Here’s a question from our new EDU Edge friend (Alex) in New York… “Teacher Recruitment Days are coming up in the spring – What are the most important ways to make a great impression at a job fair or teacher recruitment day?”
Alex- You are right on the mark so far as wanting to make an impression. The main goal at a recruitment day is to be noticed and remembered. You want the recruiters to: (1) see you as someone they would want to hire and (2) to remember you when and if a position were to come up. Most of the school administrators who are a part of The EDU Edge consortium have served at recruitment days as representatives for our districts. We believe the best way to make the right impression and be remembered is to appear knowledgeable about teaching and learning and enthusiastic to make a difference in children’s lives. Knowing what school leaders are looking for in interviews or at Teacher Recruitment Days is important (see Chapter 1 – What Schools and Districts are Looking For in The Insider’s Guide to the Teacher Interview ©2012.)
Secondly, while Teacher Recruitment Days are more casual than actual interviews, candidates tend to be asked similar questions to those asked in actual formal committee interview settings. The EDU Edge finds that administrators from all over the country report the same thing. Consequently, it is wise to prepare for the same questions you would expect in a more traditional interview setting. Preparation is key to mastering the interview, key to making a good impression, and key to showing off your knowledge about teaching and learning (see Chapter 8 on how to master hundreds of interview questions through the ‘Umbrella Approach’tm).
Finally, Alex- smile, smile, smile … let your personality show … and be yourself. It is so important to go to your recruitment day with a positive, optimistic outlook. Before the recruitment day, take some time to be a bit reflective. You need to think, really think, about why you want to be a teacher. Let those reasons, emotions, and your passion for children show. Recruiters are looking for teachers to inspire minds and teachers who will do great things for their kids. Show them that you will be that special teacher they are looking for and at the same time demonstrate that you know your craft on the technical end. If these two facets come across during a recruitment day interview, you are going to perform well on your score sheet and get a call back for additional interviews, even if it is a few months down the line when a position comes open and the admins head to their recruitment day files.
Good luck to you Alex! Please come back after the teacher recruitment day and let us know what worked and what needs work so we can all learn together.
Yours in a Partnership in Learning,
The EDU Edge
(Please feel free to contact us with additional questions … we’re on Blogger, Twitter, Facebook and you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us what interview obstacles you’re dealing with and trying to overcome. We’ll do our best to respond and welcome dialogue from others going through the same process.)