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How to 'sell' myself at interview, and general advice needed!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by genb79, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. genb79

    genb79 New commenter

    Hello all,

    I've just missed out on another job where my feedback was that I seemed 'nervous', or lacked enthusiasm for the role. I've had this feedback before (that I don't seem enthusiastic), and I feel that it is down to my personality. When I think I'm being 'enthusiastic', I clearly am not. I'm particularly upset about this job as they have chosen to re-advertise rather than appoint, having intimated that I was the favourite candidate based on my application, and the head being extremely enthusiastic about me, to the extent where they asked if I had any other applications in at the moment, and saying that she was keen for me to join the school when she offered me an interview.

    I'm naturally an introvert, which may sound strange given that I'm a teacher. I've always been a 'good' teacher, but I don't 'perform' to the class. My relationships with the students are always very good, my results are good and I've been graded outstanding by Ofsted. I'm just not an exuberant or outgoing person, and I get extremely nervous at interview. I think this is holding me back in interviews and interview lessons.

    The problem is that my application is clearly very good, as schools seem very enthusiastic to offer me an interview and I've even had head teachers making comments that suggested that I was the favourite based on my application.

    My other problem is that given the extremely positive 'vibe' I was getting for this job, followed by a sudden rejection, I am worried that it is down to my reference. I've only been in my current job for a short time. I've been absent several times due to illness (not typical of me; it's just been one of those years). I'm leaving in the Summer as I've decided it isn't the school for me due to many issues (mainly behaviour, actually). This leaves me unemployed, for the first time in my career, in September.

    I don't know what I'm trying to say, really. I suppose I would like advice from those of you who are 'good' at interviews. How long are your answers? (I've been told mine are 'short', again, I guess, due to nerves) How can sell myself more? If I'm naturally introverted and quiet, how can I demonstrate 'enthusiasm'?

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I'm going to come back and answer here, but have slight domestic crisis at the mo' . . . later!



    Best wishes

    ___________________________________________________

    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Not enough materials to make your Ascot hat?
     
  4. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    I think a number of teachers are quite shy and develop a 'persona' for their role in the classroom. This isn't to say they lack natural ability and confidence though - quite the opposite.

    I had an interview last week. If (and it would never happen!) I'd been allowed to teach unobserved I'd have done a much better job! It's the being observed and then interviewed. Going to pieces and gabbling on and on : )

    I was wondering if you had a really trusted friend, colleague or sibling you could rehearse with. You could ask them to watch your level of eye-contact and body language. Your use of language and its tone and delivery, etc. You could also get them to ask the sorts of questions you experienced in your interview and consider how to deliver your answers with clear examples to show how good you are. I know this wouldn't take the place of a real selection process, but it might help.

    I can't answer the bit about your references, but I've been there and understand how you must feel. You sound like a very able and decent individual and I wish you loads of luck.

    I'm sure Theo will offer some great advice later.
     
  5. Gimenez2010

    Gimenez2010 New commenter

    I have known of many colleagues that would be described as introverted but have gone on to become excellent mangers / leaders without changing their personalities. Theo an others with expert advice wil soon be on but don't loose heart and never put yourself down. You seem like a great person that the kids love and an excellent teacher and you will do well.

    There will be an aspect of teaching that you will be passionate about and that is what a good interviewing panel will see.
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    All quiet now on the domestic and headgear front . . .

    I understand perfectly your dilemma, Gen, and sympathise with you. I know some excellent teachers who have outstanding classroom practice, totally appropriate relationships with their classes and colleagues, yet go all to pieces in interview.

    And I'll tell you something too - when I got my last headship, I knew it was for ever, and thought: No more interviews - yippee!

    So many of us would rather not do an interview - I won't say all because there are some people who just thrive in these difficult circumstances.

    So the first thing is to look at techniques that you could use.

    Have you seen all the interview advice articles? If not, scroll down to the end of this thread and see all my links:

    HERE

    I suggest that you look in particular at the mind-mapping suggestions, based on Middlemarch's ideas. This can help you give fuller answers too, as you can "see" them in your mind. You might also find it very useful to think about the one that turns the nightmare question into the dream question. Because it is very important to be sure in your own mind what are your good points so that you can tell the panel about them!

    Then do some practice - RachelPaula has a good suggestion there. Practice with someone who will tell you if there are any problems such as refusing to look up. Here's another tip - if you can't look people in the eye, then look at the bridge of their nose - they won't see the difference.

    As for the reference - you surely have two referees? Could you ask the other one to emphasise your good attendance record previously? And also ask if they could mention that you do not show yourself at your best in interviews, and that a school would do well to see beyond this?

    Best wishes

    ___________________________________________________

    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.
     
  7. genb79

    genb79 New commenter

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply, everyone. Some great advice that I will follow and lovely comments! Once again, thank you.
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  9. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    I empathise as I've been accused of appearing nervous and over-talking. At my recent interview I recorded the sample questions suggested on these forumson my phone and played them to myself, answering them aloud. Sounds a bit extreme but it worked for me. I played them in the car, in my room etc. only problem was my adult son walked in and said I sounded 'weird'. Got the job though.
     
  10. cleobud

    cleobud New commenter

    I empathise as I've previously been accused of appearing nervous and over-talking. At my recent interview I recorded the sample questions suggested on these forums on my phone and played them to myself, answering them aloud. Sounds a bit extreme but it worked for me. I played them in the car, in my room etc. only problem was my adult son walked in and said I sounded 'weird'. Got the job though.
     

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