6 Tips for Virtual & In-Person Interviews
It’s time to score your first teaching job! Understanding the differences between virtual and in-person interviews can mean landing the job or being passed over by a prospective employer. Read this blog, and you’re sure to steal the spotlight! Let’s get straight to it: do you know the differences between how to interview in-person or virtually? While the prospect of a virtual interview may seem easier than a traditional in-person interview, there are a separate set of skills to master for both. Today, we’re going to help you understand the crucial differences between virtual and in-person interviews by providing you with 6 of our best tips and tricks to master any interview that comes your way! Show them you’re the teacher for the job when you practice our interviewing techniques!
Virutal Teacher Interview
The key differences: A virtual interview takes place either by phone call or video conferencing, rather than face-to-face. This makes it a more versatile option, as scheduling may not present as much of a challenge. It also reduces the time needed to arrive at the interview; forget a practice drive to scope out the best method of arrival! This being said, it is extremely important to still arrive on-time and to invest as much time preparing as you would for an in-person interview. If given the option, opt for a video interview, rather than a phone chat, as being able to show and read facial expressions will go a long way. If you land yourself a virtual teacher interview, here are our best 6 tips to master the interview and receive a job offer:
Focus on the Content of Your Answers
Without face-to-face interaction, your responses are the foundation of the interview. Be sure to prepare for your interview and practice your responses. If you’re not sure what you’ll be asked, check out the 8 most common interview questions for teachers. Your responses should meaningful and thorough.
Be Confident in Front of the Camera
Most virtual interviews involve video conferencing. While having a camera turned on allows you to better rely on nonverbal cues, The way you carry yourself virtually will clue the committee in as to your confidence in the real-world.
Consider how you will carry yourself in the virtual environment. It is still essential to exhibit confidence and good eye contact, even though it will be through a device. It is also important to remember that your interpersonal skills will play out differently in a virtual environment.
Keep Up Your Energy!
It might be more challenging to demonstrate passion and liveliness through a screen if you are accustomed to the in-person interview. If you feel your energy waning during the conversation, just remember: your dream job could surface as a result of this interview! Remain positive during the interview and treat the opportunity to demonstrate the vigor and enthusiasm you plan to bring to your classroom.
Read the Room As Best You Can
Another challenge presented during virtual job interviews is that reading the room may a bit more of a challenge, but that can actually be an advantage. Interviews are not one-sided. Bring what you have to offer to the table. Intentionally set the tone of the interview by amping up your energy to demonstrate your confidence! Here are a couple of things to considers: do you tend to use your hands when you talk? Have you practiced what it will look like in the camera? By practicing, you can control what appears in the camera frame! For more simple tips on how to read the room better, check out our post on Virtual Job Interview Best Practices!
Be Mindful of What Your Wear
It’s a virtual interview, but they can still see you! If you are the kind of person who makes sure to iron your shirt and use a lint roller because you love the details, treat your virtual interview the same way. While your camera may not pick up the smaller details, following your same preparation practice will help get you in the right mindset for the interview. One of the most frequent mistakes during virtual interviews is the lack of professional dress; don’t lose your dream job simply because you forgot to put on a clean shirt. Make it a priority to dress up for the interview as you would for an in-person interview. One employer recently commented to the author that it was rare to see an individual wearing a tie for a Zoom interview. Translation? Wear the tie! Keep your eyes on the target – securing the position! Your job is to “wow” them so dress the part!
Prepare Notes and Questions
Because the employer is unable to see your (off-camera!) workspace during a virtual job interview you can have your notes more accessible. Use this as an opportunity to glance more freely at your bullet points or questions throughout the interview. Your confidence should grow as a result of your preparation and notes.
Now that we’ve discussed the ways virtual interviews are different, let’s cover their counterpart.
In-Person Teacher Interview
The key differences: The more traditional interview method is in-person. Unlike virtual interviews, they usually take place at your potential new school. In-person interviews allow you to get a better feel of the overall atmosphere and culture of the school so you can see what the actual environment is like. This may help you determine the school and job is the right fit for you. In-person interviews invite more critique, but if you implement the right tips, this is a good thing! If you land yourself an in-person teacher interview, here are our best 6 tips to master the interview and receive a job offer:
Extend a Firm Handshake
You have probably heard this before, but it is worth mentioning that a firm handshake is essential during an in-person interview. You communicate a lot through that one gesture and a weak handshake is the last thing you want when communicating nonverbally. It may seem silly, but practice it with a friend or family member before your interview. If it is safe to do so at your in-person interview, be sure to lead with a firm handshake.
Maintain Eye Contact
Arguably as important as the handshake, the way you meet eye contact during the interview will set you apart. Looking down or around the room may convey the message that you are uninterested and not fully listening to the conversation. By maintaining strong eye contact throughout the interview, you will demonstrate to your potential future employer that you are engaged and committed.
While this may seem easier said than done, you can do it! You have prepared yourself for this very moment, and you deserve this job. You can banish any feelings of anxiety by simply pretending to be confident! To do this, think about how you carry yourself: keep your chin up and shoulders back. Confidence is communicated in a variety of ways. Pay attention to your tone, body language, and perceived comfort level with answering questions. Start by practicing gestures of confidence and real confidence will surely follow!
Pay Attention to the Details
Because you are up close and personal, take the time to make sure the details of your attire, hair, makeup, and even portfolio are pristine. They will see everything. Give them the good impression you deserve! During your interview, pay attention to your surroundings and the conversation. If they happen to mention a personal hobby or the name of a pet, be sure to take a mental note. If you send a thank-you email after the interview and mention one of these smaller details, it will show that you took a genuine interest in the interviewer. Recalling small details such as these could ultimately be what sets you apart from another candidate.
Converse with Body language
Remember, your body language may say just as much about you as your actual words do! Be mindful of this throughout your interview, both when you are walking and sitting. To make a good impression, think about what your body language is communicating. For example, do you tend to cross your arms when you’re seated? Studies show that when you cross your arms, it gives the impression that you are closed off or anxious. Here are some positive body language strategies that you can practice: nod when you agree, smile when listening, keep your hands on the table, unclench your fists, and avoid touching your face. The proper use of body language can serve as an asset to your interview and make you appear as a strong candidate!
If you have ever been a performer you understand the “all-in” mentality. Give it everything you’ve got! Bring your best during all portions of the interview. If you are getting a tour of the school that is still a part of the interview. You’re still on “stage”! Stay in “interview” posture until you’re safely back in your vehicle ready to return home.
Whether in-person or virtual, we know you will have great success with your teacher interview if you employ our 6 trusted techniques! Focus on the things that matter and the rest will take care of itself. You’ve got this!