1. Tell us how do/did you like law school?

People ask this question because it's simple to ask, and it's an easy weeder question. If I'm interviewing someone who tells me with vehemence how much they hated law school, I'm probably not going to hire them for a legal job. The only appropriate answer to this question is some variant of, “In general, I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Of course, it was tough at times, but I learned enough to make it worthwhile.” Don't be a Pollyanna (no one will believe that you loved every second of law school), but try to be generally upbeat about the experience.

2. Explain me why are you leaving your current job as Community Advocate?

If you have a job now, be prepared to explain why you're leaving it. “I hate my boss,” is not a good answer. Be tactful, and focus on the growth opportunities the new role you're interviewing for will permit (or focus on some other practical issue, such as the need to move to a new location). For example, “I enjoy the work I'm doing now, but I'd like to spend more time in court. That's why this position handling contested child custody battles are perfect for me.”

3. Tell me does Advocacy have a budget?

This is a more important question than you would think as it shows organizational commitment. Managing without a budget slows you down and makes it hard to plan. Thankfully, we are responsible for our budget.

4. Tell me when do you consider an outside school placement?

The short answer is when a public school cannot meet the student's needs with in-house support services, that is the time to think about outside placements. However, because outside placements remove a student from their home school and are therefore more “restrictive” placements (as opposed to the “least restrictive environment” which is the school district's obligation to provide), as well as being costly, these decisions are approached with great care by school districts. Consultation with and testing (as well as a school-based observation) by an independent evaluator is often necessary to obtain the information needed to determine whether an outside placement is required. Again because even intelligent people of good will can hold opposing views, these decisions are not made lightly or quickly.

5. Tell me how long has there been an Advocacy program and is this position a new one?

The answer will let you know if it is a start-up group or a new position that needs to prove and define itself. A new group and position will give you the opportunity to impact direction. Established ones will are easier to join and get up to speed. Be prepared to answer the counter-question, are you someone best suited for lots of change or do you prefer stability.

6. Explain me in your district what are people struggling with? How can you help?

The biggest issue we are facing is inequality. Our current political leaders are placing special interests, self interests, and party interests before the people of the state.
Illinois residents are struggling to afford a home. They struggle with the under-funding of public schools and the lack of investment in urban communities. They struggle with gentrification, with a divide between police and community, with wages, with lack of small business support, and with high crime in particular areas.
I believe the most important way I can help is by placing the people first. By fighting for policies and engaging in actions nationally and locally that address the root causes of issues and does not simply treat symptoms for my personal benefit. By investing in people and all communities, we will not only create change, but also hold other politicians accountable, no matter their party.

7. Explain me what are the key 2016 goals for the company and the advocacy team?

We have metrics to meet, and will discuss them at the end of H1.

☛ Company: One of the corporate KPI's is continuing to increase the company's NPS score which advocacy can have a direct impact on.
☛ Team: Advocacy's goals are to develop a community among users users, identify and energize advocates, and generate stories and use cases for marketing, sales and customer success to use in their work and for customers to share..
☛ Personal: You will have personal goals that we will develop together.

8. Tell us how can people help you in your campaign?

I always say that it takes a community to make a difference. This congressional run is not my run, it is our (the constituents) run. It is going to take a powerful grassroots effort to topple the political machine and establishment that is currently entrenched.

If anyone wants to help, I need them to share their stories and ideas with me. My only special interest are my constituents. I need people to spread the message, I need people to donate their time/energy, and I need people to donate. I will take $0 dollars from any special interest group.

My campaign is people powered and 100% grassroots funded as I recognize the importance of removing money from politics.

9. Tell me what options does a child have?

Districts are required to provide all students with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Students on IEPs are entitled to FAPE as well as whatever services they require to make “meaningful educational progress.”

This does not mean that people of good faith and intelligence always agree about whether an individual child is receiving an appropriate education or making meaningful progress. The essential protection of special education law, however, is the entitlement to a dialogue. School districts cannot decline communicate with parents and parents are entitled to participate in the decision-making process. However, all parties are free to disagree and to have their concerns heard in increasing formal forums offered by the state.

10. Explain me in what way are you a community person?

This question allows the interviewee to tell you about what communities they participate in on a daily basis and why they see themselves being a good fit for your role. This question will also draw clear lines between community folks and interviewees who are simply good on the twitters, can manage a support box like a pro, or can throw a fun party. It's not that these skills are not important or relevant to being a community manager, but what's more important is that there are true community skills supporting these efforts.

Download Interview PDF