Sunday, June 20, 2010

Update

Because I'm sure the four or so followers that are not my family members are dying to know.... I thought I'd share the results of my interview.....
Turns out I didn't need to be as nervous as I made myself, nor did I need to prepare as much as I did. (I certainly didn't need to stay up until 11 the night before analyzing data from the school!)

I went with the suit (thank god for mother-in-laws, who gave me some fashion advice minutes before I was to leave), closed toe shoes and a light blue top underneath. It was a pants suit, because I don't own a skirt suit, but it worked. I felt especially good with the choice when my principal told me that I looked professional. Coming from a man who wears a suit and tie to work every day, it was a good thing.

I showed up at the interview appropriately early, sat and chatted with the secretary for a bit and observed life in this elementary school. I had gotten a good vibe from the website and got an even better one sitting in the office. The secretary greeted everyone by name and seemed cheerful. Staff stopped to chat and joke and everyone seemed friendly and welcoming. I knew a few people- some by name, others by face, and that felt good. Plus there was two of the largest goldfish I've ever seen in the office, which, for some reason, I thought was a good sign.

Much of that good vibe disappeared when the principal walked in (after being paged). He seemed nice enough, greeted me with a smile and shook my hand firmly....then led me into his office. By himself.
No interview committee.
No panel made up of other administrative-y types, or classroom teachers.
Just him.

OK, maybe he was being nice to his staff, it was before contractual hours and the second to last week of school. Granted, every interview I've ever participated in while working in this district has been with a team of people and granted I'm a firm believer in being the type of administrator that includes their staff on important decisions but, hey, I can overlook this, quietly tuck away the ten copies of my resume I brought and move on.....

Then he started asking me questions, and I use the term loosely. It felt more like a checklist and a chat, than an interview. Do you know this? Yes, OK, good. Are you trained in this? No, not yet? OK. Have you heard of this? You have, great. That was the tone and the feel. I didn't feel like he wanted to know me or whether or not I was a good fit for the school, more like he was checking off a list all of the things he needed to know I could do.....

As I talked to Russ about it after the fact, I told him it seemed to me like he was either going through the motions and already had his candidate hired so why bother pulling together an interview committee, or like he was the kind of principal who makes decisions on his own without consulting his staff or his leadership team. Either way, good vibe totally gone.

All that being said, I consider the experience a success. I went through it and survived first of all. My name is out there, along with the information that this is the direction I want to go in. Those principals chat, I know they do. I'd say I had everything he was looking for too--especially when, at the end of the conversation, I asked him and everything he named was something I had done or was trained to do. In terms of candidates, I feel I'm a pretty strong one. My resume is updated, my cover letter is done and, after wearing it all day, my suit will be dry cleaned.
Bring on the next interview!

5 comments:

JaxMom said...

Good job, Lisa!

Momma said...

Practice never hurts but as I said on the phone, I am not sure about being interviewed solely by the principal. Even if it is to spare his teachers extra duty at the end of the year.

Dianna said...

Nice job taking that next step! I am sure it was not easy but way to go! Hoping to see you soon! let summer begin!

Tina said...

Well, at least you know you probably didn't want the job anyway, after that vibe. And for future reference let me clarify my advice: if it is a job where you would wear a suit every day, then wear a suit to the interview. If you would never wear a suit and only buy it for the sole purpose of the interview, then it is not necessary... as long as you look professional. Your excellent qualifications will suit you just fine. And if you are unsure... well, then suit up. So it is good that yours is ready to go!

Keetha said...

I'm glad to hear this went, overall, well!

It's good experience and, as you said, you never know what may come of it.