It is your final interview. Three Central Office Administrators are questioning you. “Do you have questions for us?” the Superintendent asks.
“Yes, what do you see as some of the greatest curricular challenges that the district has that I, if I’m lucky enough to get this job, would be expected to address?”
The Superintendent nods at the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She responds to your question. “As… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 6, 2021 at 5:00pm —
“Congratulations! You have been selected to be interviewed for the assistant principal position at the Happy Hollow Public Schools. This is Dr. Buggerband’s secretary. I’d like to schedule an appointment.”
Of course, you are thrilled. Barely able to breathe, you reply, “Yes, I’d be delighted!”
The secretary says in an almost mechanical voice, “How about next Wednesday at 4:30 at the Middle School. I can email a confirmation that will include directions”. You… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on March 15, 2021 at 9:00am —
I have been coaching school leaders and aspiring leaders in preparation for their interviews for ten years. My clients frequently ask me how to answer questions that they struggle with. Here’s a sampling of a few of those questions, my strategies as to how to answer, and my answers:
1. “What would your direct supervisor say about you if I called her?” (You think you might not get a positive recommendation from her; what can you… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on January 24, 2021 at 8:00am —
Are you facing a potentially career ending set of circumstances? (1) Were you denied tenure, or are you facing being denied tenure? (2) Were you or have you been forced to resign? (3) Have you ever been terminated? (4) Are you suspended (re-assigned to stay home)? (5) Have you been demoted or are you facing being demoted? (6) Are you facing serious charges that may result in termination or loss of license? (7) Do you have a bad reputation and are you being… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on January 3, 2021 at 7:30pm —
Can you be over-prepared for an interview? The answer is NO. Being carefully and thoroughly prepared is an important key to successfully giving an outstanding interview. Being well prepared includes: (1) building self-confidence; (2) demonstrating to the interviewers that you’ve done your homework; (3) and providing well-constructed evidence that you have mastered the knowledge, attitudes and skills that they are seeking in a top candidate. What can you do so that you do not come off as… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on December 6, 2020 at 12:00pm —
A cover letter is always required, however cover letters are seldom carefully read and there’s a good chance that it might never be read. Yet, you might as well develop the best one that you can.
- Keep the letter to one page.
- Carefully proofread for any mechanical errors—spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, capitalization, complete sentences. Have a colleague who has excellent writing skills…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on November 12, 2020 at 2:27pm —
Remember the adage, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. After a 46-year career in public education, 38 as a school and district leader who interviewed thousands of candidates, I believe I can speak with some authority about hiring educators. Be careful about following advice from well-intentioned friends, family and colleagues. Here are a few examples of advice you should not follow, why not, and what you should… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on October 18, 2020 at 11:00am —
Here is a typical message I often get from newer school leaders:
“I wanted to touch base with you. I have a few questions and value your insight. I had a successful year. Being a leader is certainly a challenge, but I have learned a lot. Do you have any advice for year two or three?
(1) How, in your experiences, do years two, three and four differ from year one?
(2) I've been receiving a lot of… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on October 7, 2020 at 10:30am —
Have you considered being coached to improve your performance during an interview and wondered what it entailed? As a successful coach of 100’s of educators over the last nine years, let me give you an overview of my approach which includes: (1) a free preliminary review of your resume and cover letter; (2) a brief complimentary telephone in-take conversation; (3) several (between one and four) one-on-one, face-to-face or remote one-hour coaching sessions. The following is a summary… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on September 27, 2020 at 3:00pm —
UPDATE: VIDEO INTERVIEWS IN THE AGE OF COVID-19
As an educational job coach who prepares candidates for their interviews, I am getting valuable feedback from my clients about their recent experiences in doing video interviews. What can be generalized about their experiences? How can candidates successfully adapt to the “new normal” of video interviewing? What are the most recent…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on June 7, 2020 at 11:19am —
As an educational job coach who prepares candidates for their interviews, I am getting valuable feedback from my clients about their recent experiences in doing video interviews. What can be generalized about their experiences? How can candidates successfully adapt to the “new normal” of video interviewing?
- Interviewing on video can be an unfamiliar and uncomfortable experience. Some…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 22, 2020 at 5:55pm —
How is my resume screened? What is the screener really looking for? How does the screening process work? If I apply for a job and don’t hear back should I call? Although each district customizes their process, the variations are usually minor. So, how does it really work?
When you apply for a position, be prepared to wait. Don’t be a pest and call the personnel office to inquire about your status. They are… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on March 5, 2020 at 10:30am —
Trying to get a leadership job can be very much like a horse race. Recently, a school district posted an ad for an assistant principal. They received more than 250 applicants, met with 20 for a pre-screening interview, and then a hiring committee interviewed 8 semi-finalists. The Kentucky Derby had 16 horses “run for the roses”. Those horses had the benefit of the best trainers in the world prepare them.…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on February 7, 2020 at 11:44am —
As an experienced career coach, I have found that at least 20% of my clients are over the age of 45. There is no telling how many so called “older workers” are so discouraged about their age that they reject even considering applying for a leadership job. My older clients ask: “I am an older candidate and feel that my age is working against me, how I compete against these 30-something year-olds?”…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on January 28, 2020 at 12:30pm —
In interview situations, I’ve coached many school leaders and teachers about the importance of presenting oneself in a confident manner. Some refer to this as gravitas. Gravitas is the ability to project self-confidence, influence, credibility, and command respect. When you speak, others listen. Do not confuse gravitas with arrogance. People who project gravitas are thoughtful; they think before they speak and bring substance to the… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on November 26, 2019 at 9:30am —
The Likeability Factor and Being a Good Fit
The two most important assets during an interview is likeability and being a good fit. Likeability and fit can trump everything--your knowledge of pedagogy, your qualifications, everything. Unconsciously, interviewers often decide at first sight whether they like you. Still, over the course of the interview, interviewers can change their opinions in either direction. If they really like you, they may… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on November 14, 2019 at 12:34pm —
Getting a Teaching Job: When All Else Fails by Larry Aronstein
“I’ve done everything I can think of; now it’s the summer, and I still don’t have a job. What should I do now?” Well, this calls for extraordinary measures. Basketball coaches motivate their players as the game draws to an end and the score is still close by telling them, “Leave everything you’ve got on the court.” This means exhaust all possibilities. Most school leaders are on vacation during July and… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on July 29, 2019 at 10:00am —
WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR AND HOW TO PRESENT YOURSELF
Everything you write and say should contribute to building an attractive and effective narrative. Your narrative is the story you tell about yourself as a candidate. This includes your resume and cover letter, how you present yourself physically, your answers to the interviewers’ questions, the questions you ask, your letters of reference, and what your references say… Continue
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 20, 2019 at 4:15pm —
Cover letters are seldom read carefully and there’s a good chance that it might never be read. Yet, a cover letter is always required. So, you might as well develop the best one that you can.
- Keep the letter to one page.
- Carefully proof read for any mechanical errors—spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, capitalization, complete sentences. Have a colleague who has excellent writing skills proof…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on February 22, 2019 at 11:51am —
I have been coaching school leaders and aspiring leaders in preparation for their interviews for about eight years. My clients frequently ask me questions that no one else seems to be able to provide effective answers. Here are some of those questions:
- I don’t think I will get a positive recommendation from my supervisor, what can I do?
- I am an older candidate and feel that my age is working against me, how do I deal with…
Added by Dr. Larry Aronstein on January 17, 2019 at 11:13am —