It is critical to know how to adapt to different teaching or assistant principal job interviews to help get a teaching job offer. Not every teaching or administration job interview you encounter will be the same interviewer or panel of school district interviewers.
There will be different teacher interview questions, interview formats, number of interviewers, style of interviewers, and the quantity and quality of other job search candidates.
One of the most significant factors of interview success is walking into the interview room with confidence. Research and preparation before the interview will increase your performance in the conversation. Don’t just ‘wing it’!
Understand Your Interviewer’s Style
Although many interviewers follow a similar approach, you will find that if you want to cater to the variety of school district interviewers’ styles, you will have to learn to adapt your style somewhat and be flexible.
Understanding the interviewer’s style is essential to your success throughout the questioning. Interviewers have different trends, such as emotional, intuitive, or technical, and tend to hire candidates that match their style.
Some interviewers, for example, prefer to let the interviewee speak more frequently. It’s best to step up to the plate and offer information to keep the conversation flowing.
Other interviewers prefer to talk more and watch how you respond. If you run into an interviewer like this, be sure to listen attentively and work on your qualifications where you can. If you try to dominate the conversation with an interviewer who is a heavy talker, you’ll appear very off-putting.
How to Determine the Style of Your Interviewer
As an interview typically begins as soon as you receive a phone call, you should be ready to absorb information to help you identify what type of interviewer is asking you questions.
Note the tone of their voice. Does the interviewer sound friendly? Serious? Match their tone whenever possible.
If the phone call turns into more of a phone interview, note the type of questions they’re asking. Phone interviews before in-person meetings are usually used to verify the experience you’ve listed on your resume, cover letter, or curriculum vitae (CV).
Do they seem interested to know more about the type of environment you work well in, or do they want to discuss more of your technical skills?
Be prepared to answer both types of questions.
Next, we’ll review how to behave during an in-person interview.
At an In-Person Interview
First, listen, and observe. How is your interviewer dressed? Are they casual or more formal? A relaxed interviewer may suggest the interviewer more on a behavioral, situational level than technical questions.
How do they respond to your answers? Do they press for more information or quickly take notes to make sure they capture all of the details?
An interviewer that is always scribbling as you speak may be very detail-oriented, so they don’t miss anything you say. If you come across someone like this, be sure to throw keywords into your answers so they’ll stick out in their notes.
Overall: what is the atmosphere like? How is the room set up?
Is your interviewer sitting close to you, directly across from you, or more towards your side?
An interviewer farther away and directly across from you may indicate they are more formal, whereas a less formal interviewer may choose to take a seat closer to your side.
When Dealing with Two or More Interviewers
It can get tricky if you are meeting with multiple people. Not only do you have one person’s personality to pinpoint, but it is varied. Communicating with different interviewers can work to your benefit. Before the formal interview questions begin or during brief breaks, notice how your interviewers interact with one another. Note their behavior and body language.
Does one of the interviewers seem to do most of the talking, or have they practiced this so that both get to ask an equal number? Does one seem to be more interested in how you build interpersonal relationships vs. what projects you’ve accomplished?
Once you take note of this, you can begin to tailor your answers to the interviewer that asked the question.
Wrapping It Up!
Understanding how to adapt to interviewers and read their styles can be tricky. Psychologists spend a lifetime trying to find the formula to figure people out; you can’t expect to get it just from reading one article. We do hope you’ve gained better insights into how different interviewers’ styles may vary. The key to handling any interviewer is to practice and prepare for each type.
Learning how to answer different kinds of questions is vital. If you need assistance practicing for a big interview or with any aspect of your job search, reach out to Candace today!
And, of course, don’t forget to follow up after the interview.
Additionally, if you have any additional tips you can share based on your own experience with different interview styles, please comment below!
Do you adapt quickly to a variety of interview formats?