In-Person Interview

IMG_1216Saturday morning arrived. I gassed up my Corolla, and boogied down I-45 S to Houston. One of the requirements (that I had neglected to complete) was to obtain passport photos. The photos, along with a USB (that I wouldn’t receive back) was a part of the documents needed for the interview. The other required documents included:

  1. Updated Resume’
  2. Medical History Questionnaire
  3. Introductory Statement
  4. Service Records
  5. Highest Degree Conferred
  6. Color Scan of Passport
  7. Driver’s License (color scan)
  8. Copy of Social Security Card
  9. Recommendation Letter
  10. Completed Online Profile

Though it was recommended that ALL documents be turned in during the interview, there was some grace extended. The only mandatory documents for the interview were the introductory statement and passport photos.

Sunday morning I checked out of my hotel, and made my way to the interview hotel. The Westin, in one of Houston’s most premier neighborhoods, was the host site. I walked into the lobby, informed the receptionist of my impeding interview, and was directed to the upstairs ballroom.

Once inside, I checked in, grabbed materials, and checked for my placement in line for the interviews. I was nearly at the bottom of the list. We were told to prepare to be there the entire day, as the interview times could vary. We would be Skyping to Abu Dhabi for our interviews with a panel of administrators. They would ask us a series of questions, and based on our answers, we may or may not receive offer letters.

Nearly four hours into interviews, it was finally my turn. I walked into a meeting room, placed the headset on, and tested the equipment to make sure that the interviewers could hear me, and that I could hear them.

They asked me a series of questions related to the following:

  1. Experience teaching diverse/language learners
  2. My teaching philosophy
  3. Why I wanted to move to the UAE
  4. Why I would be a good fit in the UAE

After the interview was over, I made my way back to Dallas.

Houston, We’ve Got A Problem

As a planner, I love to have a plan. The concept of doing things haphazardly or at the last minute drives me bananas. It literally stresses me out. I like to have a plan a, b, c, d, e, and f. Leading up to the supposed interviews, I had contacted my recruiter on numerous occasions. She was such a sweetie, but I’m sure I was working her nerves. According to her, the venue had still not been confirmed. So, there I was just days away from an interview, with no idea of a time, a venue, or whether or not the interview would actually occur. The only thing that I knew was that the interviews had been confirmed in Houston.

If you’re not familiar with Houston, let me school you. Houston is massive! The last time I checked, it ranked in the top ten of the largest cities/metroplexes in the U.S. So, as one might imagine, this further frustrated me. I hadn’t (and was discouraged by my recruiter) from making travel plans until the interview venue was confirmed.

Finally, two days before the interview, a the venue was confirmed. I headed over to Groupon, purchased a room for Saturday night (my interview was Sunday morning), contacted one of my closest friends in Houston (to coordinate a quick dinner), and prepared to hightail from Dallas to Houston.