Receiving a teaching job offer after an interview depends on many factors – how well your skills and talents fit with what the school is looking for, how well you communicate your value proposition, how many other qualified candidates are interviewed, and sometimes the unpredictability of the hiring principals/superintendents.
But one key component for interview success you may not have considered much is your attitude. By this, I mean what you are thinking about as you prepare for, go through and reflect on a job interview. Many people underestimate the importance of keeping a positive attitude during the interview process. The degree to which you think optimistically, keep the right things in perspective and maintain a poised mental attitude will directly affect the outcome you are hoping for – a solid teaching job offer.
What do you think about as you prepare for a job interview? I’m not talking about the thinking that is involved in researching the school and the teaching position, coming up with your key messages about yourself and your value proposition, or the thinking it takes to practice answering the toughest interview questions. I’m talking, more specifically, about your attitude.
Do you view the interview as a “sink or swim”, “do or die” proposition? Are you telling yourself how this one probably won’t work out? Are you worried that you won’t communicate what the interviewers want to hear? All of these kinds of thoughts raise your anxiety level and work against you. When you walk into the interview room, all of these anxious thoughts and feelings will be communicated through your body language and overall attitude to your interviewers. Your interviewers will easily pick up on this and it will affect your interview chances. For instance, if you prepare for and enter a teaching interview feeling defeated, this attitude will permeate the entire interview process. What school would want to hire a teacher with a defeatist attitude?
What you need to be feeling going into an interview is confident, curious and open. So in order to keep your thoughts in check, pay attention to where your mind wanders to. If your mind wanders to negative thoughts, proactively stop it. Distract yourself with other thoughts or simply tell yourself “no. I’m prepared. I deserve this opportunity. And if it doesn’t work out there’s always tomorrow”. Don’t allow yourself to sabotage your chances before you even get into the interview room. Keep a positive attitude!
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