Monday, May 6, 2013

Interview Prep

Last Friday, I had a screening interview in a nearby district for potential vacancies for the 2013-2014 school year. I had a lot of notice going into the interview, 2 months. I had a lot of time to prepare. Regardless of the time you have, you must prepare for an interview.

1. Research
You really want to wrap your head around what kind of school you are interviewing for and potentially would be working for. Would this school be a good fit for you? Would you be able to improve the school with your qualifications? Would you need to relocate? (Yes, I know that is thinking very far ahead when you are simply preparing for a first round interview but I am always looking 10 steps ahead. Now don't go buying a new house - that's crazy)

Get familiar with the curriculum that the school uses. If you haven't been exposed to their programs search online. The program's website will have a lot of information to help you. Try YouTube, you may be able to find some sample lessons being taught.

2. Update your portfolio

I spoke of teaching portfolios in a previous post. Make sure your resume, clearances, letters, and certifications are all up to date. Chances are in a first round interview that your portfolio will not be looked at but it still shows a lot of initiative if you bring it, place it on the table and inform the interviewers that it is available.

3. Pick your outfit

This can be the most fun part of the preparation process or the most stressful. Pick simple pieces with clean lines. Make sure everything fits, nothing too big, too small, too snug or too loose. Try to stay true to your style while still looking professional.

4. Be yourself!!!!!

I asked my cooperating teacher for advice leading up to my interview and she said, "Smile". Don't be anyone else but yourself. I tend to try to be too serious during interviews. I went into this one hoping they would get a sense of my personality while still taking the interview seriously. Smiling does help ease the anxiety too!

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