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The Secret to Interviewing: SHARE Stories

Do you have an interview coming up that you want to crush? Or are you starting the job search process and are unsure of how to prepare for interviewing? If you want to learn how to prepare for the interview process effectively and efficiently, keep reading!   

Nobody was born knowing how to interview. This is something my dad has told me numerous times, many of which were before my most recent interview for a middle school history and social studies teaching position. Thankfully, I was hired for this position, but not without spending many hours preparing responses to the hundreds of potential questions I could be asked. Before my interview, I asked my family members for advice, which is when I learned about a foolproof method to simplify the interview process: SHARE stories. This method helped me and many of my peers to be hired for their dream position, but how does it work?


What are SHARE Stories?

SHARE stories provide a way to ensure that your learning experiences which qualify you for the position you’re interviewing for are clearly conveyed to interviewers. SHARE is an acronym, with each letter symbolizing a piece of the story you would tell to answer questions in an interview.


S – Situation

When telling a story to answer an interview question, you first want to explain the situation in which the learning experience took place. Here, you’ll focus on the who, what, where, when, and why of your story. Were you student teaching? What did your classroom look like? What unit were you teaching? What time of day was it? Were you completing your Kinesiology practicum? Who were you helping? What techniques did you use to support that individual’s physical and mental health? Were you completing your recreation management practicum? What park or agency were you working in? Who were you working with?


H – Hindrance

Next is the hindrance. This is the task, problem, or challenge you experienced that required you to take action. Think of this as the climax of a story. Was there a student you were unsure of how to help? Was there a patient that you didn’t know how to support? Was there an event that you and your team were unsure of how to plan?


A – Action

Then you have the action you took to solve the problem or help someone in overcoming a challenge. This is where interviewers are looking to hear what YOU did, not what others at your school, company, or park usually do. What actions did YOU specifically take to help that struggling student, patient, or team?


R – Result

Once you’ve taken action, what happened because of what you did? What was the result of implementing a new classroom management strategy? Did your patients’ health improve because you practiced a new technique you learned from your program? How was your event after trying out the new management strategy you took to your event planning team?


E – Emotion/End Result

Finally, you have the emotion you felt because of this experience. The “E” can also be what you learned from the “end result” of the story you are telling. This is usually what most people forget when they are telling a story. If you can include this in each of your responses, you will truly demonstrate your ability to learn and grow as an individual, which all employers should be looking for. Did you gain an increased sense of confidence in your abilities as a teacher, physical therapist, or recreation manager because of the action you took? Did you learn that your attention to detail or unwavering desire to learn is a strength you can apply to other situations?


Helpful Tips

The way my family members and I have successfully used this technique was, first, finding questions we thought we would likely be asked during an interview. For this, you can reach out to your professors, mentors, and supervisors and inquire about interviewing.

Then, you can put all those questions into a Microsoft Word or Google document, and put the SHARE acronym under each one. Once you think of a story or learning experience you’ve had that can answer the question, start filling in the letters of SHARE.

If you’re serious about using this technique, you could even put these questions and your SHARE stories on flashcards to decrease your recall time when you’re put on the spot during an interview.

Finally, remember, you got this! All you need to do is SHARE your story!


Sophia Castle Headshot

Sophia J. Castle

is pursuing her MED in Curriculum and Instruction (Secondary Ed – History and Social Science). After graduating in Spring 2024, she plans to teach middle school history and social studies.

She is also a founding member of the CEHD Student Success Advisory Board!


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Loudoun County Public Schools Interviewing Day at Mason

All Mason degree-seeking students (undergraduate and graduate) and alumni are eligible to participate in the On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) Program. Later this month, Loudoun County VA Public Schools will be conducting interviews for teacher and school counselor positions for the 24-25 school year. Apply by January 26 to participate in the interview day on January 31 from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. Learn more about the job opportunities they are interviewing for (as well as the interview info) below.

LCPS GMU Interview Sign Up

Interview Information


When:

  • Application deadline: January 26, 2024; Interview date: January 31, 2024


Where:

  • University Career Services Office – Student Union Building 1, Room 3400


Related Jobs for Interview:


All Licensed Teachers & School Counselor Positions – looking for students (undergraduate & graduate) majoring in:

  • Elementary Education,
  • Early Childhood Education,
  • Mathematics Education,
  • Secondary Education, and
  • Special Education

How Students Can Sign Up For An Interview:


Step 1: Apply to one of the job postings above
Step 2: Select a time-slot through the interview schedule


Additional LCPS reps will be on campus that same day and hold office hours for students. This is an opportunity for students to speak with a LCPS recruiter for casual, informational conversations about various roles and an opportunity to get your resume reviewed by them!

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First-Gen+ Center is Hiring

The First-Gen+ Center is looking for enthusiastic students to become student peer mentors. These positions will begin during the Spring 2024 semester and will continue through the 2024-2025 Academic Year. Students selected will be REQUIRED to enroll in a UNIV 300-level course during the Spring 2024 semester (typically Thursdays 1:30 – 2:45PM). Applications close on January 7th, 2024 at 11:59PM. 

Please note that there is ONE application for STEP Mentors and First-Gen Peer Mentors. You may note your preference in your cover letter.

(Handshake Job Post #8396727)


LEARN MORE
First-Gen Peer Mentors
FIRST-GENERATION STUDENT PEER MENTORS

The First-Generation (“First-Gen”) Peer Mentoring program is a program to support first gen student success at George Mason University. First-Gen Peer Mentors will provide support while serving as a positive role model for these students. 

STEP Peer Mentors
STEP PEER MENTORS

The Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) is an initiative of the First-Gen+ Center created to enhance the recruitment, engagement and retention of first-generation college students accepted to George Mason University. STEP mentors play an integral role in helping incoming STEP students transition and build community at Mason.


FURTHER QUESTIONS?

Please email firstgen@gmu.edu.

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Graduate Professional Assistantship Opportunity

Graduate Student Life is hiring a Graduate Professional Assistant (GPA) for Graduate Diversity Engagement and Leadership. Learn more and apply for this position below!


About the Position

The Graduate Professional Assistant (GPA) for Graduate Diversity Engagement and Leadership within Graduate Student Life provides leadership and program support for a co-curricular learning series and other special events addressing cross-cultural learning and leadership, via in-person programming and virtual initiatives. The GPA will assist the Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life with curriculum development, facilitator engagement and training, event planning, and administrative management.  The position will report to the Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life.

The official term of the assistantship will begin once a candidate is successfully hired through May 24, 2024.


Learn More

Please check out the job posting for qualifications, responsibilities, and time requirements.

Please direct all queries to Austin A. Deray, Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life, at aderay@gmu.edu.


Apply

For best consideration, apply by Friday, October 27.

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Now Hiring AMP Mentors for Fall 2023

The Mason Early Identification Program (EIP) and Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) are looking for undergraduate or graduate students who are interested in working with the middle and high school student populations, tutoring, mentoring, and giving back to the Northern Virginia community for the Fall 2023 semester. Learn more about this AMP Mentor position below, and apply on Mason360 by August 27, 2023 (Priority Application Deadline) or September 4, 2023 (General Application Deadline). 


About AMP Mentors: 

The AMP Mentors will play an integral role in supporting the delivery of academic supports needed for academic and personal success at over 25 different tutoring sites. These supports comprise of academic coaching, academic assistance, and ultimately helping EIP students realize their academic potential. AMP Mentors will report directly to the Assistant Director and Associate Director at EIP. This will be an in-person position for Fall 2023 with starting pay of $14/hour.

Note: transportation to sites is provided for those who do not have their own transportation. 


Qualifications: 
  • Undergraduate/Graduate students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 
  • Able to provide academic assistance to students in English, Math, Science, History, and/or other subjects 
  • Able to work with minors and pass a Mason background check in addition to county/school background checks 

How to Apply: 

Complete the application via Mason 360: 

  • Priority Application Deadline: August 27, 2023 
  • General Application Deadline: September 4, 2023 
  • Interviews Begin: August 28, 2023 

Submit the following documents through the online application: 

  • Resume 
  • Unofficial Mason Transcript 
  • Fall 2023 Class Schedule 

Questions? Email Aaron Muz or Dr. Mia Hines