Thursday, July 21, 2011

Profile of a Job Seeker: Application and Interviewing

Here is the application and interview experience of a job seeker who applied for a Grade 2 teaching position in Providence Public Schools. Below are details applying for the position and responses to my questions:

Submitted Application: July 4, 2011
Selected for the Interview: July 8, 2011

Scheduled the interview: July 14, 2011

Interviewed for Position: July 18, 2011

What was the application process?

I submitted an electronic application at the Providence Applicants Tracking System (PATS) The written application included a résumé and response to a 500-1000 word essay question focusing on raising student achievement, using data to drive instruction, and continued professional learning.

On July 8th I went to PATS and noticed that I could select an interview time for the school and I was able to choose the time slot for the interview on the July 14th. I scheduled the interview for July 18.

Tell me about the interview for the position.

The interview lasted 30 minutes. I interviewed in the school’s conference room with the principal, reading coach, and kindergarten teacher. This was the only interview. In addition to the interview, I completed a 15 minute demonstration lesson and a proctored writing sample.

What interview questions did the hiring committee ask?

· What challenges have you faced in teaching?

· Describe a time when you had to adapt to a situation. What were some of the challenges and how did you deal with them?

· Tell us about a time when you received constructive criticism and how did you deal with it?

· What would I do if you did not have any books in your library on the first day of school?

Tell me about the proctored writing sample.

I completed a proctored writing sample with the following writing prompt: Parent/Teacher Conferences is coming up. Write a letter to parents informing them of the event, what they should expect, and what you hope to accomplish. Please feel free to invent any details you need to complete the scenario.

HR offers you six writing prompt options on the district website

When you arrive for the interview, they assign you one of the prompts.

Tell me about the demonstration lesson.

For the demonstration lesson, I used my hiring portfolio to explain one of my lessons and showed one of my rubrics. I walked the interviewers through of a lesson. It actually took less than the allotted 15 minutes. Unfortunately, I did not realize that I had to teach an actual lesson to the interviewers with materials for this demonstration lesson. I think they were fine with my walk-through of a lesson.

However I advise job seekers to prepare to teach the lesson just like you would with a group of students. Also, bring materials for teaching and copies of the written lesson plan for each of the interview committee members.

What other advice do you have for Providence job seekers?

Check PATS every day for new postings. Postings are listed only for a week. Also, if you are invited to interview it will be scheduled using PATS. There is no additional notification.


Email me ( your success story!

Provide the following information:

1. What was the application and hiring process?

2. Tell me about the interview for the position.

3. What interview questions did the hiring committee ask?

4. What advice do you have for those who are applying for teaching jobs?

5. Indicate the title of position (Grade/Content area/specialty) school, district, community, state.