If you are looking for your next school-based assignment, preparing for the interview process can help give you that extra edge in the job market. Every school district around the country is unique, but there are best practices you can use to set you up for success in the interview process as well as once you are on the job.

Read on to learn how to prepare for your next interview.

Interview Best Practices

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Knowledge is power. While searching for your next career move, do not be afraid to ask questions about the interview process and schedule. You should prepare for a longer, more formal interview featuring a panel very differently than a shorter, more laid-back phone screen. If the hiring school district conducts a relaxed interview, they are likely trying to get to know the person you are, rather than discussing all of your on-paper qualifications in detail.

Your recruiter is there to help you through this entire process, so ask questions like, “How long should I plan for the interview to be?” or “Do you know who I will be interviewing with?”. Insight into this information will help you enter the room (or Zoom call) with confidence.

A huge opportunity for any interview is to make sure to have questions ready for the interviewer. Having educated questions ready will boost your qualifications for the job. It shows that you researched the school district and are invested in landing the position. It also is a great way to allow your passion to shine through. Ask questions that matter to you and reflect on what you want to get out of this opportunity.  There is no such thing as asking too many questions!

Display Your Confidence

Catch the employer’s eyes with confidence in your job interview. If you seem confident, they’ll assume that you’ll perform better in role. This sounds simpler than it is in reality because job interviews can be nerve-wracking. If you don’t feel confident walking into an interview, you can still make sure to sound and appear confident.

Making eye contact throughout the interview is a great way to display confidence. Practice keeping good eye contact while listening but also while speaking. Most people find it harder to make and maintain eye contact while talking, so pay extra attention while answering questions.

Another great tip is to focus on what your body language is saying. Try to keep fidgeting to a minimum throughout the interview. It’s okay to be animated and talk with your hands to show enthusiasm, but as the interviewer talks, keep body movement to a minimum to avoid unnecessary distractions. It is so important to make sure that employers can see your confidence through your body language.

Zoom Interview Prep

Zoom interviews are becoming more common. If you are being interviewed via Zoom, preparing your surroundings is important. Use a clean background and high-speed internet access to avoid any potential technical difficulties. If you get nervous easily for interviews, take advantage of being in the comfort of your own home for a Zoom call. You can wear comfortable clothes and avoid the hassle of a stressful commute to the interview.

Stay in Touch

Connect with your recruiter after the interview and let them know how you thought it went as well as what you learned about the position. If you are still interested in the position, leave an impression on your interviewees by following up with a thoughtful email.

This is not anything to sweat over, but a simple thank you can go a long way in the interview process. It may seem like a small detail but writing a thank you or follow-up email exemplifies your confidence and professionalism toward hiring managers, gets your name in their inbox, and can remind them of what you bring to the table.

Here is an example email you could tweak to fit your needs:

“Dear [Hiring Manager],

Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me today. I truly enjoyed hearing more about the position and meeting your team.  I am excited to hear back on the next steps in the interview process.”

As you prepare for each interview, remember that you are interviewing for a reason—be confident in your skills and try to take lessons away from each interview to continue to improve your interview skills. Your recruiter can be an amazing coach as well so use them for additional support!

Landing the Position

Once you land the position, it’s time to start preparing for your first days and weeks on the job. This is a huge milestone in your life and career, so you really want to make an awesome first impression.

Be Composed and Confident

When you arrive on the job, stay cool, calm, and collected to help yourself absorb all of the new things you are learning about your new role. Be professional and courteous when meeting teachers and staff while learning the ropes of working with your new colleagues.

Be a Team Player

There is a purpose to your assignment, so as a school-based professional, be prepared to jump in and help from the start. The staff will be excited to have your help, and this also will allow you to bond quickly. Take advantage of what you can learn from experienced colleagues and let it help you grow in your career.

Learn about the School

If you have time, try to learn about the school district you will be working for on a short-term basis, before being placed there. This can help you anticipate anything that might be needed, particularly if you are performing a role out of your usual scope or are starting your very first school-based assignment. Learning about the school beforehand can help you make a bigger impact when arriving on the job.

Work with Therapia

Therapia knows that you have what it takes to nail the interview and leave a lasting impression on school districts around the nation. If you are interested in exploring a career in a school environment, connect with a recruiter and learn about opportunities with Therapia.