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Job Interview stress-PLEASE HELP

I am a 34 year old teacher and have been on a job search for a full-time teaching position for a year now.  I am struggling with anxiety caused by the stress of the interviews.  FIrst I will set up the scenario.  These are panel interviews from 5-12 people on the panel.  The ask you questions that you need to give concrete examples of related to to teaching, like, strategies, classroom management, philosophy and some question are pretty random, ie. laws that have implemented that have effected you as a teacher.
What happens to me.
1.  Even before the interview I start to devalue myself as a teacher, saying to myself that I am not good enough, that there is so much competition, and that I'll never get the job
2.  Then I can't relax I am so wound up I start to fidget.
3.  SOmetimes when they ask me a question I draw a blank
4.  I start to forget the panel's names.  
5.  I loose my articulateness and forget things I know
I do prepare for these interviews BUT sometimes they can catch you off guard with different questions that you wouldn't expect.
For each position you get a print out of what they are looking for .  I really take the time to go into the interview prepared.  Somethings I don't feel I am so well versed in maybe because I haven't worked with it so much and at times I feel like I have to make up or say what I know which is sorta a rough idea of the concept and answer on the spot because we should know it as teachers.  I have been teaching part-time for one year and then subbed the year before.  I REALLY badly need a full-time job apart from the fact that I love my profession.  I feel like I come into the interview with a timid manner which is counterproductive as I know I am a great teacher,  how can I improve this image that I project ????
Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.  THANK YOU !

2 Responses
Avatar universal
from mjgb6
Hi
before you go into the interview, think of the people on the panel as just people.  Answer the questions like you are having a conversation with the person asking the question. This way you will look relaxed.  Lean forward to show that you are interested with what they have to say.   Make sure you look at each person when you answer the question.  Look into the eyes of the people when you are speaking to them and when they are speaking to you.  Don't just go by the textbooks, use common sense too.  That shows them that you have studied and have great knowledge about your job.  Teach them about you.  If they ask you what you would do in a situation, do what I said before, use common sense and tell them what you know.  After that, you can give them a similar situation that you had and how you handled it.  They like that because you are familiar and had the knowledge of what to do in your situation.   If they ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can tell them what your strengths are and tell them that your weaknesses are your strengthes. They make you learn and work harder and become your strength.  If they ask you what are your fears.  The greatest fear is fear itself.  Your fear is the unknown.  Give them an example if you want.  Mine was working with an alzheimer patient that asked for water, I gave it to her and she threw it at me and started screaming.  She kept asking and I kept giving.  She kept throwing.  This happened three times.  I took it away and put her in her room.  She calmed down immediately.  Her personality changed from a very sweet person to I don't know what, all of a sudden.  It was scary, I have to admit.   Also, if they ask you if you have any questions, make sure you have them written down before you go in so you know what to ask and don't get stumped because you can't remember.  Its okay to take your list in with you.  This also shows them that you are organized and ready for the interview.  Also, if you want to take your resume with you, you can.  You can refer to this if you need to.  Don't seem like you are desperate to get the job.  Be yourself and sell yourself.  Throw out those negative thoughts in your head they only sabotage you. Exchange them with positive thoughts of how great of a job you can do, how much experience you have to do a good job and that you will be a great asset to them.  Tell them that you will be a great asset to the company or whatever it may be.  Keep telling yourself.  You need to show a positive attitude.  Remember the first impression you give them will last with them.  You may get a second or third interview and that's what you want.  Always tell them the truth.  Don't be afraid to ask all the questions that you want to know about.  Such as salary, how much time it will take to get back to you.  What kind of person are they looking for?  How many people are they interviewing?  This will give you an idea of how many people you are competing with.  These are some suggestions.  I am sure that you have your own.  Here's  an exercise that really works.  Write down on a piece of paper all about you from birth.  Like when you started walking, talking, etc.  Write down all of your achievements/accomplishments.  Write down about the trophies that you won.  Write down about your education, the job positions you have had, the sports that you played.  Did you win.  Example, I had two babies named after me because the parents liked me so well or they liked something that I did.  Don't leave anything out.  You can always add more to it when something else good happens.   When you are done, put it in a place that you can remember where it is if you need it.  When you need it pull it out and read it.  Pull it out in a week or two, etc.  What will really be good is before you go to an interview or fill out an application.  This will help you feel better about yourself and have a positive out look about you.  It will make you stronger and give you a lot of confidence.  I hope all of this helps you.  Let me know.  I will be praying for you.  I am very tired now and have to go bed.  Good night.      
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your blog.  I will let you know how the 2nd interview went.  I had one yesterday.  I have been using a similar strategy-positive think !  "The Secret" philosophy that thoughts become things.  I have a hard time relaxing.  But I looked at Dr Martin Luther KIng speak and he gave me inspiration to have  a presence !
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