Fresh Faced Interviewing
Are you a fresh new teacher heading out to interview and compete for the best teaching job out there? Well, you aren't alone! Be sure to follow these tips to get ahead in this upcoming interview season:
Research, research, research. It is 2013, soon to be 2014, and Google is a powerful tool. So is LinkedIn. When you are offered an interview at a school or with a district, politely ask for the names of those with whom you will be meeting, and then do everything in your power to find more information about them. The more armed you are with information regarding their interests, involvement, and what makes them tick, the more easily you will be able to connect with them on a personal, authentic level.
Did you just say "personal" and "authentic?" I sure did! It is amazing how many teacher candidates forget to be themselves during the interview process. Yes, this is a lot of pressure. Yes, you feel nervous. But, if you cannot handle your emotions and be your great self in an interview, how you are going to handle your emotions and be a great teacher with 30 children staring back at you? Treat your interview like you treat your classroom: teach your interviewer about who you are, what you have accomplished, and why you are unique.
Identify 8-10 stories that showcase you at your best and practice telling them to anyone who will listen. Even if it is your dog (or cat, if you like cats!). It is one thing to get your answers scripted on a piece of paper; it is quite different to get those words out of your mouth! Plus, you don't want to end up like this. Luckily, you've spent the last four years studying and practicing how to effectively communicate ideas and concepts to a group of children. Now, use those same skills to communicate your accomplishments, skills, and why you are the uniquely qualified candidate for the position.
Helen L. Roy, MEd.
Career Readiness Advisor
National Louis University, IL