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Just Chat

I had a very interesting job interview yesterday, though I didn’t realize it until I was already driving home. Job interviews, for any job, tend to be pretty similar, since they serve a similar purpose. There’s a standard format to them, and a set of standard questions. Some, like the infamous “what’s your greatest weakness?” seem to come from some manager’s manual. Maybe they do; after a few interviews, you begin to recognize almost a bullet point list of questions offered with only minor variations.

This last interview wasn’t like that; the department head was just chatty, asking how my student teaching is going and commiserating over the certification process. I have a hard time with small talk, to the point where it can put me ill at ease. In general, a bullet point list is more comforting. But this discussion, at least, was just a pleasant conversation. Seemingly. As I reviewed the conversation in my head, I realized we’d hit the whole bullet point list of questions after all; but the exchange was couched in a way as to make it seem perfectly natural.

Perhaps I helped make that possible, knowing what kinds of things a school might want to know and sharing that reflexive desire to explain as completely as possible common to teachers, especially math and science teachers. But I doubt it. I suspect I was coaxed through by a very skilled conversationalist, and would have given the same information just as naturally had I different answers to give. Very impressive. A talent to envy.

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