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help: preparing for an interview for an instructor position

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
well, here's the story:

I will be interviewed for an intructor position on about 3 weeks... i am fairly confident that i can pass the skiing part of the interview, but i am a little concerned about a couple of things:

1.- I will probably only be able to ski 1 or 2 times prior to the interview, so i need some exercises to keep my muscle memory in shape... stuff that i can do to make sure that my body will remember what to do on the slopes...

2.- I am a little worried about the teaching part... any tips here would be appreciated... there's a lot of people here with a LOT of experience... so i thought i would ask... (i thinks this is mostly to reassure myself... i am a bit nervous about it...)
post #2 of 11
How's your Spanish?
post #3 of 11
You get experience by teaching, they may not expect you to be an experienced teacher, but a good communicator.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
my spanish? pretty good... i am a native speaker... the interview, however, is in english, since i am applying for a position on a US resort (Windham Mountain... i've worked there two seasons as a liftie...)

i've taught some people before, and they all seemed to understand and learn...
post #5 of 11
I can't speak to the South American market, But in the states lots of eye contact and smileing.

Here, at least, most ski schools want a good people person, the will train you for the progressions that they like to use.

Do not argue with the clinician. I know it sounds silly, but some people do.

Don't be the person who says the least or the most. Let other people speak and show that you can be part of a team.
post #6 of 11
Many of the NYC market areas are advertising in the Spanish press and doing outreach; they have in the Poconos and there are a lot of Spanish first timers coming out. We even had a large contingent from Sourh America who were given room and board ......... and they were just past wedge turner stage.

Other than an initial interview, you should expect to attend an "ITC" for which you may have to pay, as a past employee, they may make an exception for you. The Instructor Training Clinic will probably held be over two weekends and all of the essentials of running Level 1 through Level 3 or 4 classes will be provided.

Windham may be different but if you can "breathe and stand on skis" you will probably be hired.

Brace yourself! As a liftie, you were paid from the time you "clocked in" till the time you "clocked out". Find out the policies of the area prior to accepting the job. Many instructors are only paid for the hours on snow in front of a class! They are not paid for line-up or time spent waiting to teach. Check the "perks" regarding free ski passes too. Go in with eyes wide open and ask questions especially if you are going to be paying for an apratment or sharing a ski house.

At the two areas where I worked, the "full timers" were guys who were recently laid off from their real jobs or retired types who didn't have to worry about making the rent. As a full timer, you may be able to cut a "side deal" since they do need warm bodies during the week.

I have no real knowledge about the actual hiring and pay practices at Windham. My comments are based on Pocono areas to the south that share the New York market niche.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
i am not really concerned about the money... if i go again this year it will be mostly to ski, i made enough money as a liftie the past two seasons (i worked lots of hours)... i have talked to some of the other chilean instructors from past years, and they say that they had some sort of deal with their pay... i know they made enough money to live and save a little... plus, they got their PSIA level I... something wich could be useful on the long run...

one of the main resons i am going this year is also the fact that it will be my last year... the visa i can get is only for college students not on their last year of college... and next year i graduate... so this might be my last chance to travel in a while (until i manage to pay student loans, anyways...)
post #8 of 11

It sounds like you have never worked as an instructor before. It also sounds like you don't need to worry.

1) No matter how out of shape you are, you most likely rely on some fundamental movement patterns that will not change as a result of quick get in shape exercises. You may think you are skiing better, but experienced eyes will still spot the same patterns. You can't hide them and you can't change them over night. So don't worry. New instructors are usually expected to ski at a minimum of intermediate level. Sloppy parallel is ok. You will ski better and impress more if you just relax. If you absolutely must practice, practice your wedge turns.

2) Without experience, the most important things to show in an interview is a positive attitude, an ability to listen, a willingness to learn and any ability to teach. Be prepared to teach your interviewer something you know (e.g. how to cook flautas, how to juggle, how to catch a condor - [or maybe just a picture of one]), or a portion of something, but be able to do it in 5 minutes. If you can introduce it, demonstrate it, let your interviewer practice it, give feedback, then summarize, you will get a job.

Given that you've already worked at the resort for 2 years, if you have a good work record and a good attitude, then the interview may only be formality. You're already part of the family.

PM Stache for more information.
post #9 of 11
stop worrying and just be yourself. you'll do fine.

if you have a visa and can speak spanish i assure you they are many resorts who will hire and train you.

hope you like kids
post #10 of 11
Talk to 2-3 senior instructors at Wyndem, Otherwise don't worry.

If the job is for you, you will get it. If you don't get it and really want it, ask the interviewers to be your coach next season and prepare a plan of things you need to do so the following year you will be hired. A statment like this....posed at the end of the interview when they ask..."do you have any questions for us?" Will likely cinch the job.
post #11 of 11

For the last four years, I have done the hiring clinic at Windham Mountain. Here is what I expect from the candidates:

1. Advanced intermediate skiing skills showing the ability to adapt to contemporary movement patterns.

2. Full attendance of the clinic and for further training after successfully making the other requirements.

3. Commitment on availability to work when needed.

4. Excellent communication skills.

5. Neat and professional appearance.

If you have any further questions, please ask.

PS: Most candidates don't have any days on skis before the hiring clinic.

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