after thinking for a while what the question might desire, I decided to answer her with the same belief in my mind.
"A team player in a school is very essential especially during project-based learning." She remarked.
At that point, I felt a sense of relief to know that I have been appreciated openly as pertains to one of my answers. This was followed by the easiest question I didn't expect to be asked. It was about how to balance my studies and peer teaching. They didn't expect me to be having such a free time to put into peer teaching as they discovered in my answer. This is because I was doing my last semester examinations in the following two weeks.
"Why don't you prefer working with us as a full-time teacher." Mr. Adinto, a panel member inquired.
Well, I had not thought of working in such an honorable school as a full time. There came up the opportunity that anybody couldn't let go. But I didn't think for any moment that the question of strengths and weaknesses could come up. In my mind, I thought that the question session was summarized with this.
Ms. Cornelia cleared her throat, and in my mind, I thought she was prepared to dismiss me. Opposite to my expectations, she asked me to explain the areas that I am strong in. I was very fast in answering this with honesty because one of my strengths is honesty. Punctuality was evident from the way I kept time to the venue. So, my answer of being punctual as strength has all members in that panel as witnesses. My obedience as a strength was yet to be discovered if I was to be offered that job.
What to expect to be in five years time was a question I wasn't prepared for. I thought it was a question that reflected my personal development plans. But after a while, I reflected in my mind that all questions must be related to my job specifications. This is the reason I ignored revealing my family details and ended up by answering my position in five years amicably. The panel was thrown in amazement to hear that I hoped to see myself responsible for any academic institution that values my skills and experiences.
I didn't imagine under quoting or over quoting my salary expectations. So I turned the question on salary back to the panel as a challenging question. I didn't want to quote a figure, but when they insisted I should, I just told them that I would be comfortable with what the school could offer to a person of my qualifications.
At that moment, I was asked to raise any question to the panel, but I didn't. The school director appreciated the manner in which I answered my questions and promised to call me that evening to inform me about the interview outcome.
That interview experience taught me to trust in myself and know for sure that what Wilfrid says is true that interviewers always look for the confidence one has during answering of questions.
Wilfrid Laurier University. (1995). The interview process. Waterloo, Ont.: The University.
Goldstein, W., & Phi Delta Kappa. (1986). Recruiting superior teachers: The interview process. Bloomington, Ind: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.
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