I am just trying to be prepared, have never actually had an EA/TA interview before... just need some tips on interview questions and perhaps some answers.
I have come up with some of my own: 3 greatest strengths (team player, creative/fun and patient etc. I'm good at organizational skills, prioritization and time management. But my greatest strength is my ability to effectively handle multiple projects and deadlines.
People would say about me: Fun/happy/real go getter and Organized person.
Weakness... public speaking, however with schooling this has allowed me to work on my public speaking = getting better at it.
questions after the interview:
Is there anything I've mentioned that makes you think I'm not the best candidate for this job? this is where I can restate or reassure. Ask if it's possible to job shadow the job prior to being hired if I was succesfful.
When do you expect to make your final decision?
Any other info would be greatly appreicated.
Ask for more information about the school. By asking intelligent questions, you show that you do indeed know what you're doing. You also show that you are interested in the school and want to make sure it's the right fit for you, and you're the right fit for it.
"Handle multiple projects and deadlines" is simply another way of saying you are good at "multi-tasking." To be honest, this is not only a fairly common answer in any interview, but very often, it is not true. When I hear someone boast of being a 'mulit-tasker' I assume that they effectively balance the work of many things and very often get everything done, but that it is accomplished at the risk of doing some or all things at half the quality.
This has been my experience with the "multi-taskers."
I would be personally more impressed to hear someone say, "I don't multi-task. I prioritize effectively and fully finish one project before beginning another. In this way, I get more done because I do it right the first time."
*An answer like that would not only be quite unique, but in my opinion, would show a perspective that often only comes from experience.
I would suggest brainstorming specific lessons or experiences that went very well for you in your past dealings with students and staff members in any school settings you have been a part of. If you have a portfolio, or can put something together that demonstrates SHOWS what you have created -- Great! Bring it! Even if they only glance through it, it still shows your effort and pride in your work, and your preparation for the interview. The key to answering their questions well is to SHOW not TELL what you have done. Have specific examples at the ready to back up your answers.
I would also anticipate the "negative" question: tell about the biggest behavioral challenge you have faced and how you dealt with it.
I think that it is important for you to have as much information about the job you are applying for as possible. This will enable you to know more about what kind of questions you might be asked. In my position when hiring aides we are looking for people who are able to convey kindness and compassion. The rest we can teach you once you start working.
This is purely opinion and no offense is intended, but avoiding the use of trite expressions such as "team player" may well serve to improve the genuineness of your interview. While employers may want yes-men/women later on, it seems that they appreciate freshness of thought and sincerity in the interview. In addition, anything that you can do to illustrate your willingness to work is effective, as well. Perhaps you could state that you enjoy challenges and opportunities to be involved in ----. For an example, you could bring a project on which you worked that is relevant to her desired position.
Just be yourself, be confident, smile, express your love for and desire to help children, and listen carefully. Good luck!
Mwestwood, I appreciate your opinion and no offense taken. I just hear from a lot of EA's that team player is a big thing that the boards would like to hear...I don't want it to be too cliche...I am a team player, but also work very well under minimal supervision... I can be myself, and usually I am confident during interviews...if my memory serves me correctly there has only been one job that I never got so interviews have never been a problem for me... I guess I am just trying to be prepared.... I really want this job and that is what I am afraid of... usually when I go in, I try and think it's not the end of the world if I don't get it, and I smooth right through it, you know? I should just be myself like you said, smile, be confident and express my love for the job and in the end that is me and I should be successful!
Anything else you would like to add, feel free... honestly open for criticism, thoughts, or any other suggestions?