One-Way Video Interviews

I had a wonderful opportunity to interview for a Hire Ed position on Sunday using a one-way video recording system called HigherVue. To say the least, this was an interesting experience.  One the one hand, the user-experience with the time countdown format reminded me of what my 8th graders face on standardized test days. (A shiver did run down my spine.) I was given a prompt and sixty seconds to think about my response and then start recording. I had three minutes to share my answer. I did several practice questions to get warmed-up on the one-way video format and opted not to watch myself talking on the screen, to myself, but instead just stare at the little red light by my camera as I got vulnerable with my laptop.

This was strange for me. Doing a voice-over for a Camtasia video is in my comfort zone. Also, those videos are not normally organic but rehearsed. In an interview experience of which I am more accustomed I can read facial gestures and ask follow-up and clarifying questions. Shocking, but, peering at the little red light did not re-create the interpersonal mode for me... It didn't feel like presentational mode either. Was it a new mode all together? Will my students need to be as well versed in this mode in the future? Is it a passing fad? When else in life are you required to mock talk to someone in a recording video space?

If you haven't tried this experience, please try it and let me know what you think. All in all, even with practice this still felt totally, and completely, awkward. Future practice tips for HireVue interviews? Do this: Two weeks of curating your own youtube channel where you practice conversing directly with the camera lens. Yep.

As soon as the nine prompts came and went and my responses were recorded the actual answers that demonstrate my capacity to be vulnerable gently flowed into my mind. Funny how that works...

How would you balance the job requirements?

I rambled on about in my recording about how I was not intimidated about the variety of aspects of the job because they all played to my strengths and I very much looked forward to them. Sadly, I did not elaborate on all of the tools in my tool bucket I would use to do so. I start my mornings off on Todoist.com, racking up points for completing tasks in both my personal and private life. Think of it as similar to gamified-strava for getting things done, or if you are not familiar with Strava, Pokemon-Go for list makers who want positive reinforcement for stuff done.

I also love trello for group projects and using it as a scrum board with a “To-do,” “Doing,” and “Done,” column. I got the FLTMAG and Visionaria teams both on trello and moving forward on projects and tasks and now we work together from there.

I also enjoy slack for internal team communication over email, SO very much. The #1 advice I would ever give administrators in K-12 would be to move your internal team communication off email. 

I would balance the job requirements by pulling all of my tools out of my toolbox that I already use naturally...Why didn't I just say that?

What is your theory of language?

My immediate reaction to this question was to laugh. Oh __>Insert the name of the individual who I KNOW was responsible for this question__<, how is someone supposed to answer this in just three minutes? I approached this question like I was defending my MA thesis and just felt terribly uncomfortable, even though this is one of my favorite topics to discuss with colleagues! I could have been more vulnerable - I should have just said how I felt, “This is silly to answer in there minutes, but here is what I have to offer…” I rambled about comprehensible input for a while. I’ll take the rest of the day to come up with my three minute “pitch” on my theory of language and I look forward to the challenge! 

How would you help prevent burn out?

This is something I would hope to accomplish with my passion, energy, and ability to support and applaud the efforts of those around me. I myself have participated in several online PD groups that have prevented me from burning out. I am in particular grateful to my experiences communicating and reflecting with courses from Ideo.org, Edsurge, twitter chats and those on #edumatch. It’s incredibly inspiring to share and learn online with an international community of educators. I’m particularly grateful to @molly_levit and @mosspike for their energy and inspiration. I would set-out to recreate these systems of energizing PD that are both local, national, in person and online... 21st century personalized-PD differentiation... Why didn't I just say that?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Here is where I wish I had been more vulnerable. I painted a picture of where I would be in the position and what I would hope to transform for the institution. Honestly though, in addition to that, I see myself starting a company or consulting for someone who does the dirty work. Here’s the concept, if you’d like to start it, I’ll help you! There is a disconnect between the latest in research in second language acquisition and how that get’s translate into changes and teaching practices, and it is hard for educators to back what they are doing with research in an organized manner. I would like there be to a place on the web where researchers and educators come together to inform one another’s research direction as well as pedagogy. An easy, friendly-user experience that validates everyone’s hard work and experiences, curated by those with both research and education backgrounds.  I'm currently working with colleagues on other various start-up projects to improve the lives of teachers in the education arena, but this one has a special place in my heart, no doubt.

Funny side-note: As I filled out this reflection in the lovely Alpine Modern Cafe I was simultaneously helping a French colleague prepare her curriculum for the year who texted me to find out where I was and then drove ten minutes to be supported.... Always glad to be there! 

Tara Gilboa