I've had so many questions about interviewing lately, so I thought I would share a few thoughts. A quick Google search reveals there are thousands of interview advice sites, but here are some tips from an admin who has sat through hundreds of interviews...
*Dress to be you, only a nicely cleaned up version of you. A suit (men or women) or business dress is a must. Keep jewelry simple, no more than a spritz of fragrance, pulled together hair and make-up. Yes, have nice nails. And never, ever where white shoes.
*Carry any materials in a nice bag.
*This should go without saying, but turn off your cell!
*Smile, say hello, make eye-contact and shake every hand in the room, introducing the best version of you!
Bring your best:
*Bring copies of everything that could be requested.
*It's especially nice to create a tri-fold or brochure outlining your strengths, experiences, and philosophy. Highlight professional usage of social media, and don't forget, someone may look at all of your social media, so clean it up!
*Take a small notebook with you, and jot down key parts of EVERY question being asked. This allows you to process the question by writing, gives you an extra second to pull up some triggers, and also avoids that embarrassing moment you have to ask, "Can you repeat the question please?"
*Do note use up-speak!
*Engage the panel by sharing authentic, interesting anecdotes instead of just answering the question.
*Do be careful not to ramble.
Don't mind us:
If the panel is not looking at you with wide-eyed rapture, hanging on your every word, it's okay. During a long day of interviews, panelists often resort to jotting down answers to stay engaged, so they aren't necessarily looking at you. When someone makes eye contact, key in on that person! Resting bored face is no reflection on you, but you will see it, so don't be concerned.
You have been through so much schooling, you may have lots of experience. Take a deep breath. Think about your love of kids, helping others, and great times in the classroom. This is what you want to do! Let your personality and professionalism show through sparkling smiles and eyes.
At the end of the interview, shake every hand again, using as many names as you can remember. Before the end of the day, email all participants thanking them for the interview.
There are so many factors that go into hiring for a position. Some jobs pull so many applicants that the variables between candidates are stunningly minuscule. The right job will come to you at the right time, just keep improving your skills! It's not cool to bash a prospective employer because you didn't get a position. Keep your head held high and forge ahead!
Feel free to comment with any questions and I will be happy to answer candidly!