Q: “I am filling out an application form for an Assistant Principal 11 (AP11) position in my school. I’ve been asked to give one example of where I showed excellence in Leading Teaching & Learning, Managing an Organisation, Leading School Development and Developing Leadership Capacity. I’m told the form is not marked as part of the process – it just gets you called to interview.
“I am certain to be called for interview no matter what. So should I hold back a little on my good examples in the form and save them for a big shot in the interview?” (EC, email).
A: Think of a job interview as a court case – don’t leave good witnesses at home. Complacency is mortal’s chiefest enemy, as Shakespeare said.
I’m not against playing it cute – sometimes. When we are trying to land a job, we need to put our best foot forward from the word ‘go’.
‘Certain’ is too strong a word for my liking. For ‘certain’ I tend to read ‘probably will’, and there’s a world of difference.
How will you feel if you discover you haven’t been called to interview? And even if you do get called, I think you will have missed a chance to create a good, initial impression.
You must have a number of good examples at the ready for the interview – at least two each for Leading Teaching & Learning, Managing an Organisation, Leading School Development and Developing Leadership Capacity.
Fill you form out with gusto and then get working on preparing other examples. From the outset, try to be the most impressive candidate. The early impression you create might just stand to you during the interview.