As a teacher making the brave leap into the corporate or nonprofit world, it may have been a while since your last interview.
Don’t worry, even though a lot has changed, the basics still ring true: be pleasant, courteous, and honest, and give it your best shot.
If you find that that doesn’t quite alleviate your fears, here are a few things you can do to take advantage of human nature and psychology during your interview:
- Wear red. Not all red, mind you, but use it as a prominent accent in the form of a tie, scarf, or shoes, etc. Red is a power color that conveys responsibility and confidence. On the other hand, people who wear green are viewed as not trustworthy, and yellow gives you a headache if you look at it too long.
- Wear black, navy, or grey. If your interview outfit is a suit or simply dress pants, any three of these standard business colors will make you look like you belong in an office setting.
- Shake hands. Half the purpose of an in-person interview is to make sure you would be a pleasant, productive addition to the staff. A solid handshake with eye contact, and maybe even a good-natured laugh is the first step in building a rapport and showing that you’ll be a friendly (and competent!) person to work with.
- Look at it differently. Few people actually enjoy going to job interviews. But what if someone wanted to interview you about your opinions and views on the world and then publish it? Kind of a different story, yes? See what you can do to play mind games with yourself and view the interview as an opportunity to share your perspective with a fellow human being. At the very least, this might put you in the right headspace to provide thoughtful, insightful answers instead of answering from a place of fear.
- Send a note. Remember every name you ever came across and send a handwritten note to thank them for their time. Not only will this make you appear very considerate to the interviewing board, but it has the added benefit of showing consideration to the people who took a risk and took their time to talk to you about your fit in the position.
The #1 Interview Tip for Transitioning Teachers
Finally, the #1 thing you can do to stand apart in the interview? Embrace the facts about your situation.
The person you’re interviewing with will be naturally curious about your decision to transition from the field of teaching into another field. Instead of ignoring that fact, embrace it by clearly outlining your reasoning, experiences, and factors in your decision.
If you had a good experience but you’re ready for a new challenge, say so! If you had a negative experience, take time to reflect on what you learned and how you’ve grown as a result. Then share your new perspective with the interviewer and have an honest discussion. That’s how you get the job!
Have you ever successfully transitioned into a new field? What made your interview go smoothly?
Want more teacher-specific job transition tips? Click through the image above or visit www.LifeAfterTeaching.com for the full version!