1st (teaching) job interview in 10yrs (and I'm scared to death!)

budge1August 20, 2007

Since my 8yr old dd was born I have been lliving my dream and being a stay at home mom. I help to make ends meet by tutoring, babysitting for friends and substitute teaching. But DH and pretty much everyone else have been lobbying me to go back to work (my youngest is now 3).

A part time job was advertised at my daughter's school and even though I am not remotely qualified (teacher librarian media specialist) I have somehow wrangled an interview.

I feel so out of the loop and just plain underconfident, I'm quaking. I can't verbalize these fears to dh 'cause, sweety that he is, he thinks I'm able to do anything.

I only had one real teaching job (2yrs in adult education) and while I can usually figure out what I need to on the computer, I am by no means proficient.

My in laws are taking the kids for a couple of hours tomorrow so that I can study up.

I'm going to be confident going in and give it my all, but I just needed to verbalize how scared I am - not just of the interview, but of losing face (and confidence) if I don't get it.

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A friend of mine took just such a job after being out of the workforce for many years and is doing just fine. She was a volunteer at the library for a few years which basically put the job in her lap when the former librarian left. She had had no prior experience, though she did homeschool one of her daughters through middle school. Just curious... do you want this job or are you interviewing because your family wants you to?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 1:20AM
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Take a deep breath and tell yourself "I can do this". You may not get the job, but you certainly are capable of doing it. Many people don't know all the facets of a job before they take it, and they learn on the job. I once applied for a job that I read about in our local alternative paper. I really applied on a whim (wasn't looking for a job, but happened to see this ad and it sounded interesting). I amazingly enough got the job, loved it and stayed 6 years, and it led to a new career for me. So, take calming breaths, give it your best shot, and good luck!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Do I want this job...? Yes. Financially, I need to go back to work and I think that once I figure it out, this would be a job I could love. It is also part time (at least for now) which would allow me both time for my family and time to prepare for work.

That is good to hear about your friend. I've also been volunteering in the library, but just doing the mundane things the librarian never had time for like reshelving, delivering books to teachers, etc. Still it's got to help, just being familiar with the environment and staff.

Thanks so much for the reply, sjerin

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Well, you must be remotely qualified or I don't think you would get the interview. I hire lots of people for jobs they've never done before - people with limited medical and/or software industry experience to teach doctors how to use software. It's not at all about whether they've done this before - it's all about their ability and desire to learn something new and that they're the right fit to do the job in the end. In fact I've hired some people who have done something similar before who weren't all that great.

I'm telling you, if these people I'm talking about can be happy and successful getting doctors to use computers, you CAN do this teacher/librarian/media specialist job. If you don't have just the right experience try to focus on the traits you have that make you the right fit for the job and be prepared with some concrete examples of how you've learned new things and some of the computer things you've figured out on your own.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 8:39PM
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THanks so much you guys!

The interview is tomorrow and the inlaws took the kids today so I could prepare and I do feel much more confident now. After being out of things for so long, I kind of forgot my own qualifications.

I did a ton of internet research on the position and then matched my skills up with what I found. I think I can do a very reasonable job of selling myself. Or as my DH would prefer I say - I know I will do a great job of selling myself.

Fingers x'd!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 9:52PM
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Good luck tomorrow budge!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 10:26PM
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Budge - isn't it wonderful to have a DH who thinks so highly of you? Mine is like that too - he's inspired me to do things I never thought I could do.

Let us know how the interview goes.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 12:11AM
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Okay, so here's the follow up (and my debriefing/cool down).

I get to the interview and it seems they had me in mind for another .5 job (which had been advertised at the same time). I had prepared somewhat for this possiblity but had really concentrated on the library position. I should have called the principal and clarified this beforehand (hindsight...)

I think I did pretty well anyways. I screwed up one question quite badly, but when she asked me at the end if I had any questions, I laughed and said I'd like to revisit my answer on lesson plans and gave a brief but better answer. I hope this was the right thing to do. I knew if I had left it at that, I would be worrying and getting after myself for it.

She spent most of the time describing the job and what I would be doing - I'm hoping this is a good sign.

One bad sign was I ran into another woman who has a child at the school who also has an interview and she has tons more experience than I do. Ugh.

I'll keep you posted about whether I get it or not.

And yes, gibby my DH is the most wonderful creature alive - I thank my lucky stars for him but not often enough. I'm glad you've got one too.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 1:17PM
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It sounds like you did great! I think that was a wonderful answer and clarification you gave when you were asked if you had any questions-- you think quick on your feet. You just never know; maybe this woman doesn't have a particular qualification that they have in mind, and you do. We're keeping our fingers crossed for you!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 6:42PM
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I think your recovery from the bad answer sounds great. Did the person describe what you'd be doing in terms referring to "you"? I know I find myself doing that with someone I like during an interview. I start saying things like, "you'd do this" and "you would be doing that" like I've already hired the person. I have to catch myself and preface all that with - if you were hired for this position, you would.....trying to remain objective until all the people are interviewed.

When are you supposed to hear more? What is the other position that you think they have in mind for you?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:36PM
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Thanks again you guys. Do to our crazy schedules today, I didn't get to talk to DH until a few minutes ago, so it is really important to me to have this space to get it out and debrief and especially to get that positive feedback.

Gibby the other position is for a jr. kindergarten teacher - not an especially challenging position but this is a very high profile private school that will attract good candidates even for this type of position.

I think I should hear by Friday or Monday at the latest. DH suggested a follow up email to thank her, so I'll send that tomorrow.

I will definately let you know one way or the other. And thank you again for the great words of support.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 1:12AM
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Well, they just called today and I didn't get the job. Boo hoo but just teeny tiny boo hoo because I wasn't really sure I wanted to go back to work. This job this time next year would have been ideal.

I had a really good talk with the principal when she called to tell me and the other woman with all the experience got the job. She was really encouraging about applying for future positions which is very reassuring.

In the meantime, I can actually have time all to myself for the first time in 8yrs! I just realized when I was contemplating the unruliness of my hair that I can actually make a hair appt without calling 3 different people trying to arrange someone to watch one or both of the kids. OMG, I can sign up for a yoga class! And DH is satisfied because I did actually try to get work.

I've got calls out to a couple of teacher friends to see what they recommend for getting some more experience teaching reading (the principal said this would be a good thing to work on). So all in all, I think this will work out for the best. I can still substitute and tutor for extra cash - we won't be getting that new car but that can definately wait.

Thanks again everyone for keeping me company during this experience. I really appreciated your good wishes and support.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 11:23PM
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Thanks for the feedback, that's too bad; I think the interview experience was a good thing to go through for you to break the ice, you'll feel much more confident next time.
Enjoy your new found freedom !!!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 5:19AM
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Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, budge, but the principal sounded very encouraging to you. I guess they had to pick the gal with more experience, or they would have some serious 'splainin' to do. I feel sure you will get a similar job in this district when you are ready, especially if the principal puts in a good word for you. I'm glad she was so good about talking to you and encouraging you. Enjoy your freedom!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 11:39AM
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Budge - sorry to hear you didn't get the position. I always think things work out the way they do for a reason and it sounds like that maybe true in this case. You will be able to have some time for yourself while you work on your skills and qualifications. Great that you were able to have such an open discussion with the principal. I think that bodes well for future opportunities.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 10:21AM
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So I spent this week reflecting and I've been considering the possiblities and trying to figure out what I really want to do rather than trying to fit into a job opporutnity that may or may not be right for me.

My DH teaches ESL and I'm looking seriously at that. I could spend this year taking courses and volunteering. There are loads of job opportunities here including at my dd's school. Also, my favorite past teaching exp. was in adult setting which is often the case for ESL.

We've always talked about doing a year away teaching English somewhere exotic when both our kids are in school. So this would also work.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 11:39AM
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