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29 Questions and Answers by Carly Zucker

Published August 7th, 2018 | Carly Zucker is an Instructional Designer who creates training for higher education, K-12 and organizations, with an additional background in corporate recruiting.
Job Interviews     Companies     Public Good     Education    
Question 1 of 29
What questions do you have for me?
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How to Answer
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and their social media platforms to ensure that the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from a simple Google search. It's a good idea to write these questions down.
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1.
What questions do you have for me?
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and their social media platforms to ensure that the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from a simple Google search. It's a good idea to write these questions down.

Carly's Answer #1
" When would you like to have this position filled?
- What is it the culture like here?
- What will be my biggest challenge getting started?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is K12 Inc.'s primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the biggest change in the education industry over the past 3 years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"
Carly's Answer #2
"Thank you for asking - I do have a few questions. What is top of mind when it comes to filling this role? In addition, what types of career growth opportunities would follow this position? And lastly, what do you think makes K12 Inc. different from its competitors?"
2.
How do you believe you will complement our department, if you were hired?
If you were awarded the position, what would you bring to the department or organization? Assure the interviewer that you are the right fit for this position. This is the time to sell yourself to the interviewer and think about how your skills and personality would be a great fit for K12 Inc.

Carly's Answer #1
"If I were hired, I feel that I would compliment your faculty in a few significant ways. First - I am a fast learner and I already bring 6 years' experience in the education industry. Not only that, but for the past year I have been teaching online. The time to train me will be reduced. Also, I know how to engage students online, this will make an impact almost immediately."
Carly's Answer #2
"If I were hired, I will complement your department by being dedicated to reaching out to parents and ensuring that their students are happy. I recognize the importance and challenges associated with online education and I will work hard to make sure the students and parents have a great experience."
3.
At K12 Inc. we seek to hire those who are passionate about education. How would you describe your teaching/mentorship style?
If you have ever heard of an 'Elevator Pitch' - this type of interview question is a great reason to have one! Why do you love what you do? What makes you the best, and most engaged, potential hire for K12 Inc.? Briefly discuss your teaching and mentorship style and close by giving an example of a time when you were recognized for your teaching or leadership methods.

Carly's Answer #1
"Education has been my pure passion ever since I started my first teaching job in 2004. I remember sitting with a student after school and seeing her eyes light up when she understood her multiplication tables, that was when I knew I had made the right career choice. There are endless ways that a person can educate another person so I would describe my teaching style as fluid. I will adapt to the needs of my student as much as possible and I am not afraid to improvise. Being an active listener of words, and body language, is a very important part of my teaching style as well. My students consistently send me accolades for my work and I often hear from them even after they have completed my class."
Carly's Answer #2
"Here are some keys to effective mentorship that you can draw on, for your response:
- Committed
- Collaborative
- Encouraging
- Willing to pass on knowledge
- Approachable
- Adaptable
- Patient
- Passionate
- Honest
- Empathetic
- Diplomatic
- Ability to give constructive feedback
- Continued learner
- Curious
- Objective
- Genuine"
4.
At K12 Inc. we put a strong emphasis on continued education. We believe that there is always more to learn. How do you feel about continued education?
Of course education is important when you are working in the education industry! Assure the interviewer that you are not resistant to continued education. Perhaps there is a course, program, or workshop that you are personally interested in? Discuss with the interviewer your passion for education. If you have taken an online course in something you are interested in, definitely mention that.

Carly's Answer #1
"I wholeheartedly agree that education is incredibly important. We can always learn more! Personally, I like to take a short course or workshop 3-4 times per year. These courses have included additional computer, leadership, and mentorship related training. Recently I have started taking an online course about using technology in the classroom."
Carly's Answer #2
"Continued education is imperative to my growth as an education professional. I feel strongly about continuing to grow my knowledge in this industry. I want to be the best teacher that I can be. Could you give me some examples of the ways that K12 Inc. emphasizes continued education in its employees?"
5.
Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
Talking about your greatest accomplishment will give the interviewer a strong idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments! If you have an accomplishment from a job that is similar to the one you are applying for, definitely share it.

Carly's Answer #1
"The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time at a preschool. It was challenging but I learned so much! This showed me that I am able to dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."
Carly's Answer #2
"I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have as an educator. I have received praise from students, parents and my coworkers. Reputation is everything and I am proud of mine."
6.
What are your thoughts on public vs. private education?
The interviewer wants to know that you are current on what is going on in the education industry. The topic of public vs. private education is a hot one! When you are asked to discuss a controversial topic in an interview it is best to avoid any offending statements or pushing any buttons. Remember K12 Inc. works with public and private schools. Give a rather cooled opinion on both sides and leave it at that.

Carly's Answer #1
"I can understand why some people would want their children in private school as much as I understand the draw of public school. Not everyone can afford the luxury of private school but I am thankful that our public school system in my city offers a great education with such little cost associated. In my opinion, as long as our kids are receiving a valuable education then who am I to say whether one is better than the other."
Carly's Answer #2
"I primarily stand behind public education because it is affordable for everyone, and it provides educational access to anyone regardless of their social standing. With that said, I do understand why some parents prefer private education for their children. You have to do what's best for your family."
7.
Do you prefer working with a student one-on-one or with a larger class of students?
Discuss you preference with the interviewer and be sure to highlight your overall experience; whether that be with larger classes of students or one-on-one. You can keep your answer brief and be sure to avoid talking yourself out of a job. Think about the position, if it involves mainly mentoring students one-on-one, you don't want to say that you prefer teaching at least 20 students at a time.

Carly's Answer #1
"As an educator for the past 4 years I feel that I have developed a strong ability to adapt to nearly every teaching situation. I do not lean strongly to group settings versus individual settings; however, I always enjoy seeing how students interact with each other when a challenge is at hand. I also enjoy having my students work together in groups to solve problems."
Carly's Answer #2
"I tend to enjoy teaching larger groups at a time simply because of the energy a class full of students or webinar with lots of students participating in can offer. Also, the insightful questions that can come from a solid group session are pretty surprising at times. With that said, at times it is easier to make a direct impact when you teach one-on-one. I am satisfied with either method."
8.
Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
Is honesty always the best policy? Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on honesty in the workplace. If you believe it's okay to not always be honest, make sure you can explain your reasoning.

Carly's Answer #1
"Sometimes full disclosure can damage someone's self esteem, and reality isn't always best expressed in full and can be self-indulgent based on the person's intention. In those instances, honesty isn't always the best policy. However, in the workplace I believe it is important to only hire trustworthy employees."
Carly's Answer #2
"Honesty is always the best policy. Often times, it is just a matter of how you communicate and deliver your message so managing this with each situation is critical to building honest and trustworthy relationships. I believe this to be true with when communicating with my students, I want to lead by example."
9.
What are your salary expectations?
The best way to discuss your salary expectations are to use your current earnings as an example. Be open, and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise. It's also a good idea to check if the job description includes a range they are looking for. If you want to make $40,000 but the max budget is $28,000, are you willing to take a pay cut?

Carly's Answer #1
"Currently, I earn a base salary of $45,000 per year plus a potential 20% annual bonus. Last year my earnings were $52,000 and I would like to stay in the same range or slightly higher."
Carly's Answer #2
"I am currently making $50,000 per year. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides opportunity for growth. I see that the range for this position is $50,000 to $55,000, I would be comfortable in the $53,000 to $55,000 range."
10.
How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
Encouragement to others is a great skill to possess. As an educator it is imperative that you can encourage your students when they need it. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to encourage creative ideas in your team members or students.

Carly's Answer #1
"I like to encourage other people to be creative in their thinking and present ideas to their classrooms, no matter how off the wall they may seem. Some of our most successful teachers are ones who are confident in their ability to bring forward their unique ideas. I encourage participation through an open door policy and strong praise for those who show initiative."
Carly's Answer #2
"I encourage my students to tap into the best parts of themselves. It helps to ask probing questions to get them to generate ideas on their own. If a student knows that I care about them as a person, they are more motivated to give me their best work."
11.
Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.
The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from what is written on your resume. You are certainly not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate! If you have a special talent or a passion, now is the time to share it!

For example, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when it's possible! (This will make you unforgettable!) So choose something that you are confident in doing.

Carly's Answer #1
"I am an avid marathon runner and have traveled to 10 countries in the last 8 years to compete in a variety of races.My favorite country to race in was Brazil, it was so beautiful. I am a competitive individual and enjoy keeping fit."
Carly's Answer #2
"I am bilingual in Spanish and have some proficiency in French and Italian, too. I love learning new languages and it is my dream to travel more. I also am a huge Harry Potter fan and could pretty much quote each book to you!"
12.
Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.
Many hiring managers will choose one candidate over another because of their volunteer experience. They feel that it shows strong character and selflessness...all qualities that make a great employee and educator. Talk to the interviewer about your willingness to give back to your community in some form of volunteerism. If you do not have formal volunteer experience you can draw on things you do in your spare time to assist friends, family, or even your current employer such as offering to mentor a new coworker or helping to watch your neighbor's kids.

Carly's Answer #1
"For the past 8 months I have volunteered every Wednesday evening at our local animal shelter. I will help with grooming the animals, feeding them, and walking them. It's been a really fun experience and rewarding at the same time. I plan on volunteering at the shelter for years to come."
Carly's Answer #2
"I have not formally volunteered in these most recent years, however; I spend a lot of time helping my sister who is a single mom. I will babysit on weekends, cook dinners for her and drive the kids to appointments when necessary. I feel that it is very important to take care of the needs of family. I was raised to help others whenever you can."
13.
Give an example of when you used your listening skills to solve a problem.
The interviewer wants to see that you have strong listening skills. They want to see that you aren't the type to interrupt before hearing your co-workers out. If you are applying for a teaching position, they want to know that you listen to your students. Show that you are one to check for full understanding when you are navigating new territory. Highlight to the interviewer that you are the type to attentively listen and troubleshoot problems in a collaborative style.

Carly's Answer #1
"Someone with good listening skills will:

- Give the speaker their full attention
- Maintain proper eye contact
- Show invested interest by nodding or agreeing
- Avoid interrupting
- Ask follow-up questions
- Make statements such as 'If I am understanding you correctly...' or 'Do you mean that you want...'
- Ask for clarification if needed "
Carly's Answer #2
"My current principal is very brief in her communication and sometimes it creates confusion within the faculty. Last month she asked me to run a report on a student whose parents she was meeting with the next day. I wasn't entirely sure that I understood what she was asking. After she finished telling me what she was looking for, I repeated it back to her. I will often use qualifying questions such as, 'So what you're asking is...?' or 'Do you mean that you want me to do...?' This seems to avoid a lot of unnecessary problems down the road. I also always maintain strong eye contact. This can be trickier in an online environment but I find that looking directly into the camera helps."
14.
If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?
A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why?

Carly's Answer #1
"I certainly do not regret the direction I have taken my career; however, if I had to completely start over in a new direction I would likely pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and become an Engineer. Both of my parents were Engineers and they seemed to have a very fulfilling career. I always enjoyed hearing about their days when I was growing up. I enjoy analytics and research which I tend to do a lot of in my role as an educator."
Carly's Answer #2
"I am very satisfied with the direction my career has taken. If I could change anything I would perhaps have furthered my education to include a Masters' degree. I would want to research about adaptable technology for students for my thesis. I would still like to pursue this someday."
15.
How do you handle stress on the job?
Whether you apply to be a teacher or take on an administrative role, you can expect to take on some stressful situations. Are you someone who is able to handle stress on the job? How do you manage the stressful times? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to manage pressure in the workplace, and give some examples.

Carly's Answer #1
"I handle stress very well and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure to not get distracted. For instance, if I have stack of papers to grade, I make a checklist and set myself a deadline. I don't let the pressure get in the way of doing my job well."
Carly's Answer #2
"Stress is part of any demanding job and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself personally and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels. Teaching can be draining, so outside of work I do yoga. I find that I come into work ready to take on any challenge."
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29 K12 Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What questions do you have for me?
  2. How do you believe you will complement our department, if you were hired?
  3. At K12 Inc. we seek to hire those who are passionate about education. How would you describe your teaching/mentorship style?
  4. At K12 Inc. we put a strong emphasis on continued education. We believe that there is always more to learn. How do you feel about continued education?
  5. Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.
  6. What are your thoughts on public vs. private education?
  7. Do you prefer working with a student one-on-one or with a larger class of students?
  8. Do you think honesty is always the best policy?
  9. What are your salary expectations?
  10. How do you like to encourage ideas in others?
  11. Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.
  12. Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.
  13. Give an example of when you used your listening skills to solve a problem.
  14. If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?
  15. How do you handle stress on the job?
  16. What leadership qualities do you possess?
  17. How do you define success?
  18. List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.
  19. Do you always double check or proofread your work?
  20. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
  21. Why do you want this job with K12 Inc.?
  22. When have you had to adapt to change?
  23. Private and franchised adult learning institutions have greatly increased in popularity over the years. Do you see value in these institutions? Why or why not?
  24. If you could be a subject matter expert in any subject of your choice, which would you choose?
  25. In our industry, your day may not be a typical 8AM - 4PM. Are you willing to work overtime and participate in extra-curricular activities?
  26. At K12 Inc., we seek to hire the most compassionate individuals. Do you consider yourself compassionate?
  27. Tell me about a teacher, leader, or mentor who affected your life in a positive way.
  28. Take a few minutes to walk me through your post-secondary education.
  29. In this position you may be working with individuals who are underage and/or vulnerable. We do full background checks on all of our employees. Are you willing to comply?
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