Good questions, i2i.
I wish I could get some tips on calming down before my next interview on Monday...
Maybe these next things are just commonsensical, but I'll share my prep habits anyway:
Before I go into an interview, one thing I find that helps boost my confidence somewhat is to prepare a list of my good and bad experiences
in the classroom. Brainstorming a day or so before
gives me a pool of personal stories to pull from that I might otherwise forget to mention once the butterflies in my stomach decide to revolt on the day of
When I say good and bad experiences, I mean "good" as in positive things that I feel were helpful to my students or my school
. Any little project I worked on, or any lesson that was especially fun and effective. When an employer asks questions something like "How do you make your classes interactive?" it's much better to use examples from real life
When I write down my "bad experiences", I don't mean just the nightmares I relive in my mind after class, ready to fire off at a horrified prospective employer. Though I think I've done that
. If I can spin those complaints
into positive lessons I've learned
(oh isn't that fruity), then I can show the interviewer my "problem solving skills
Anyway, the point is I've learned to cut down on babbling and staring blankly by making lists of things I've done either well or poorly before the nerves set in
Another thing that helps is browsing through my copy of "What Color Is Your Parachute?
" by RN Bolles. Especially the chapter "Interviewing Tips for Smarties
", which helps me imagine my interviewer as scared as I am!