Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to Land That Job!

I am so lucky to have quickly found a job for the next school year after relocating to another state. I was nervous to interview again, because it had been a while. I learned some important things that helped me feel confident and well prepared.

1. See yourself getting the job. Has anyone here read The Secret? I am learning that my vision of the future often goes that way. I spent time thinking about someone being impressed by my interview and offering me the job. I saw myself as someone who was the clear choice for the principal. I thought about how lucky they were that I was interviewing there. These thoughts really helped my confidence! I am also a fan of the "superwoman" pose - I do it in the car before an interview.

2. Make a teaching sample booklet. I got this idea from a friend before I got my previous job. As soon as I started handing these to principals, I started getting offers and great feedback. I include a cover with my name, profession, and a few pictures of my performances, my classroom, and of my students performing (they were angled so you couldn't see faces). I also include a cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, teaching samples (worksheets, rubrics, projects) from different grade levels, and letters from students. I cover them with a clear plastic cover and bind them. This professional touch is something they will remember about you after the interview. Bonus points if you come up with a cool logo to help your cover, letter, and resume match. Mine looks like this:

3. Use real life examples as much as possible. When I interviewed for my first few teaching positions I answered more theoretically. Now, I use examples from my own teaching experiences. This comes across genuine and caring. It also makes me smile from the inside out. My interviewers could see how much I enjoy my job and my students. I was lucky I interviewed for grade levels I have experience with, because I felt like I had so many choices I could use for each question. I always went with the first one that popped in my head and stay confident with it. There isn't a RIGHT answer - the administrators are just trying to get to know the interviewee.

4. Try to find a way to bring up communication - with parents, other teachers, and with administration. Administrators love a good communicator.

5. Mention cross-curricular lessons or ideas. I think something music teachers always communicate well is how important music (on it's own accord) is worth teaching. Something that may resonate well with administrators (especially those who weren't related arts teachers) is knowing a music teacher is willing to collaborate in other subject areas.

6. Don't be afraid of small talk, smiling, or laughing during an interview. I know being professional during an interview is important, but it's also important to appear (and BE) relaxed. I know that administrators want a teacher who will do the job well, but will also be pleasant to work with and have things in common with.

Good luck, job seekers!

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