I had been student teaching for 2 weeks. I was called for an interview. This one. I wanted this one. I had substitute taught in the district and just loved the kids there! It had proximity to my home!
I have a knack for bundling my bungled conversations. What I mean is, in public facing roles I’ve had I can have professionally excellent relationships and conversations with 20 people and one of those will be a mess. 19 interactions/relationships: aces. Then there is the one. Lost emails and mistakes in emails. Bungled verbage in a conversation. Calling the person by the wrong name…5 times…in one conversation. Once it starts, it snowballs and is awkward as heck.
This was the interview version of the above awkward bungling. The questions and conversation were stilted. I could not find my footing in my responses. The stone faced interviewer did not put me at ease. Had I said the wrong thing?
“Tell us how you would organize and prepare a novel study.”
“A novel study?”
“Right. What age students ?”
Laughing awkwardly, “Oh. Good. Huh. Well, I’ve read Charlotte’s web with some students. I mean, I think; If there’s a novel you are studying it, you want the students to be thinking and reading. And reading the novel. And there maybe some activities…[This is where I took an offramp to talk about something else entirely]…So yeah. We would study the book together.” I may have lilted my voice like it was a question. Then I added, “I’m not sure I answered your question.”
Smiling politely, “It’s fine.”
There were a couple more of these. I managed some comprehensible answers. Then the interview began to wrap up.
“To wrap things up, tell us why you think we should hire you.”
I. Was. Not. Prepared. Not for that. I should have been. But I wasn’t. So, I confidently began “Well, I don’t know. I guess…because I’m awesome?”
Yes I did. Great effort on the part of the interviewer to keep it professional. I proceeded to try to make things better with a follow up email that did not make things better. You know how sometimes people are just trying too hard?
I did not get the job.