Interviews are always nerve-wracking, especially if you’re trying to secure your dream job, but you shouldn’t let anxiety let you down. Knowing how to deal with pre interview nerves will help you to cope with whatever the interview process throws at you, and will assist you in presenting the right impression to the panel.
Before your interview, make sure that you’ve done your research about the school and your field of education. Read some sample teaching interview questions and prepare some stock responses.
Focus on your own strengths and skills, and decide on some of your positive classroom experiences that you want to share with the panel. The more prepared you are for your interview, the less nervous you will feel and your self-confidence will be higher.
The night before your interview day, make sure that you get plenty of sleep. It can be difficult to relax with all the stress of preparing your questions and answers, so if you’re struggling to rest, take a warm bath and then lie down in a dark room and practice some deep breathing exercises.
Try to get a full eight hours of sleep so that you feel energised and fully rested when you have to get up. Avoid drinking any alcohol the night before your interview – it won’t help you to get a better night’s sleep and you might end up feeling worse the morning.
Whatever you do, don’t go to your interview on an empty stomach. Research has shown that hunger affects your ability to think effectively and give your best performance. Don’t eat anything with a strong smell as you may be worried about your breath for the rest of the day, and avoid drinking lots of strong coffee as too much caffeine may only worsen your nerves.
Arrive on time
Nothing creates a worse impression than arriving for your interview late. Take some time to plan your journey to the school the night before so there’s no chance of you getting lost on the way.
Remember to factor in rush hour traffic and the time you may need to find a parking space.
If you will be taking public transport, don’t forget that there may be a delay or an unforeseen problem, so leave home in plenty of time.
Plan to arrive at the school promptly, but try not to arrive too early as you will just end up sitting around getting more and more nervous.
Face your interview with a positive and upbeat attitude. You wouldn’t have been offered an interview if the panel thought you couldn’t do the job, so have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Smile, be friendly, and exude self-confidence to the panel and other candidates, even if you are nervous inside.
Waiting for your interview
If you have to wait in the staff room until your scheduled time, the chances are that nerves will start to set in. Take this time to run through your prepared answers in your head and take lots of deep breaths to calm yourself. If there are other candidates waiting, be polite and friendly, but don’t be overly chatty as they may want to spend time thinking about their own interview.
Make the right impression
When you enter the interview room, the way you approach the panel will help you to combat any nerves. Even if there are several people interviewing you, it is important to remember that they have already read your application and thought that you were a suitable candidate. Keep smiling (but not giggling), and remember to shake hands firmly with the panel members, this should help to make you feel a bit more at ease.
While seated, adopt a relaxed, but not informal, pose and try not to fidget. Take your time to consider the questions thoroughly and try to resist the temptation to rush your answers. The faster you try to get your words out, the more likely you are to struggle to communicate effectively.
Remember that your interview is not a race, the panel wants to take the time to hear what you have to say. Although it is natural to feel anxious, knowing how to deal with pre-interview nerves will give you an advantage over your competitors and help you on the road to your new job.