Walk into an urban school…you’ll find Dunkin’ Donuts. Walk into a yuppie school….you’ll find Dunkin’ Donuts. In fact, I feel like I’m in a ball pen full of munchkins every other Friday. Sometimes, I cave and play along…carrying boxes of donuts into my homeroom just so I can compete with the soldiers in my hall. Struggling for a new idea, I thought about smoothies. Fun? Check. Easy? Check. Different? Check. Healthy? CHECK! CHECK! Here’s how it worked. Everyone contributed one ingredient, we set up our very own smoothie bar, and turned up the blender. Luau decor and Hawaiian music are a plus.
- Research. I can’t stress this enough. My last job was an open market, once you were hired by the district, you were free to speak with any principal in all 200 schools. In my most recent position, each subject area has a district department supervisor conducting the initial screening and interviews based upon availability. Therefore, I prepared several cover letters based on who I may be interviewing with…department supervisor one or two, subject area one, two, or combined position.
- Check your resume and cover letter. Put it away, check it again. Repeat daily for a week. I probably changed mine a total of 18 times. Make copies. Check the spelling. check the address, etc. I can’t stress this enough. You are bound to find errors.
- Talk to other supervisors and personnel during downtime if they engage in conversation with you. You want them rooting for you. In a short 30 minutes of waiting, I had the physical education supervisor cheering me on, checking back in after the interview. In this case, the phrase “any PR is good PR” held true.
- Greet other prospects, but don’t engage in conversation. It’s really not worth it. Also, if you ask me, reviewing potential Q+A topics is a much better use of your wait time.
- Highlight items that are on your resume, without focusing on them. For a simple equation, begin reflecting on an experience by sharing your response, then throw in the “when I participated in curriculum planning last summer.” Highlight the skill, not the title. Your goal is to make the interviewer become more interested in what you did in said position, so much so, that they have to go back and revisit your resume AFTER your interview. This session is simply a screening. You want them to place your resume in the “revisit” stack, not the “reject black hole.
- What to wear. I opted against a suit for this event, and I’m happy with my decision. I wore a grey 3/4 sleeve dress, black tights and dress boots. If I could do it again, I would make sure the dress was a bit more comfortable, I did a lot of sitting. I threw on simple stud earrings, a small pendant necklace, and a simple ring.
- What to bring: I strategically placed copies of my resume and cover letter in one folder, organized for easy access based on the position I interviewed for. I carried a small notebook, a pen, and that’s about it. I would advise against carrying a purse, it just seems weird with business attire. A mid-size bag/tote in a solid leather seems most practical and professional.
- Follow-up. Send a thank you note to whoever you interviewed with. THIS is KEY, since there are so many applicants for so few positions. If anything, it will have them revisit your packet of materials.
Next up…the personalized/second round interview.
After a stint of hesitation, a pair of Paige skinny cargo pants from Marshalls made their way into my closet. Concerned about spending a whopping $50 on casual weekend pants. I am thrilled with the decision and wore them for three days straight…in this exact ensemble — the jacket, the oxford, the scarf, the boots. I can see these pants paired with an ivory silk blouse or the palest pink silk blouse. Or, how about a loose t-shirt and boyfriend cardigan. They are probably too tight for even casual Fridays, so keep save them for your weekend plans.