How to Rock...The Interview

Teacher interview

Two years ago I blogged about How to Rock the Demo Lesson. This is a follow up post on how to rock the interview. I know, I kind of went in reverse order!

Here we go!

Dress (Professionally)Yourself.

Walking into the interviews right after I graduated, I was the epitome of who I thought they wanted to see. Except I wasn't. At all. Which is why instead of looking super professional, I was wearing the costume of a Wall Street Banker. Gray sheath, black blazer, black flats. 

The biggest problem? WHERE WAS MY PERSONALITY? 

Growing up you'd always see those woman in the magazines "on their way to an interview" and they had pretty much the exact outfit I just described on. Plus a black briefcase. Thankfully, I skipped the briefcase. I did have a big black binder for my portfolio though.

I wasn't on my way to be a partner in a law firm. Or work on Wall Street. Or sell houses. 

I was on my way to an interview at a school.

The next year I was brave and I wore a mint cardigan with my black sandals...and that gray sheath. I just couldn't let go of it. It wouldn't have been that bad except it was a size too big so I was swimming in it. 

At the interview for the job I have now I was sitting in an office waiting for my interview. I was wearing a bright yellow cardigan, a boat neck white t-shirt, a blue skirt and coral sandals. My black and white polka dot bag leaned against my chair. It was June. It was for a K-2 elementary school. And I was coming right from work with zero time to change. 

Then the door opened and I walked in. 
Wait, no, sorry that's confusing. 
The past me walked in. She had her hair pulled back and was wearing a gray suit with nylons and black heels. It made me realize how far I had come in how I dress for interviews!

Oh, and the first words out of the principal’s mouth when she saw me? “I love that sweater! So cheerful!”.

Be You.

Don't put on an act or act how you think they want you be.

First off, they'll see right through it.

Secondly, you have no clue what they are actually looking for!

Be Confident

I know, your thinking, how can I choose to be confident?
Two things: Experience and Experience.

Let me explain:

You need to have a variety of experiences working in classrooms and with children. You need to be familiar with the curriculum, You need to know the different programs, and not just by name.

And you need experience actually interviewing. The more you interview, the more comfortable you get “selling yourself” and the more it feels like a genuine conversation.

Know your stuff: 

School, position, possible questions and clear answers. 

You can go nuts preparing for every possible question. But look at the school: does it have a high ELL population? Then you'll probably get a question about that. Is the district becoming 1:1? Then they'll ask you about technology integration. Are you applying in a school that uses a certain curriculum? They'll most likely ask you your experience teaching with it. 

Not sure where to find this information? The district website can be a treasure trove of information, especially the curriculum page and the school's page. 


The best advice a previous supervisor gave to me was: You're clearly prepared. Now take today and relax. Then when the interview comes your mind will be fresh. 

After preparing, distract yourself with daily tasks. You don't want to go into an interview stressed. You got this! 

And remember…
In the end, you are working for the school. Make sure you applying for jobs and in schools where you can imagine yourself. Take a moment to look around: what is the principal like(they often help set the tone for the school)? Do the teachers look happy? Are the students engaged? 

What are your tips? I'd love to hear them!

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