Expert advice

First Impressions are important!

Marline Al Koura
Principal at St Patrick's High School

You’ve landed the interview for your dream job and have prepared as best as you can!  You are excited!  You are happy!  You are nervous!  You might be over-thinking how you will answer the questions or perhaps you are worried that you will experience the dreaded “brain block”.  How do you proceed? Here are a few tips to help you get through the interview.


First impressions are important!  Whether your interview is in person, done remotely or over the telephone, put your best foot forward.  Dress to impress but dress to be comfortable.  Remember this is a business interview and so casual clothing (sweatshirts or workout clothing) are not appropriate.  An interviewer wants to get the sense that this interview is important to you and that you have put thought and effort into the process.  Avoid wearing or carrying distracting items that will have you fidgeting or playing with them – you do not want to distract the interviewer.  Let them focus on what you are saying.


You’ve made your entrance, now what?  Introduce yourself and SMILE!!!!  You should never underestimate the impact of a warm and genuine smile.  Make eye contact.  Communicate confidence and strength using as many non-verbal communication cues as possible.  Make the interviewer feel like you can command the space as you would if you were in the classroom.  Be mindful not to cut-off the interviewer (do not ramble on and on) and listen carefully for any instructions they may give.  For example, they will often let you know the length of the interview and how they will proceed.  Keep these instructions in mind in order to maximize the time you are allotted.  Time appreciation is very important especially when multiple candidates are being interviewed.


When asked if you have any questions, take the opportunity to ask something that assures you that you are the best candidate or best-fit for that particular school community and/or vice versa.  It seems that these days we are all competing to find the best candidates, so make sure the school is also a best-fit for you!