It may seem silly but one of the first things I worry about before going on professional experience is WHAT WILL I WEAR? Typical girl, yeah?
But it really is important – first impressions count and how you present yourself makes a HUGE difference!
So the same goes for job interviews. Here are some of my pointers (they are debatable as I haven’t had a whole heap of interview experience):
- Make sure you are comfortable- we have enough to think about without needing to worry about flesh hanging out, skirts splitting, feet throbbing or bobby pins working their way into our scalp.
- Choose clothes that you know sit right without needing to tug them constantly.
- Practice bending over, sitting down and standing up – if something goes “boing” or “flop” swap it.
- Keep your hair off your face and avoid fancy up-dos that develop minds of their own.
- Don’t be afraid to show some personality- just because it is a job interview doesn’t mean you have to dress ‘boring’. We are teachers – we are fun, lively, creative individuals – show it!
- Wearing colours makes me feel happy and confident – that can’t hurt when going to an interview (I’ve heard that blue and grey are the most popular ‘positive’ colours to wear…so they say).
- Cute dresses, pretty blouses or quirky shoes can shake up a professional outfit and help you stand out, just don’t go overboard – this is an interview not the catwalk.
- Jewelery is a nice touch but only in moderation (think tasteful, this is not the time for your favourite sharks tooth choker).
- Double check your outfit before you go – you don’t want to be worrying about a stain, pulled thread or unsightly crease during your 15 minutes of question preparation. Take the time to get your clothes organised the night before, check them thoroughly and find alternatives for last-minute toothpaste accidents (I’m seriously prone in that area).
One of my favourite pieces of advice (from my Dad of course) is to dress like you already have the job. Now as teachers this may seem a bit tricky – do you wear your finger-painting-appropriate outfit, your PE gear or your casual Friday get-up.
My rule of thumb is THINK EXCURSION. Don’t pretend like you don’t dress up just that little bit more when you go on a class excursion, especially when you know other schools are going to be there…this is the image you are aiming for in your interview.
Finally, and yes it is time for the clichéd advice – wear confidence and a smile. Sorry, it had to be said. But I don’t know of anything that calms me down, slows my speech and makes me breathe as effectively as stopping and smiling. If you have been called for an interview there was obviously something in your application that stood out and I am guessing, being teachers, you really care about the career you are entering into. We’re not pretending to know it all (goodness we’ve only had 80 days of experience) but we are proclaiming that we love this career, the people in it and the difference that it makes.
That’s you. That application, that was YOU!
If that doesn’t make you confident I don’t know what will!