It’s May, and I’ve got interviewing on my mind!
These past few weeks I’ve been on the interview committee for a few different positions in our building, one of which is for a new instructional coach.
Sitting in on these interviews has got me thinking a lot about how to best present yourself and showcase your knowledge, talents, and experiences while under the pressure of having questions fired at you by a scrutinizing interviewing committee of at least five. Gah! (are you sweating just thinking about it??)
Now, I’m not an interviewing expert nor am I claiming to be one (I don’t even like interviews!!), but I tend to be a strong observer as well as an overachiever and over-planner. As a result, I’ve gathered quite a bit of info on interviews and interviewing that I thought would be helpful to share.
OK, first things first.
You might be thinking, “Duh Kristin! I know!” But we’re still going to talk about it. From your head to your toes, make sure you are dressed to impress. Show up 15 minutes early so you can fix any wind blow hair. Carry one professional bag, not three bulky ones. Make sure your shoes match your outfit and aren’t badly scuffed. No chipped nail polish. I’m just saying…think about all those little details because they matter!
We want to get to know you!!
As an interview candidate, your job is to make the best case you can that you’re the right person for the job. And the candidates who really grab my attention are those who are able to provide specific examples or stories that relate to particular questions asked.
A great way to prepare for this is to think ahead of specific examples that would lend themselves to different categories of behavioral type questions you may be asked. You might also consider bringing in actual artifacts as well…a coaching plan or PD plan for example.
Preparing yourself to talk about your experiences in this way will really help you sell yourself as a candidate.
… don’t take it too easy either. I think sometimes when you hear “just be yourself” it can be a permission pass to not take the interview as seriously and you may come off a little lackadaisical.
So just remember to smile, answer the questions you’re asked honestly, and let your personality shine through in a professional and polished way.
It can feel a little weird rehearsing answers to your questions out loud, so many candidates don’t practice.
Especially when you’re not as naturally confident, or you get a bad case of the nerves in interviews, not practicing can really put you at a disadvantage.
Practice in a way that aligns to the actual interview as much as possible. Write out a list of the questions you anticipate being asked, write out sample answers, practice your answers out loud in front of a mirror or with a friend. Video tape yourself and revise accordingly.
For a handy guide to support you with preparing for an instructional coach or leadership position interview, please check out the Interview Prep Planning Kit I recently created.
This planning kit includes a list of questions you’ll most likely be asked, planning templates for artifacts to bring, and much more.
Although I’m not actively interviewing, thinking through this process has really helped me reflect on my own practice and consider ways I can improve.
Thanks for reading!