COVID-19 and The Hiring Season: Virtual Interviews

Social distancing.  Flatten the curve.  Remote learning.  These phrases have quickly become part of our daily vocabulary in the last week as the country confronts the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’ve been getting questions from candidates and school administrators alike about what steps they should be taking to ensure hiring can still continue, albeit in a different form.  While the news is ever-changing, and it’s too soon to tell how the hiring season in schools will be impacted, we suspect schools will need to rely more on virtual interviews and demos, much like how classroom learning has shifted.

If you have a video of you teaching a lesson, that would be a helpful element to have on hand to offer to schools as you progress through the interview process.  Even if it’s from student teaching, your edTPA, or a few years old, anything that can show how you connect with and interact with your students will be better than nothing.

If you don’t have one, it’s not a bad idea to record one of your lessons now, whether that’s a sample of you explaining an activity for your current class’ remote learning, or being able to record an online class.  Links are easier to share than a large attachment which may be too big to email, so video demos can be uploaded to YouTube (you can adjust privacy settings, so they are visible only with a password), your teaching website (Weebly and Wix are popular), Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.  Explain Everything Edu is a useful app that can record your screen as you deliver instruction.

Here are some things to keep in mind to prepare yourself for a virtual video interview:

  • Treat it the same as an in-person interview.
  • Do your research on the school and position, and have thoughtful questions prepared.
  • Be sure you’re in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted (by roommates, kids, barking dogs, etc.) with a neutral background.
  • Test your technology and be sure you know how to sign into and use the video-conference software of choice.
  • Call a friend first to be sure your technology works and you feel comfortable speaking and listening virtually.
  • Know there could be a slight delay, so pause for a second or two after answering a question in case your interviewer has a follow-up comment.
  • Limit typing if you’re taking notes as the noise can be distracting. Write your notes by hand or wait until the interview is over.
  • Look at the webcam when you speak, not the interviewer’s face on the screen, so it appears to them as if you’re looking them in the eye.
  • Turn off notifications and other applications on your computer so you’re not interrupted by dings or pop up notifications that may distract you.

Know that EA Placement Managers are here to serve as a resource to you during hiring season—whether you’re doing the hiring or looking to get hired!

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Educator’s Ally is a highly personalized placement agency that connects teachers and administrators with independent day and boarding schools nationwide. Since 1975, EA’s dedicated approach to recruiting has been valued by schools and candidates alike.

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