03/21/2017 by Carney Sandoe Staff | Landing the Job
Final Interview Prep: How to Seal the Deal
You nailed the phone interview, aced the Skype interview, and now you’ve been invited to campus for one final chance to land your dream job. Congrats! You’ve made it this far in the process, so give yourself a pat on the back. You’re probably thinking you don’t want to get your hopes up, but not everyone gets a campus interview, so take pride your accomplishment.
The school and its hiring contacts clearly see your qualifications and personality are a good fit, so this final interview is most likely to gauge how you will fit into the culture and setting of the school, or perhaps to compare you with another finalist. So how do you make sure you stand out and seal the deal? Here are a few key things to keep in mind.
1. It starts with confidence
After all, if you’re not confident in yourself, how can you inspire others to have confidence in you? When it comes to the final interview presentation, don’t doubt your abilities or get caught up in comparing yourself to the “other” candidates (who you haven’t even met!). Logically, there is no need to question yourself. You were invited to this interview–you could have not been. Take comfort knowing that a school would not waste your time and theirs if they were not seriously interested in you.
2. Be prepared
It’s important to have confidence in yourself, but don’t be over confident–you should still spend an adequate amount of time preparing for your interview. If you have been asked to present a sample lesson, spend some time practicing your delivery, taking notice of your body language and how you pitch your voice. To ensure that nerves don’t freeze you up, know your presentation inside and out. Also be mindful that you could be talking with people who you interviewed with in a previous interview round, so try not to repeat information they already know.
Of equal importance is being prepared with knowledge of the school and the people who you will interviewing with. After a few interviews, you probably already have a good sense of the school’s culture and mission, but do your due diligence of reading up on the school’s website, social media channels, and blog. Don’t overlook small details either! You never know what you might be asked during an interview.
3. Sell, sell, sell!
This is most likely your final chance to convince a hiring school that you are the right person for the job. Don’t be shy to brag about yourself! Spend some time ahead of the interview making note of what achievements and accomplishments will help sell you to the school. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of being on campus, seeing the facilities, and talking about your potential new job responsibilities, so don’t forget to make a case for yourself throughout the entire interview.
Remember to also make sure you’re putting your personality across. As we’ve already said, a final interview is often a chance for hiring contacts to get a better sense of who you are as a person beyond your resume. Don’t let the pressure of a final interview deter you from building rapport. Even top school leaders appreciate a good laugh (when appropriate, of course)!
4. Remember that you are in a final interview
Regardless of how experienced you are in the classroom or how confident you may feel, you should keep at the forefront of your mind that you are still within the interview process. Why is this important? Because being a great teacher or administrator and being a memorable interview candidate requires slightly varying skills and styles. Always make sure you are thinking of ways to embed your strengths into the entire interview experience. For example, if in previous interviews you spoke about your innovative classroom learning techniques, demonstrate this in your sample lesson and ask thoughtful questions about the school’s approach to innovation.
5. Feed off positive energy
You’ve been invited to the final interview on campus because the school sees your background and experience as something that can add value to its environment. The school is excited to have you and wants you to do well. Rather than crumbling under pressure or psyching yourself out, use the energy of the school to fill you with confidence.
A campus visit and final interview can be stressful, but with these tips to keep in mind and a positive approach, you are more than capable of sealing the deal. Have your own final interview tips? Share them below!
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