So, you’ve landed that long-awaited interview. You have the right qualifications and experience, and you are confident in your abilities. However, despite your confidence, you begin to feel anxious because you are unsure of what to expect during the interview. What you’re feeling is very common. No two interviews are the same, so there is no way of knowing what to expect completely. However, there are a few mistakes that you should know to avoid in order to ensure that you give your best performance. While preparing for teacher jobs, how do you plan to answer specific questions? Also, understand how you should conduct yourself to leave a positive impression in an interview.
During an interview, a recruiter often seeks to learn more about your personality than your ability to answer questions “correctly.” Therefore, it is important that you give an honest assessment of yourself while demonstrating the positive aspects of your character.
Below are a few common mistakes that candidates make during interviews for school teacher jobs. Be sure to avoid them during your next interview.
1. Answering Questions Inaccurately
During an interview, we often try to determine what our future employer expects from an ideal candidate and answer questions accordingly. However, embellishing your experience or making altogether dishonest claims about your background will have an adverse effect. Avoid falsely playing up any experience that you lack, and answer questions honestly.
2. Being Too Modest
While you shouldn’t exaggerate your experience, you also shouldn’t be too modest. As long as you are answering accurately, feel free to show off your abilities. Also, be sure to quantify your achievements if possible. For example, if you improve the overall test scores of your previous class, quantify the positive change with a percent increase. Keep in mind that you need to market yourself, so don’t be afraid to be proud of past accomplishments.
3. Displaying Negative Body Language
Avoiding eye contact and not smiling can be detrimental during an interview for teaching jobs. Teachers should be very effective communicators, so they must display positive body language. They must seem friendly and interested. During your interview, show your enthusiasm upon first meeting your interviewers – say hello, smile, and look them in the eye as though you are really happy to meet them. Your body language should reflect a warm presence that they would expect a teacher to have in the classroom.
4. Being Too Nervous
Getting nervous during an interview is very common and understandable. However, you don’t want to appear so nervous that your abilities are called into question. The trick is to control your nervousness and try to channel it into enthusiasm for the job. Interviewers will be much more forgiving if they sense that a candidate’s nervousness is the result of a strong desire for the position. Teachers need to present themselves as confident leaders. The school looks for a person who can control a group of unruly kids. To help calm your nerves, practice some breathing exercises before your interview. Also, slow your pace when talking, as it will help you control your breathing and speak more articulately.
5. Talking Negatively About Previous Positions
There is one question that is ultimately asked in every interview: ‘What was your reason for leaving your previous position?’ Now, you may think that there is nothing wrong with being honest and letting the hiring manager know about the negative aspects of your last job. However, complaining about a previous employer is a big mistake to make in an interview. Badmouthing your previous employer might suggest that you are difficult to work with, regardless of how justified your complaints may be. Your interviewer is trying to get a sense of your personality, so don’t dwell on past experiences and cast yourself in a negative light. Rather, take the time to discuss what you find so exciting about the new opportunity.
It is human to make mistakes, and no single mistake will prevent you from succeeding in an interview. However, doing your best to avoid these errors can increase the possibility of your landing the job. We hope that these pointers are of help as you prepare for your future interviews.
For More information on preparing for teacher jobs and other school interviews please click here.