One part of my future that I am incredibly nervous about is job interviews. I do not know what it is about them, but the thought that anything I say could result in me not getting a job is frightening. Since job interviews are something that scare me, I realized that I need to participate in mock interviews so I can practice. Fortunately, SPSEA (Student Pennsylvania State Educator Association) brought in some local principals to interview education majors.
During my first interview, I was asked to tell the principal about myself. This stumped me. I started talking about my background, and he asked about my double major and wanted to see where my passions were. I was awkward. One thing about me is that I tend to be annoyed by people who constantly brag, and it is very hard for me to actually say something good about myself. Don’t get me wrong, I am a pretty confident person, but I never feel the need to say that I do something well. So I just say things I do and not make it sound impressive or anything. This is something that bites me in the butt during interviews.
When going over the resume with the principal once I received feedback, he noticed that I did not try to sell myself with the resume. For example, I wrote cashier when describing my summer job at Sears a few years ago. He said I could change the description to “sales consultant” so that I am not lying and making myself look as good as possible. I realized that this is something I need to start doing. Selling myself is still difficult, but it is a skill I can work on and master.
Even though I usually put my foot in my mouth, I developed a new strategy for when people ask me about myself. I could talk about how I ended up becoming a teacher who chose to pursue an additional education in Theater because it is an interesting story. I was inspired by many of the teachers who taught theater, and I always wished that they could have taught my 8th grade English class. So I decided I would teach English and pursue a theater degree so I can do theater, and inspire people like the teachers inspired me. That way, it shows that I am not this person who decided to teach because I couldn’t get a job in theater but am a person whose passion is inspiration and loves theater and wants to be involved in extra-curricular activities.
I used the mock interview to figure out what people would ask me with my background. One question that stumped me (at the time) was how language arts relates to theater and journalism. I realized that all I needed to say is that media is language arts in the real world, and that I would want to give students a chance to experience it in a real world setting since it is more interesting and engaging.
After the first interview, I did pretty well on my second interviews. There were a few questions I was a bit confused about and did not answer the way they were asking, but I realized that all I need to do is ask what is meant by the question. I really need to do that and slow down a lot. But other than that, I think I have an idea of what I need to do during job interviews. Now I just need to practice with what I know.