I was recently interviewed for a book on job hunting where I was asked to share my top tips for job seekers. With Classroom Canada, I recruit Canadian teachers to work in London, England and have interviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of teachers over the past 5 years.
Hopefully, these tips will help teachers as well as any other job seekers on the hunt for that perfect dream job.
6 Tips & Tricks for Job Seekers
1. Find out the person’s name who will be reading your application. It’s fairly easy with a simple search online, and you’d be surprised by how many applications we receive that are addressed to a generic person like “Dear Human Resources” or“To whom it may concern.” If you can find out the person’s name, and use it (and spell it correctly!), you will stand out from the crowd.
2. If you know the person’s name who will be reading your resume and/or interviewing you, do a quick google search on them. They’ll be doing a search on you, so you might as well do a search on them! Get to know who they are online (without stalking them!), and try to relate to the person as a unique individual if you can. For example, if you google my name “Victoria Westcott”, you will find out that I not only recruit teachers to work in the UK, but I’m also a movie producer on the side and I’ve done a lot of volunteering abroad. So if I interview you about teaching abroad, and you can find a way to throw in that your favourite movie of all time is To Sir With Love, then we’ll probably have a better interview as a result. The trick is to not be too cheesy or forced! Relax, and remember that the person interviewing you has special interests & passions – just like you do.
3. A lot of interviews happen on skype or on the phone, and you should prepare in the same way that you would for an in person interview. Show up 5 minutes before the interview, dress for the occasion (even if you’re just on the phone& the person can’t see you! You will speak with more confidence if you’re dressed right), and be sure to be in a quiet space. The worst interviews I’ve ever done have been in loud spaces like the bus or a school with children in the background.
4. Just like an in person interview, you wouldn’t answer questions by reading from a piece of paper, so don’t read your prepared answers from your computer screen during a skype interview. We can tell and it’s very distracting! Practice with a friend or family member, but don’t read your answers!
5. Relax. Breathe. Think about your answers before babbling on and on during an interview. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you’re not sure, and listen to the question!
6. Facebook privacy matters. Be sure to protect yourself on your social media sites & remember that the internet uses ink not pencil! Whatever you have online will be seen by a potential employer so be sure to protect your privacy and change your settings if you don’t want anyone outside your circle to see your profile. On the other hand, a great social media presence can show you to be an expert in your field, a professional & someone that the company or organization wants working with them.
Have any other tips for job seekers? Please share below!