Five More Mistakes
You Don't Want to Make
In the last posting I talked about some of the big mistakes that can doom your interview. If you go back and read that list you will note that all of those errors are under your control - that is, you have the power to stop them from ever happening. What you will see below is an additional set of mistakes that teacher candidates often make. Think about how you might control these, too. By thinking about these errors well in advance of any interview you can prevent them from ever sinking your chances of a successful job offer.
1. Has No Questions for the Interviewer
You may be surprised to learn that many professional interviewers believe that asking questions in an interview is much more important than answering them. By asking your own questions you are demonstrating an interest in that particular school or district. Don’t make the fatal mistake, when asked if you have any questions, of saying, “No, not really. I think we’ve covered pretty much everything.”
2. Has a Negative Attitude
Listening to someone with a negative attitude is always a drain – emotionally, psychologically, and personally. The same holds true for someone who is always badmouthing other people. Principals don’t hire “bad attitudes” – they want people with a positive outlook, a good sense of humor, a sunny disposition, and an engaging personality.
3. Is Unprepared
Principals will know, within the first 2-3 minutes, if you haven’t prepared for the interview. Simple solution: Be prepared!
4. Doesn’t Know Current Educational Issues
Are you up-to-date on the most current educational trends, issues, and concerns? Do you know what’s “hot” in the field of teaching? Are you reading a variety of educational journals and professional publications? Are you aware of any current or pending educational legislation in your state? If you can’t answer “Yes” to all of those questions, then you have some homework ahead of you.
5. Displays No Knowledge of the School or District
Give yourself an advantage. Do your homework (many will not) and conduct some research on the school or district. What is their overall philosophy? How many schools do they have and where are they located? Do most of the teachers have master’s degrees? How much does the local community support the school/district? How many students are in the school/district?