A Successful Teachers' Job Interview - Be Prepared & Show Passion
Your hard work and long hours of re-working your resume and cover letter have finally paid off. Tomorrow is the "Big Interview," but now you're a bundle of nerves. No need to worry, I'm here to ease your interview jitters.
The interview process is a simple, straight-forward discussion between you and a potential school district. A little preparation, some practice, and a whole lot of enthusiasm will increase your chances of winning the interview game.
Each employer is different in how they choose to conduct their interview. Some districts base their hiring decisions on just one interview, while others may conduct a pre-screening selection process and then follow through with a second or series of interviews.
Below is a sequence of important points to remember when entering the interview arena.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
- Take the time to research the school or district and the specific position. Study the job description to identify how your skills and abilities fill the requirements of the position. You should also learn as much as you can about the school district. Check out not only the school districts' website, but also recent news or magazine stories about the district and anything else you can get your hands on.
- Make a list of your traits and skills that match the job qualifications. Prepare to give examples of work experiences where you employed those skills.
- Develop a list of questions that you may be asked during the interview, and prepare your answers. If possible, practice your answers by conducting a mock interview with a friend or family member and get their feedback on how you did. We coach clients on interview preparation, and can learn more about the process by clicking here.
- Organize a list of questions you will want to ask the interviewer. Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation, and you will be provided with an opportunity to ask the interview panel your own questions. Asking your own questions serves two purposes. First, it shows them you truly are interested in their district and the job because you've done enough research to be able to ask intelligent, well-thought-out, and relevant questions. Second, their answers will help you decide whether or not you will accept the position if it is offered to you. Note: this is not the time to ask about benefits and vacation; these questions are better left until you are offered the position.
- Dressing for a successful interview isn't difficult. Wear clothing that is a little dressier than you would wear to work every day. A sequined suit would be way overboard; likewise, a shirt and jeans would be way too casual. Use your common sense.
- Don't be left without your essentials. You will need an extra copy of your resume, a typed list of your references, a pen, and your portfolio with examples of your work (if applicable).
- Arrive early. Allow yourself enough time to find the interview site and find a parking spot. Having to explain you are late because you couldn't find a parking spot will start your interview off on the wrong foot. Ensure that you arrive in the building, at the place where the interview will occur, at least 5 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
- Offer your greetings with a firm handshake and a smile. Address the interviewer formally (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.) unless you have been invited to use the person's first name.
- Illustrate your energy and enthusiasm for the position by maintaining eye contact and providing non-verbal feedback. Much can be said through your body language, so pay strict attention to how you move and articulate. If there is multiple interviewers make sure you make eye contact with all of them.
- Emphasize your assets and talents. Show the interviewer(s) you can perform the job and you will fit well in the school. Always speak positively about yourself, others, and previous positions. Never speak negatively about any person you have worked with or any school or organization you have worked for.
- The interviewer(s) will guide you through a series of questions, then it will be your turn to make a few enquiries. Here is where your question planning will payoff. Once your questions are answered, your interview is generally over. Most interviews take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.
- Before the interview is over, take a few minutes to reiterate your interest in the position and exhibit your excitement and enthusiasm about the opportunity and your confidence in meeting the expectations of the position.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
- Within 24 hours of having completed your interview, send a thank you letter to the interviewer and/or committee. This provides you with an additional opportunity to reiterate your continued interest in the school and illustrate a few key points that make you the perfect candidate for this position. Sending a thank you letter may not guarantee you the job, but it could very well be the thing that sets you off from all the other candidates.
- It could take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks before you hear back about the results of the interview.
If you would like to enlist our interview preparation service or need help creating a powerful resume that gets results - contact Candace at A+ Resumes for Teachers by clicking here or call toll-free 1-877-738-8052.