Why Get Help With Interviewing?
Updated: Mar 30
The best of the best embrace coaching and continuous improvement. Why do school leaders ignore this when it comes to navigating the job selection process?
The best of the best know the value of coaching to achieve peak performance. Athletes. Performers. Executives. Yet for some reason most people have a mindset that they are either good or bad interviewers, writers, or presenters. Or maybe they know these are learned skills, but think the only way to learn them is by going through the process.
I wholeheartedly disagree.
After 25 years of leadership experience in schools, ten years leading human Resource Departments and two years as a superintendent, I have learned that strong leaders have the confidence to know when to ask for help. They know they will benefit from coaching, be it formal or informal, and get help to perform at their best levels. They are great at asking for help in service of their students, staff and community. Far too often, however, they do not ask for help with the job selection process. I wonder, how many have missed out on their dream job simply because they weren’t prepared for the process? I wonder how many would have gotten it had they asked for help.
I’ve been there. I had the best resource in my corner… a dad who was a legendary superintendent in his area… and I still didn’t ask for help. I saw asking for help as a sign of weakness. I thought I should know what to do and how to do it. I didn’t have the confidence to acknowledge the areas where I needed help. My insecurities won and I settled for good enough when I could have had great. I did learn, eventually, but not without heartache. I want to spare you that heartache!
Unfortunately, most of our current and aspiring school leaders are doing the same thing… going through the process and learning through heartache. They are going through the process unprepared… and it is costing them opportunities to do their best in their search for their dream jobs.
Completing an application, creating a resume, writing a cover letter, collecting letters of recommendation and then successfully navigating the interview process are all unique skills that can be developed and this development can (and should) happen in advance of the formal process! Embracing support/coaching, taking the learning to heart, applying and practicing that learning will have profound effects when your dream job opens up.
Your job selection process starts when you submit your application packet, the paper screener reviews your packet and they decide if you make it to the interview
The application packet (application, resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation) serves one primary purpose… convincing the paper screener that your skills, experience and leadership style are sufficient to merit an interview. Does your packet show that you are the best of the best? Would an extra set of eyes help make it even clearer that you are? Please, get that help!
The interview (usually a half an hour with 10-12 questions) is an experience totally foreign to anything in the school site leader’s daily life. Our experiences simply do not prepare us for these interviews. Yet, we have no choice but to put our hopes for our dream job into the hands of a panel based upon how we answer those questions in that half hour. Will you be ready to perform at a peak level for those 30 minutes?
So, what should you take away from this?
It took me 8 tries, and 7 bouts of heartache, to get my first administrative job. I often wonder how much less heartache I would have experienced if I had just had the confidence to ask for help! Learn from this! The best of the best thrive through help and coaching. Your job application process should be no different. If you want to perform at the highest level, ask for help. Where can you find help? Find the people in your network who are skilled in the specific areas of the job selection process and lean on them. These people want to help you. They want you to be successful and to be a part of your journey to success. If you don’t have those people in your network or you are not comfortable leaning on them yet, contact a professional coach, like me, who has the passion, knowledge and experience to help you be your absolute best in your dream job search!
Be confident and be secure enough in yourself to find the right person to help you be your absolute best in your quest for your dream job!
Your dream job could be just a click away. Click here for your free 10 page PDF with 15 steps to help you get your dream principal or assistant principal dream job!