Whether you are moving to a new area, trying to find a better school to work at or re-entering the work force after staying home with kids, here are some tips to help you prepare to interview for that job you want.
I think most of us psych ourselves up for job interviews way too much. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to do my research about the company beforehand, practice taking deep breaths and collecting my thoughts before speaking, and holding my posture straight and confident.
Preparing for an Interview:
It may sound archaic or you may feel weird being so dressed up at school but dress to impress – it won’t go unnoticed. This is especially more noticeable when a guy wears a suit as opposed to us girls who tend to want to dress up anyway but please don’t show up for your interview wearing jeans or a t-shirt! Dress modestly, don’t be too flashy or crazy (but be yourself!), and don’t wear anything against the school’s guidelines for dress.
Do your Research.
One of the best things you can do to strengthen your interview is to research every nook and cranny that you can about the school – especially if you are applying at a charter or private school which might have specific beliefs or goals in education. Know the school’s mission, their goals, their handbook policies, and a general overview of their calendar and public relations on social media. Your potential employer will notice if you’ve put in the effort to do your homework. Make sure to ask questions about things you have discovered during your research.
Be Bold & Proactive.
Depending on the position and school you are applying for it might pay off big time if you come in to your interview with a specific vision and idea for your position. This doesn’t fit everyone and you don’t want to be staunch and overbearing but if you are applying for a specials position, administrative position, etc. look for the unique way YOU can fill their need and run with your plan. When my husband toured his school before the final interview he noted some areas the school needed help growing in and created a plan of action for the board committee to look over. He even printed out the chart he developed to hand over to the school during the interview. It was a HUGE hit and was a major selling point for his initiative.
Although the school *should* have your resume/application on hand bring extra copies along with any certification or additional resources you may want to hand over during the interview – this includes business cards or references! Don’t be afraid to sell yourself if you have any special skills or certifications. ALSO make sure to come prepared to ask some thoughtful questions about the company and/or position as well.
Understand Salary Expectations.
If you’re applying for public school typically you can find salary expectations online for the district. But if you’re applying to a charter or private school salaries can vary wildly. If you’re moving out of state research living costs in the area, housing, similar salaries, etc. Have a RANGE of salary expectation in your mind that you can live with when heading to the interview.
Have Directions Ready.
If you have never been to the location before make sure to drive by the location before your interview and leave PLENTY of time to get there on the day of your interview. It is better to sit in your car an extra 20 minutes than to show up late to your interview.
Follow up with a Thank You Note.
If you really want to stand out this is a great way to do it! Send a thank you note (or e-mail) showing your gratitude for the opportunity to apply for this position.