The Job Interview – Do’s and Don’ts

Like many people in education I’ve been through a few interviews — for myself it’s probably somewhere north of 30.  It sounds like a lot and I suppose that it is a lot.  However, sometimes there were multiple interviews for the same job — positions like Science Department Head where I needed to interview in several different schools, or in the case of my current position as Superintendent I had 4 rounds of interviews.

And if I look from the other side of the interview table when I worked in Human Resources, district leadership and school administration I’m sure that I must have interviewed at least 300-400 people.

interview dog

Be Yourself  — It’s the Person You Already Know the Best

So, all being said, I’ve been in a ton of interviews.  I can’t even accurately estimate the number of resumes that I’ve read  — it must be over 2000.

And over my past 30 years in education I’ve noticed a few things that I think can make a big difference when someone is applying for a job.  I thought that you might be interested in hearing some of them.

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Life is All About the Grey … But Does That Apply to Character?

As I get older I see more grey.  Ya, ya, ya … the hair jokes .. I get it.  Nice!

What I’m talking about are my observations that we don’t live in a binary world of ‘Yes or No’ , ‘Black or White’.  We just don’t typically live in “All or Nothing” scenarios.  Our world is a series of sliding position points along a continuum.   It isn’t static, measured once and labeled.  It is a complex, multi-dimensional, constantly evolving space.

Need proof?  OK.  Some examples that are right off the top of my head include:

  • musical ability.jpg

    Practice MAY make perfect

    Musical ability

  • Physical aptitude in sports
  • Cooking prowess
  • Home repair abilities
  • Computer use
  • Essay writing

The point being, we have some ability or knowledge in lots of areas — some are just more developed than others.  And in many cases increased practice results in improvement.

So our world is a patchwork of grey!  Different shades of ‘greyness’ which indicate our varying abilities.

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Looking into 2019 – My Wish is for a More Inclusive Society

I consider myself an optimist. It’s certainly a ton more fun than being a pessimist. I’ve experienced negative persons and they’re really quite depressing. The sky is always falling for them — nothing is good enough, always something or someone to complain about. I’ve actually gone through my “nothing is positive” phase and I didn’t like myself very much. It’s much more fun and uplifting to be positive and solution-focused.

Being Positive is a Lot More Fun

And being positive includes being accepting of others. One of my recurring hopes is that, as a society, we all work towards making tomorrow a better day than today — a more inclusive day for everyone.