The Most Critical Mistake To Avoid In A Job Interview

The Most Critical Mistake To Avoid In A Job Interview

Hi Everyone. Marjan Glavac here from The Busy Educator website with our second video.

How was the first video?

Did you start thinking about those little details, like making sure names are spelled correctly?

I want you to start thinking about those small details that you might not think are important to an employer but may be crucial if you want a teaching job.

Did you let me know your experience looking for a teaching job.

Were there any little details that hurt your chances for an interview or for a job?

I’d love to read your comments.

In this video I’m going to give you 5 job interview tips to help you avoid the most critical mistake I made in my first interviews.

I learned this critical mistake the hard way, by doing the mistake a number of times myself and not getting the job.

Before I became a teacher, I tried getting a full time job after I graduated with a 4 year Bachelor of Arts degree in the late 1970’s.

I was really excited to be applying for my first full time job.

I was finally going to be in the work force.

I was no longer going to be a student.

I was finally going to be making some money.

I sat down at my typewriter (there were no word processors back then!) and I started to type personalized cover letters and resumes to 100 employers.

I figured that out of 100 employers, there had to be a job for me.

I made sure I had the right paper.

You know that fancy 32lb, 100% cotton, bright white paper.

I made sure I had the right name of the employer’s hiring committee.

I made sure I had the right manila envelopes and the right postage. (This was before FAX machines and email!)

It took about a week to type up all the cover letters and resumes.

The reason why it took me so long was that if you made a mistake back then, you really couldn’t use whiteout to correct the mistake. You just started all over again.

I was excited.

I was pumped.

I was ready for the replies.

The days went by.

Then the weeks went by.

I’d check my mailbox every few hours to see if anything came in.

Finally, the replies started to come in.

My heart would race a bit.

I opened the letters and read the rejections.

That was fine.

Rejection was part of the whole process.

Out of the 100 jobs that I applied for, I did get 8 interviews.

Which, back then, like now, the economy wasn’t doing so well, and not many employers were hiring graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

But I still got 8 interviews.

Out of the 8 interviews, I got exactly zero job offers.

That was pretty depressing.

I really had my heart set on some of those jobs.

Looking back, the most critical mistake I made in not getting a single job offer, was that I didn’t show up.

That’s not to say that I didn’t show up for the interview. I was there physically, but I wasn’t present in the moment.

I wasn’t prepared.

I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t geared up.

Thinking back to all those newbie mistakes I made, here are 5 job interview tips to help you avoid the most critical mistake I made in my first interviews.

  1. Get a good night’s rest. Set your alarm or multiple alarms and get up early. Have a good breakfast and get mentally prepared for your interview. Always dress properly for an interview. Your first impression could be your last one. When in doubt it’s better to over dress than under dress.

This was one of the biggest mistakes I made in my first interview. I got up late, downed a cup of coffee and looked like something the cat dragged in. Not a good first impression. It didn’t start well, went downhill quickly after that and didn’t end well.

  1. Never be late for a job interview. Give yourself enough time to get there. You should get to your interview 10 to 15 minutes early. This will give you some time to relax and gather your thoughts before the interview actually starts.

Another common mistake I made in my early interviews. I came late because I misjudged the traffic or I couldn’t find the right office tower or I was so nervous, I spilled coffee over my shirt and needed the extra time to clean up.

So, factor in enough time to get there.

While you’re there, get to know the secretary. Here’s an inside tip:– ask for permission if you can just walk the hallway and look at the displays. Take 10 minutes before your interview to do this. This little tidbit of information will really impress your interviewer when you talk about it. It not only shows that you’ve taken an interest in what teachers and students are doing at the school, but it also will show the interviewer your thoughts about the work. It also puts you head and shoulders above your competition.

  1. Do your research. Before the interview, try to find out as much as you can about the district, school, administration and staff. How else do you expect to answer the question, “Why do you want to work for our school?” Or, “Why do think you would be a good fit with our district and our school?” If you don’t know anything about the district, school, administration and staff, there’s a good chance that you’re not going to get hired.

This is what sunk any chances I had for the non teacher jobs I was applying for. The interviewer asked me “What do you see yourself doing for our company?” I went blank. I mumbled something about I wanted to work for his company but I couldn’t come up with anything specifically that I wanted to do for the company. My mind went blank. The interview was soon over and I was shown the door.

With the Internet, it’s very easy to go to District’s and a school’s website and read about who they are: their mission, vision, demographics, special programs, what they’re most proud of and know for. Most often you can read about administration and staff through their webpages, blogs, Twitter feeds and other social media.

The big takeaway here is that you want to show your prospective employer that you really want to work for them by taking the time to research them and getting to know the district, school and staff.

  1. Show your passion for the job. Remember, passion is NOT something that can be taught…you either have it or you don’t. Your employer wants to know that you have it.

This was the biggest reason why I wasn’t prepared. This was why I didn’t “show up”. I really had no passion for the jobs I was applying for.

Once I got my Teaching degree, and I found that I had a passion for teaching, for kids. I was enthusiastic and this passion came across in my teacher job interviews.

It certainly didn’t come across in the other non teacher jobs I applied for.

  1. Interviewers want to know that you are not just looking for “any” job, but that you are looking for the “right” job for you. Therefore, you should be prepared with a handful of questions that you would like ask of them. This will also make the interview seem more like a two-way conversation rather than a one-way interview.

For my very first interview, I had zero questions. I really didn’t know what I wanted. I just wanted a job. Not good.

When I applied for my teaching job, I knew exactly the subject and grade I wanted to teach. I also knew about the specific curriculum, the strands and resources I would be teaching. I knew what I was going to be teaching and I could articulate what I knew to the hiring committee.

And since I was prepared, I could ask the hiring committee about specific challenges that I knew would come up at the grade level and the subject I was teaching.

It then became a two way conversation and a discussion.

It was also an opportunity to recap to them what made me different (and better) than all the other candidates, what I could offer the school and why I should be hired.

I spoke about my strengths, the committees and extra curricular activities that I wanted to be a part of and some of my other strengths that would be an asset to the school.

Job interviews can be extremely stressful…especially when it is a job you really want. However, if you follow these job interview tips and watch my next video, you’ll be better prepared to ace your next job interview

Now I want to talk about the next video I have for you.

You’re going to love this last video. It is absolutely the best video of all of them. I give away the secret to….. How to Answer the Most Important Teacher Interview Question.

As well, you’ll also be able to download a special report on 110 Teacher Interview Questions which practically covers every question you’re going to be asked in a teacher interview.

In the meantime, scroll down to the comment box.

Let me know what your dream teaching job is that you’re looking for.

Write down what grade or subject do you think you will be teaching 5 or 10 years from now.

List any interview questions that I should have included.

And again, post any questions or other comments for me.

After you’ve posted, go ahead and hit that “Like” button!

I’m Marjan Glavac from The Busy Educator website.

“Talk to each other, support each other, take care of each other

Let me know what you think… please leave a comment for me below (and then go ahead and hit that “Like” button!)

Click here to learn the simple strategies I used to get my dream teaching job

By the end of this FREE course you’ll

  • Acquire the skills to get the teaching job you want
  • Learn valuable research techniques for the teaching market
  • Confidently ace your teacher interview
  • Understand what principals are looking for in teacher candidates
  • Create a unique teacher interview
  • Get your resume and cover letter read by the right people


Do you get nervous before your interview? Does your mind go blank after an interview question you’ve never heard before?

Check this resource now for tips and strategies:

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