By Teachers, For Teachers
Congrats! You just received a call from a school administrator inviting you to interview for a teaching job.
Nervous? Don't be. You don't need to worry about the interview if you're well-prepared. Getting ready for a teaching interview is a lot like preparing for a test: you have to review commonly asked questions, prepare your teacher porfolio, and then go in to do your best. If you prepare well before your interview, your responses to the interview questions will roll of your tongue easily.
But, even with all of the preparation in the world, most of us still get nervous during teaching job interviews. That's not a good thing. A case of nerves could kill an otherwise very qualified candidate's chance of landing the job. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of five tips and tricks you can use to kiss job interview nerves good-bye.
We said it before, but we'll say it again: practice, practice, practice! Start by first writing down responses to standard job interview questions. After you've written everything down, memorize them. Practice first reading your responses out loud to yourself, then ask a friend to pose as the interviewer. You don't want your answers to feel rehearsed - so the more you practice, the more natural you will sound. You should also craft, memorize, and rehearse a short statement that describes your teaching philosopy.
Change the power dynamic. Job interviews can be daunting. Afer all, you're being judged ... and none of us like to be judged.To change the power dynamic of the job interview, play a little game with yourself and remember that, while you may want to work for the person interviewing you, they also want to work with you. They did call you in for an interview, after all. You should also remind yourself that the entire point of interviewing is to decide if you want to work for that school. The interviewer does not hold all the cards! Think of the interview as a conversation between two people who must fill a need.
Visualize yourself doing well. There is much to be said for the power of positive visualization. In the days leading up to your interview, spend 10-15 mintues each day visualizing yourself appearing confident and capable during the interview. If you see yourself doing well, you will do well!
Use mantras. Must like visualizations, mantras can get your mind in shape for the interview. Write down 3-5 statements - such as 'I am a capable educator', 'I am a passionate teacher who will work very hard to ensure my students achieve'. Repeat these statements to yourself several times a day in the days leading up to your interview. The statements will inspire confidence in your abilities - that confidence will translate when you are speaking with your interviewer.
Acknowledge your nerves. Everyone gets nervous, so there is no reason to feel bad if you do. Simply acknowledge your nerves and move on. It will be extremely helpful if you come up with a few in-interview tricks that you can use if you find your nerves taking over. For example, if you find yourself talking too fast, take a few deep breaths. Or, repeat the interviewers question to yourself before you answer. The few seconds you take to do this can help quiet your nerves and give you time to search your mental file cabinet for the appropriate response.
Now, you tell us: how do you overcome interview nerves? Leave your responses in the comments section, below!