As I mentioned before, a teaching job interview can be very different from any other job interview. That includes what happens after the interview is done. Here are some tips for your post-interview game:
- After the interview is done but before you leave, ask your interviewer(s) to contact you once the position has been filled even if you are the unsuccessful candidate (especially if you are). More often now principals (or vice principals, who get delegated the not fun job of letting people down) will let you know if you were unsuccessful, but a lot still do not. For your peace of mind and so you don’t second-guess booking supply work or other interviews, ask to be contacted.
- A lot of interview advice articles tell you to contact your interviewer(s) after the fact but before they’ve hired the position to thank them for the interview. This is tricky for a teaching interview because, apart from a few positions hired during the summer, most jobs start a day or two after the interview is conducted. Not only that, but the interviewing principals often don’t work in the same school and are only together and discussing and ultimately making their decision in the day (or even half day) they are interviewing. I’m not saying that it’s not worth it to send this type of email after a teaching interview; I’m just saying the timing is tricky. I suggest having a thank you email composed and addressed and waiting in your draft folder and sending it immediately after your interview.
- After the interview, 1 in approximately 5 or 6 of you will be offered the job. Congratulations! Say yes and start your new job. Unfortunately, that leaves 4/5 or 5/6 people who are not being offered the job. The best thing to do in this situation is to swallow your pride and ask your interviewer(s) for feedback. I usually send a quick email and get an email or a call back. Sometimes all I get is “everyone was good, the decision was hard, went with someone more qualified/we’ve had in the school before, etc.” Aka, not much of substance. Other times, I get really good stuff. With that really good stuff, you should:
- Take notes and compile them together
- Review said notes before going for another interview
- Make the necessary changes to your interview style
- Look for consistencies! (This is the big one. If multiple people are saying the same thing, it could mean you really need to change part of your interview style. It could also mean there is a board interview policy in place that principals are told to look for when interviewing. For example, this year I have been told by 3 or 4 principals to mention board initiatives during my interview, after never being told that before. Hmm…)