The purpose of this assignment is for you to participate in an exit interview with the director of the center where you have been serving your internship this term. This assignment provides you with multiple opportunities that will be valuable in your professional career, as you will get to meet one-on-one with the center director to gauge your progress and successes throughout the term. This assignment also provides you with the opportunity to pilot your portfolio on a real center director and participate in a mock interview for a position you would like to obtain in your future career. Finally, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your experience this term and to request a letter of recommendation from the center director that you can include in your professional portfolio. As with all of our assignments in this class, please consider using your work here in your own professional career portfolio.
Questions for your director to use in the Exit Interview
- Tell me about yourself …goals
- What are your strengths?
- Describe NAEYC accreditation and how it impacts quality at a child care center and describe your understanding of NAEYC.
- Tell me your belief about guidance. Are there any situations that you find challenging when guiding children?
- How do you involve parents?
- Tell me a little bit about your teaching philosophy.
- How does your education set you apart from someone who does not have this degree?
- How do you deal with gossip at the work place?
- What does an early childhood classroom look like?
- How do you meet individual needs in the classroom?
- Do you belong to a professional organization?
- What is your greatest career or academic achievement?
Planning the Exit Interview
Consult with the center director about the purpose of this assignment. Tell him/her that you would like to schedule a one-hour meeting that has two main purposes:
- To conduct a mock interview for the position that you would like to obtain in your professional career
- To discuss your progress and successes over the course of the term
Ask if you can video record the interview. Also, ask the director if he/she would be willing to write an official letter of recommendation on your behalf for you to include in your own professional portfolio. Schedule the interview.
Prepare your own professional portfolio for the center director to view. Pretend as though you are preparing your portfolio for an interview with a child care center director you have never met before.
You may further prepare for the interview by reviewing Chapter 6 in How to Develop a Professional Portfolio, 6th Ed., as this chapter includes helpful advice for navigating interview situations and using your portfolio to your advantage.
Remember to prepare a note or token of thanks for the director for working with you and opening the center to you throughout the term. The director, staff, children, and parents have undoubtedly done a lot to help you this term; you should thank them all accordingly. No matter what, you need to provide the director with a thank you letter after the exit interview is complete.
Conducting the Exit Interview
Arrive for your interview on time. Dress professionally. Bring your portfolio and your video recording device. Remember that the goal is for you to get a feel for interviewing for the position that you want, no matter how informal or at ease you have come to feel at the center or with the director.
Set up your video recorder before the interview begins. Once the director begins the interview, you may begin recording.
Participate in a full interview with the director. Answer and ask questions appropriately. Turn off the recorder when the interview is complete.
After the recorder is turned off, ask the director for verbal feedback on the interview process. This is also the time to discuss the director’s overall feedback and professional advice for you, based on your work in the center throughout the term. Listen carefully to what the director has to say, as this feedback can help to inform your practice in positive, lasting, and meaningful ways.
At the end of your exit interview, ask the director if he/she would be willing to provide you with a professional letter of recommendation for you to include in your portfolio. Remember to give the center director (and others) a “thank you” note to show your appreciation.
Reporting on the Exit Interview
After you have completed the exit interview, prepare digital files of the interview to submit to your instructor. The most accessible video files are .avi, .mov, .mpg, .mp4 and .wmv. Please ensure that your instructor can open and view the video file type that you have chosen to send. If you were unable to video record the exit interview, you must submit a 250-500 word summary of the experience, in addition to other assignment requirements.
After the exit interview experience is complete, prepare a 500 word report that answers the following questions:
- How do you feel about the interview process?
- What feedback did the director provide for you?
- How might you incorporate this feedback into your practice in your future career?
- What did you learn from participating in the exit interview?
- What do you need to do in order to feel best prepared to embark on the next step in your career?
To successfully complete the Exit Interview assignment:
- Prepare for the exit interview by explaining the purpose of this assignment to the director and scheduling an interview time.
- Prepare your professional portfolio for the interview.
- Participate in the interview. Video record the interview, if possible.
- After the interview, ask the director for feedback on both the interview and your progress over the course of the term.
- Collect a professional letter of recommendation from the center director to include in your portfolio.
- Provide “thank you” notes to the director and other staff, parents, and children who have supported your learning and professional growth over the course of the term.
- Write a 250-500 word report of the exit interview experience.
- Submit the report with the video file of your interview. Please submit all files for this assignment in one folder.