Today, I had an interview for a middle school/elementary school position I never applied for. The high school’s principal interviewed me for a position that I ended up not getting. He remembered me and recommended me for this position. It was truly an honor to be remembered and offered a chance to interview.
Now, every time I interview, I seem to be the “second choice” that gets the devastating phone call. The past few interviews, I was told that I interview well and that they are going with someone who has more experience. During the worst phone call I received about being rejected, I was told that “we are taking a huge risk choosing someone else because [I] have a great personality and interview very well. I get across well with my personality, but I’m not taken seriously enough to be given a chance. I’m still hoping that this time will be different.
When I arrived at the school today, I felt pretty confident in my interview capabilities. I thought maybe this was my chance. I entered the interview room, and there sat seven people, one of which I have interviewed with before. Seeing so many people made me incredibly nervous. They already had my resume in front of each person, and they took turns asking questions. As they went along, I got less and less confident in myself and sometimes tripped up on my answers. Once I get tripped up once, I get more and more anxious about the questions being asked and resort to solid answers that happen to include humor. While sometimes the interviewers seemed impressed and laughed at my self-deprecating humor, it felt like it would go the way my interviews always go. I walked out feeling even less confident than I was during the interview. I’m positive I’m not the only one who feels this way. You go in feeling so prepared because you quizzed yourself for DAYS for this interview, but then, you don’t even tell them some of the best parts about your musical hobbies and strengths. You didn’t even use your interview binder during the interview. You shake the hand of the interviewers at the end feeling like you made a fool of yourself.
I guess my real question here is how you handle it when you leave. What do you do to make yourself feel better when you feel like you destroyed the interview (and not in a positive way)? What else can you do to stop yourself from getting so anxious and nervous in the moment? How do you improve when your interviewers give you nothing to fix when you ask? What do you do to show the interviewers that you would be the best choice for their students?
I ask these questions because I really want to know the answers. I am always looking to improve, to better myself for the students. What I DO know about interviewing is that it is essential that you are yourself when you speak and answer questions honestly. These people want to see if you are a good fit for their students and their school. They are looking for particular personalities for their programs, and understandably, I won’t be right for every job I interview for. I know I don’t have all the answers, and by no means do I think that I’m a perfect interviewer. If you would like to share your other interview tips, please leave them in the comments or drop an email! I would love to have a guest blogger on the topic of interviewing!