In to view; a two-way perspective on job interviews

This is a bit more freelance than usual. I am on a long trip to an interview by train (not very long but long enough to need a sit down). After that I have a Skype interview with an organisation overseas that I respect very much. But, what’s an interview? Is it OK to not feel stressed?

Interviews: my take

Loads of people take interviews as a sales pitch for themselves. It’s an opportunity to market your brand. What are your values? I am going to go out on a limb here and say all of that is hogwash. I am not selling myself. That is not an interview, it’s a sales pitch.

An interview gives me a chance to find out what I haven’t already gleaned from an internet search and chatter among peers. Is this somewhere I want to spend time? Do I think it would be beneficial to me? I know I can help students to learn, but how will this organisation help me to develop that further? Is it in keeping with my beliefs about practice or not? It’s an opportunity for teachers to interview someone for the position of employer. It needs to be a two-way street.

So, bizarre as it may be, I’m not nervous. I’m wondering if these jobs are right for me or not. I am not just talking about money but that might be part of it, along with CPD opportunities both formal and informal, conditions made explicit and any possible red flags.

So, no, I don’t feel stressed. I feel interested. If I do not get the job I avoid a poor fit with an organisation. If I get weird vibes, it means I shouldn’t take it even if offered. On the other hand, if the vibes are good and people are nice and the conditions great, even if I don’t get the job I will watch for future openings.

11 thoughts on “In to view; a two-way perspective on job interviews

  1. Hi Marc

    First of all, good luck (if this comment finds you before the interview you are writing about!) I love the ‘two-way street attitude’ and feel the same about interviews. I (carefully) guess this attitude comes from being a freelancer, when you/we are taking the responsibility for the work produced, but also choose to take a project on board or not. I think this is sometimes called ‘freedom’ (at least in theory!)

    Interest, curiosity, not stress. Good luck in this step!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As someone who has interviewed a lot of people in my relatively short time in management, your approach is in keeping with what I want to find out from an interviee. For someone to fit the organisation the organisation also has to fit the person. Both parties are proposing how they might benefit each other. Otherwise it’s no deal. That’s my take anyway from the otherside of the interview table.

    Good on you for your approach, if it’s the right place you’ll get the job. Feeling calm is a good omen for you being in control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Dale. I think it’s maybe a bit of benign selfishness on my part. If it feels like a good fit it’s good; if it feels like a waste of time then it probably is. Thanks again!


  3. I completely subscribe to your viewpoint, Marc. Having been on both sides of the interview table, as Dale wrote it is great to see that a candidate feels confident and is interested in what the organisation can do for them.
    Good luck in finding an interesting place/institution to work with! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Giulia. In fact one of the interviews was not as I had hoped so I will probably turn it down if what they said in the interview is set in stone.

      Thanks for reading!


  4. It would be wonderful not to feel stressed. I think it helps if you don’t have a lot riding on the job. If I were in steady employment and genuinely looking around for a fresh challenge, then I would be interviewing my prospective employer too, in a sense. Unfortunately, we’ve had several experiences recently (not in ELT) where it was important to just get the job. Maybe the interviewer senses when you’re really eager/desperate and it puts them off? It would be nice to walk in and out with an air of “just browsing, thanks”.

    Liked by 1 person

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