It’s tough enough getting an interview in the first place. So, why destroy your chances by turning up in the wrong attire? Because you are applying for a teaching position in a private school, you must be particularly aware of how you dress. Why is how you look important? The first impression an interviewer has of you is a lasting one. This snapshot of you must convey a positive image of who you are as well as the value which you bring to the situation. Indeed, many hiring decisions are made subconsciously as soon as the interviewer looks at you. Because the job market is highly competitive, your primary goal is to have the first interview go so well that you make the shortlist for second interviews. The way in which you dress is one part of the picture your future employer will have. Make sure that you create the very best impression possible. Dress to the level of the job environment. Teachers are exemplars to the young people they teach. The way you dress sets an example, just as your speech patterns do. It is always sensible to dress conservatively when you interview for a teaching position. Nor does it matter what that position is. Whether you are applying for the Spanish teacher position or the Robotics teacher position, you must present yourself as a professional brimming with ideas and values who will make employers immediately think «Ah! She will fit right in.» What may not be apparent to you is the fact that you will not only teach young people, but you will also be the face of the school when you appear on public occasions such as concerts, lectures, and fundraising. For Men Looks which work The standard classic prep look is always acceptable in private school circles. A blue or white oxford cloth button-down shirt paired with an old school tie or rep pattern is understated and elegant. Add khaki or grey slacks to that together with black socks and a slip-on loafer style shoe and you are all set. If you wear bowties, then do so. Not the big floppy kind, but instead a conservative one in a rep pattern will make the right statement. A blue blazer is appropriate for cooler parts of the country. As a rule, you should wear your jacket and only remove it if invited to do so. Your hair should be neat and trimmed. That includes beards and mustaches if you have them. The following video gives you some guidance on how to dress. Now, if at this point you are complaining that you will look like the headmaster, that’s the point. You want to dress at least one level above the position for which you are applying. What will the person who is interviewing you be wearing? Take your lead from him or her. Besides, wouldn’t you like to be the head of school one of these years? it couldn’t hurt to dress like one for your first interview. What about religious garb? If you wear a yamulka or a turban as part of your daily routine, there is no need to change that, particularly when you are applying for a position in a religious school that follows your dress code. Looks that don’t work A fashionista look of any kind will most likely raise eyebrows. So will a bold hairstyle like a mohawk or a mullet. If you are bald, accept that fact and resist an unflattering combover, or just as nasty, a poor-quality hairpiece. Also verboten are dye jobs, diamond pinky rings, Rolex watches, and other ostentatious accouterments. Save them for another non-critical occasion where a different kind of impression doesn’t matter. Cover your tattoos. Remove any metal from piercings. Don’t wear aftershave or cologne. Your body language is important too. Sit tall. Be alert. Look the interviewer in the eye. Smile. For Women Looks which work A classic look suitable for any professional, semi-formal setting is acceptable. If you have a large bosom, manage your decolletage so that it is not the center of attention. A jacket over a blouse paired with a skirt or pants makes the right impression, assuming, of course, you select conservative colors. Comfortable shoes can be flat or have a short heel. Stop and think about what the person who is interviewing you will be wearing. Follow suit. Keep the makeup, perfume, and jewelry toned down. You are not meeting people for a night on the town. It is a job interview. This short video gives you some ideas about dressing for interviews. What about religious garb? If your religion requires you to wear a head covering or a burka, then do so, particularly when you are applying to teach in a religious school that follows your dress code. Looks that do not work Loud colors, short or tight skirts, heavy makeup, excessive perfume, and body language which screams «I’m sexy» are not appropriate for a job interview. Nor is the opposite appropriate either. There is no need to dress like your 80-year-old Aunt Mildred. Your interview attire should project competence, professionalism, and confidence. Give your interview outfit a trial run. It never hurts to have a trusted friend, preferably an older one, pass judgment on your interview attire. He or she will spot things that you may have missed. More to the point, she will not be afraid to tell you. That second set of eyes could make all the difference between success or failure at your all-important teaching job interview. You will be competing against the world in this very competitive job market. The way you look and how you handle the interviewer’s questions will determine whether you make the cut and receive that critical second interview. Review the school’s website. I know that you have been looking at the school’s website in detail. Now, take the time to circle back and look very carefully at all the pictures of the staff. How are they dressed in the classroom? What are they wearing for formal occasions such as graduation? If you have a friend who already teaches at the school, ask her for advice on how to present yourself. Now relax! Take a deep breath. After all this careful preparation you will do well convincing the interviewer that you deserve a place on their shortlist. Questions? Contact us on Facebook. @privateschoolreview
- Be comfortable! Don’t force yourself into a suit on a hot summer’s day if it truly makes you miserable, sweaty, or uncomfortable. It can feel intimidating enough going into an interview scenario, and the last thing you need to worry about is not being able to breath. Dress weather-appropriate, comfortably and tidy. A wrinkle-free shirt and pants—with a few key tuck-ins—can really go a long way if you aren’t the suit and tie type.
- Avoid looking too comfortable. Perhaps you wear jeans, sweats or tank tops most days, but it’s important to present yourself as ‘motivated’ and ‘attentive’ in the interview scenario. While you aren’t applying for a job, you are applying for a new high school career, and you should aim to present yourself as a mature student who is academically driven—so think the opposite of what you might wear on the couch while relaxing at home.
- Add elements of your personality to your more formal look. If you don’t usually wear khakis, skirts, or blazers, but decide to wear one for your interview, consider adding a few signature pieces that indicate your true style, like an AC/DC tie (they exist, we checked) or an artsy scarf or earrings. These small but powerful style-pieces may actually lead to a deeper conversation about who you really are!
- Call ahead and ask! No need to beat around the bush—if you have any question in your mind about what is appropriate to wear, send an e-mail or call your admission officer and ask what type of dress is expected of you during your visit—chances are, you will be told to dress comfortably and to just be yourself!
At the end of the day, looking polished is a sign of respect to your interviewers and says that you care about the impression you make—and that you’d love to attend the school. But trust us—what you say means much more that what you wear. Be authentic, curious, and proud of who you are, and the rest will fall into place!
Download Article Download Article Every school is different, but many students at private schools favour a more preppy look — or are made to dress a certain way by strict uniform policies. Are you interested in making the best impression you can with what you will wear to a private school interview? This article has your covered from head to toe.
- 1 Do your research. Firstly, it’s important to find out whether the school is critically strict; you can find this out by going to the schools website and reading their school rules and statement.
- If the school has a school uniform policy, it’s likely that they would hold rigid standards about the way a student should dress. By finding out whether the school is super strict or just conservative, you’ll be able to prepare your apparel accordingly.
- 2 Pick your outfit.
- If the private school is fairly strict, go for something like a pair of slacks or a skirt. For boys, wear a collared shirt or at least a t-shirt with no signs, symbols or pictures on the front. For girls, go for a shirt and slacks or a modest skirt with a pair of flats.
- If the private school is not so strict, you can probably get away with a more casual look and even some dark jeans (with no rips or holes). Wear something nice and avoid features that make huge statements. Clothing can tell a lot from a person, so try for limited make-up girls and no hats boys.
- 3 Make sure that your hair is clean and you have styled it nicely. For girls, a ponytail or bun is out of your face and will allow the interviewer to see you dazzling smile. For boys, if you have long or short hair, just ensure that it’s not messy. Wash and comb your hair.
- 4 Wear only modest makeup. Looking very «glam» is likely to backfire and may make you seem less focused on academics. Apply a light powdered foundation and nude lipstick, if any. You want to look put together, without coming off as overly focused on style or looks.
- 5 Use your manners. Remember to give a good impression by shaking the interviewer’s hand and smiling. When the interviewer addresses you with statements or questions, make sure that you are attentively listening and are following what he is talking about.
- On the drive to the school, possible think up at least one question that you can ask the interviewer when prompted; this shows that you have an interest in your education and will be a valuable asset to the school.
- 1 Do your research. Firstly, it’s important to find out whether the school is critically strict; you can find this out by going to the schools website and reading their school rules and statement.
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- QuestionHow do I make a good impression in a private school interview?Dress well as described in the article, speak politely and respectfully, show off your intelligence in subtle ways, and bring up your best attributes without being cocky or conceited.
- QuestionWhat if it is for a school that does not give any info on their uniform, but are very selective?Lindseyx Community Answer Look at the school website and see what students in pictures are wearing. Schools often do this to test their candidates.
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- Smile and keep good eye-contact with everyone in the room at the times in which they speak.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
- Turn your cell phone on silent or better yet, switch it off.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
- If you have a school uniform, wear it to the interview.As a small thank you, we’d like to offer you a $30 gift card (valid at GoNift.com). Use it to try out great new products and services nationwide without paying full price—wine, food delivery, clothing and more. Enjoy!
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Get all the best how-tos! Sign up for wikiHow’s weekly email newsletter Subscribe You’re all set! Visiting schools on your shortlist is one of the most important parts of finding the right private school for your child. You cannot and must not skip this part of the process. Why? Well, the videos on YouTube and the glossy catalogs are excellent introductions to the schools which you have identified as possible matches for your requirements. They give you an overview of the school and its programs. Unfortunately, the schools have positioned those videos and photos to show the best features of their schools. Think Architectural Digest. Have you ever seen any clutter in an AD photoshoot? Of course not. Everybody puts their best foot forward. Same thing with schools. The school visit allows you to look at things that are not in the photos or mentioned in the catalog. The same rationale applies to you when you visit schools. Up to that point, you and your child are simply names on a list and a file folder. Your visiting gives the schools the opportunity to see who you are and to gauge your child’s preparedness for the academic work ahead. So, when you visit schools, please don’t make the following common mistakes. A little thought and preparation will help you make the best impression possible. Being late Being 10 minutes early for your appointment is sensible. That way you will have time to park and compose yourself and your child before entering the admissions office. Admissions staffers are busy professionals who keep a schedule of appointments just like other professionals do. If you are late, you will create scheduling problems for the admissions office. That will not create a positive impression. When you discover that you will be late for a good reason, call the admissions office as soon as you can and let them know. They will appreciate your courtesy. When you do finally arrive and meet the admissions staff, apologize for being late. A brief explanation is all that is necessary. «I am so sorry that we are late. My car had a flat tire, and AAA took forever to come.» In this video, Ray Stendall explains why punctuality is a sign of respect. Being dressed inappropriately I cannot imagine having to counsel parents and students to be dressed appropriately for a school visit and interview. But dress codes have changed greatly from when we were young parents looking at schools for our girls. Nowadays business casual works fine. If you happen to be very wealthy and can afford a Chanel suit, wear it only if that is what you would normally wear during the daytime. The school will know that you have money. No need to flaunt your wealth. Wearing jeans or other more casual attire will create the impression that you could care less. A good idea is to look carefully at the school’s photos and observe how the faculty and staff dress. Mirror what you see. If the school has a dress code or uniform, then dress your son or daughter in a shirt or blouse, slacks or skirt, and leather dress shoes. If they or you chew gum, don’t do that during your visit. While this video offers suggestions about how to dress for a college interview, the same suggestions apply to a private K-12 school admissions interview. Being unprepared You know that the visit will take about an hour or so. Following the tour you will meet with an admissions staffer and your child will have some testing to complete. You must be prepared with answers to obvious questions such as why your child skipped the first grade or had Cs in mathematics. Don’t be defensive. Answer the questions truthfully and explain what steps you took to remediate the issue. You can save most of your documentation on your smartphone, so it is easy to access. If you don’t have an answer to a question, be honest and tell the admissions staffer that you will look into that and follow up with a reply by email. Being over-prepared What I mean by being over-prepared is that you must not sit in the admissions office reading a prepared speech about your child, her accomplishments, and your opinions about the school. Come prepared to ask questions. Ask them respectfully. Listen to the answers carefully. You have every right to interview the school. Just make it sound less like an inquisition and more like thoughtful questioning. Schools value parents who are cooperative and willing to help the school in whatever ways they can. Demonstrate your willingness to be part of the school family. Being rude and disinterested Informing the admissions staffer that her school is your third choice is rude. Don’t do it. Play your cards close to your chest. The schools have been at this admissions game a lot longer than you. They understand that you will have a school that is a reach, another one that is not so competitive, and yet another school that is a safe school. Furthermore, they know where they fit in because they have reviewed your child’s academic achievements to date. They know what sports and extracurricular activities he likes. They will very quickly deduce that into which category of school they fit. You do not and must not tell them. If you tell them that you are not likely to send your child to their school, they will put your child towards the bottom of their admissions list. Even worse, they might waitlist your child. This video looks at how rudeness seems to pervade every quarter of society. Taking calls or texting during your interview and visit is also rude. If a true emergency call comes in, excuse yourself politely. «I am so sorry. This is my nanny calling. It is an emergency.» An honest explanation is all that is needed. Offering to write a large check to the school if they will accept your child is the height of rudeness. The school will know you have money. If and when your child is admitted, expect a visit from the school’s development director and/or head of school soon after school opens. To summarize how to handle your school visits, put your best foot forward. Politeness and graciousness will trump most other considerations. You may have spilled coffee on your white blouse, but your cordial demeanor will more than offset that accident that could happen to anybody. Coolness under fire is always a good policy. Remember that the school sees a reflection of you and your educational philosophy in your child. If you are brash and rude, the schools will most certainly assume that your child considers that kind of behavior is acceptable. Your child’s education in her new school involves a partnership of three — the school, you, and your child. The visit and interview is the best time to show everybody how much that association will mean to you. Questions? Contact us on Facebook. @privateschoolreview If you have a private school interview coming up, congratulations! In the days leading up to the interview, many students wonder not only about what questions they might be asked, but also what to wear for the big day. While every school is different, most of the time, wearing a suit is not a requirement for your success. Looking tidy and professional goes a long way, and planning your clothing ahead of time will take some of the jitters out of your impending visit. One often overlooked piece of advice is to dress comfortably. Think about the weather and the activities you’ll be engaging in during the interview. Will there be a tour? And if so, how large is the campus? You don’t want to sweat in a wool jacket on a warm day, or trip in four-inch stilettos walking around campus. While comfort is important, first impressions do mean a lot, so don’t consider your private school interview to be any normal day at school. Jeans and a t-shirt might convey that you don’t want to be there, and some formality in your appearance signals respect for meeting new people in a new community. A more formal look demonstrates professionalism and can help you feel more confident. If you’re still not sure what to wear, reach out to friends who may have interviewed at a private school or college before and get their opinion. You can also visit the school website and take a look at what students are wearing in campus photos. Better yet, call or email the admission office in advance ask what the school dress code is. At The Winchendon School, there is no formal uniform, but students are expected to look “business casual” as they attend classes. Here’s some more information about The Winchendon dress code. If you have any question in your mind about what is appropriate to wear, simply ask. Most likely, you will be told to dress comfortably and to just be yourself! You can keep elements of yourself to any polished look. If blazers and khakis aren’t normally your thing, opt for a dress or clean pants (non-jeans) that express who you are without coming across as untidy. A few signature pieces that indicate your style or personality are always welcome, like a fly fishing tie or a vibrant scarf. Style-pieces might even lead to a deeper conversation about who you really are, and you may find out you have something in common with your interviewer. Bottom line: It’s always important to present yourself as ‘motivated’ and ‘goal-oriented” for your interview. Showing up to your interview clean and pulled together is a sign of respect to those taking the time to meet with you, and also demonstrates an interest in the school you are visiting. An admission officer is not looking to judge you by your appearance, but he or she does want to understand what your intentions are, whether you want to be there, and if they can envision you as part of the school culture. At The Winchendon School, the priority of the admissions staff is to recruit students who will add to the community in some way and to also be sure that their school community will in turn help admitted students to grow. Ultimately, what you say and your overall personality conveys more than what you wear. Above all, be yourself, be confident in who you are, and remember to make the interview a two-way conversation — you’ll feel much more comfortable approaching the interview as a friendly meeting rather than an exam.
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