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Job interview

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by maths_man_, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Could my maths be tested during an interview at a private school?
    Or will it just be through the lesson I teach?
     
  2. Could my maths be tested during an interview at a private school?
    Or will it just be through the lesson I teach?
     
  3. DM

    DM New commenter

    Quite possibly, particularly if the job involves teaching A Level. A friend of mine was given a set of increasingly difficult integrations to do.
     
  4. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I think it would depend completely upon your background and whether or not the school had any reason to test your maths ability. I suspect that given the fact that you are even asking this question would imply that you have some anxiety about being able to perform under pressure ( this is not the same thing as being unable to do the questions obviously ).
    In nearly two decades of working in the private sector, I have never heard of a mathematician having his or her knowledge tested, but DM has heard of it, so it does happen. The more likely event will be that your knowledge will be tested in the lesson itself.
    Curiously enough, in my experience, Independent schools are not worried if you can cope with the A Level material but whether or not you can cope with a bottom set year 10 for example and successfully guide them through their GCSE.
    Good luck with the interview by the way.
     
  5. 'Could my maths be tested during an interview at a private school?'
    Unlikely if you have a good track record.
    However, I was asked mathematical questions during one interview, but it was more in the sense of 'how would I explain chaos theory, the Mobius band ... ' to an interested pupil.
    Good luck.
     
  6. charb74

    charb74 New commenter

    I was tested in the last two of my interviews. In the former one, I was asked to calculate the area of a rectangle with dimensions 3 to 5 by a definite integral (which was integral from 0 to 5 of 3dx, or integral from 0 to 3 of 5dx), and I had trouble with this because of performance anxiety. In th latter one, I was asked to tell the relation between exponential and logarithm functions (which was that one was the inverse of the other), and I managed to answer it. In this latter one, I was also asked to explain the solution of an algebraic fraction, and some more problems...
    So, yes, it may be tha case.
    PS the former one did not end up well, but the latter one was a success! :)
     
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    The nature of the questions you were asked would imply that they had concerns as to your maths ability. I presume you didn't do a maths degree?
     
  8. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I've no personal experience of private school interviews. However, anecdotally, one of our teachers went over to the other (dark?!) side a few years back, and the first question they were asked at interview was 'how do you integrate some function or another' and they had a first in maths from Oxbridge. Perhaps they thought that a teacher at a comprehensive school couldn't possibly know such things...
     
  9. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Careful here... From my point of view, you are the dark side. Well sort of darkish with hints of silver lining...
     
  10. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I think you'll find that is cheap aluminium foil from Lidl...
     
  11. the dark side? But can feel the good in him/her.

    Strange to get a question like at interview. Maybe they just want to put you on the spot and see how you cope. An answer straight back? Or just say that you'd need to think about it because you're a bit nervous in an interview. But don't flounder and go erm 5x + no hang on it's 4x -the

    good luck. And come back from the dark side
     
  12. I was asked what logs were at my last interview - I got the job so think I must have given a plausible answer. I used to ask what standard deviation was for stats teachers, but only ever had one candidate who actually knew what it was rather than just reciting the formula.
     
  13. Of the people I know who have been for interviews in state schools, not one has been asked a maths question. Sometimes it has come up 'informally' during coffee in terms of 'what areas of maths most interest you'.


    No idea about independent schools and interviews. In relation to the 'dark side', I've taught on G&T courses with people from the independent sector and all have been very nice indeed, though I would never do it myself.
     
  14. On one of my first interviews, I was asked to explain (to a GCSE-level student) why typing tan90 into a calculator gave a maths error. I gave an explanation but not a very good one. I didnt get the job.
     
  15. I have three calculators. They gave different answers when I typed in tan(90):
    Math ERROR; -1.995200412; 6.313751715.
    Explain that to a GCSE student!
     
  16. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Degrees, radians and gradians one would assume, although this is no explanation.
    Just as a matter of interest, has anyone actually ever used gradians?
     
  17. According to an entry in Wikipedia, gradians have been used in surveying and by the French artillery - that might explain a lot!
    However 'As of 2011, the unit is officially deprecated.<sup class="Template-Fact" style="white-space:nowrap;">[citation needed] '.
     
  18. DM

    DM New commenter

    I remember being told at school that they were the preferred units of Scandinavian engineers.
     
  19. Becuase cross curricular calculators know fizzy drinks are a bad choice for kids
     

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