Last year, I shared my 8 tips for interviews, using my experiences as a department chair for the past 12 years (now 13 years). Things have changed since then, and many teachers are participating in virtual interviews, including myself! To add to those 8 tips, here are 4 more to help you navigate through this!
- Create a space that feels good to be in, even if it’s your dining room table. Light a candle that smells amazing or put some oils in your diffuser. If you have kids, see if your spouse can take them out for a walk while you interview. If that is not possible, take the time to find a space that allows you to concentrate. When I did my interview, I made sure my child was fed AND had snacks, put on a movie, and told her that if my door was shut, she couldn’t come in unless it was an emergency (and then I had to define emergency). If you are hiding in your closet, make sure there is enough light and your unmentionables are not in view.
- Make sure you look and feel good! Maybe you’re dressed up on top, and have your jammie pants on the bottom? Or maybe you get dressed ALL the way up! Hear me out… when you feel good, that shows more than anything. No need to wear more makeup than normal or try something new with your hair. Keep your look clean and polished so that you aren’t constantly fixing your hair or sweeping it out of your face.
- Also, be aware of anything on your wrists. If you are like me, you talk with your hands (a lot) and I noticed that my wrist wears kept knocking on the desk. It may be something little, but I know it threw me off the first time it happened.
- Ensure everything works! I did this by sending my husband a link using the same platform that was going to be used to interview me (we used Zoom) and did a quick practice to ensure my voice was clear, the internet was working, and everything looked good. You want your background to be clean or to reflect who you are. I have seen many people with bookshelves behind them that looked clean and a natural part of the screen. In the case of interviews, you may want to think twice about the fun or cute backgrounds that some programs let you do.
- Be on time and be yourself. Professional norms look different as we work through this new workspace so ensure that space is left for people to talk. Try to be on the call as soon as it starts, just in case there are any snafus so you can problem-solve. Close all of your other applications and if you have the ability, put your computer and phone on ‘do not disturb’. Free yourself from all distractions and concentrate on where you are and who you are with.
In the end, breathe and show them the amazing person you are!