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over 1 year ago by Laura Ransom

Making a Great First Impression in a School

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​Whether at a face to face interview, a trial session or your first day working at a new school, making a great first impression is essential to securing you a role and building positive relationships with future coworkers. 

People generally form an initial opinion of someone within the first seven seconds of meeting them, and as the saying goes, 'You'll never get a second chance to make a great first impression.'

With this in mind, here are 6 tips to help you make a great first impression in a school.

Be Punctual - Aim to arrive between 5 and 10 minutes early. This will give you time to introduce yourself at Reception, go through any necessary security procedures and find out where you need to go for the interview or trial. Punctuality shows good timekeeping skills and enthusiasm for the role. If lateness is unavoidable, make sure you call to inform the school as soon as possible. Apologise and give them a realistic time frame of when they can expect you. 

Dress Appropriately - Although you should always dress smartly and professionally for your first visit to a school, you will also need to consider what will be expected of you when you arrive. If you have been invited purely for an interview, smart business wear is ideal. However, if you are attending a trial session, especially with younger children, you'll need to make sure that you can move around comfortably. Hair should be neat, tidy and away from your face, and makeup should be kept simple and professional. 

Use Positive Body Language - A confident, open posture is essential when arriving at a potential new workplace. Draw your shoulders up and back, lift your chin, make eye contact and don't forget to smile! As social distancing means that a handshake is no longer appropriate, it's now even more essential to ensure you are giving a great impression with your body language. 

Carry out Research - Gather as much information about the school as possible before your interview or trial. Make sure you understand the job description, learn the names of the people you will be meeting, and research the school's policies, procedures and values before you go. This means that you will be able to refer back to these details throughout your visit and ask insightful questions.The effort you go to will showcase your interest and enthusiasm for the role, and is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. 

Listen Attentively - Maintain eye contact and listen carefully when people are talking. Although you may be nervous, don't get distracted. This is really important for establishing and maintaining good relationships, and will ensure that you answer questions and follow instructions effectively.  

Be Yourself - You are your best asset, so don't be afraid to let your personality shine and showcase the skills and experience that got you the interview or trial in the first place!

Since the pandemic, lots of schools are opting to hold online interviews instead. If this is the case don't worry, we've got you covered. Have a read through our recent blog post 'Top Tips for Online Interviews' for some great ideas. 

Good luck!