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  • Look Like a Professional

    • First impressions count, so dress to impress.
    • Generally, it is better to dress conservatively.
    • Play down excess jewelry, make-up, cologne, or perfume.
    • Bring a zippered folder or case to hold papers and other materials … no backpacks!

    Act Like a Professional

    • Observe good etiquette; be friendly, courteous, and agreeable.
    • Extend a confident handshake.
    • Maintain good eye contact.
    • Don’t discredit former employers or other education professionals.

    Communicate Like a Professional

    • Speak slowly, clearly and distinctly.
    • Answer all questions directly; don’t ramble.
    • Avoid the use of slang or jargon.
    • Express yourself in a logical and straightforward style.
    • Clarify your answer if you get mixed signals from the recruiter.
    • Express your willingness to attend all available orientations, workshops, and observations.

    Interview Questions

    • Generally, interview questions originate from three broad ideas :

           - academic preparation and success;
           - teaching and other work related experiences;
           - and professional goals and abilities

    • Be prepared to teach a practice lesson.

    Other Tips to Remember

    • Arrive early for your appointment - about 10 minutes is fine.
    • Turn off your cell phone during the interview.
    • Research the school system whenever possible.
    • Stress past success and accomplishments.
    • Show how your skills are relevant to the job.
    • Use examples from real experiences (such as student teaching) to substantiate your answers and opinions.
    • Describe what you can contribute to the school.
    • Review your answers to interview questions until your responses come naturally.
    • Practice interviews with a friend.
    • Create videotape of a lesson for your interview portfolio.
    • Learn your recruiter’s name and use it in conversation during the interview.
    • Ask thought-provoking questions.
    • Don’t bring up salary; be careful when discussing any personal issues.
    • Ask if anything you said needs further expansion or clarification.
    • Ask for a business card before leaving.
    • Determine the next step in the process (who contacts whom, and when, for example).
    • Ask if you can follow up with a call after a reasonable amount of time.
    • Genuinely show your appreciation to the interviewer for his or her time, and express your interest in the school system.
    • Send a thank-you letter within 48 hours of your interview; check spelling and grammar carefully.
    • Keep a diary of your interview experiences and impressions for future reference.
    • Get good directions if you go off campus for a second interview.
    • Plan for delays en-route.

    Some 'Favorite Questions' as Shared by Local School Administrators

    • What are the three most important parts of a lesson plan?
    • Where do you plan to go with your career?
    • What are the current trends in instructional theory?
    • What are your experiences with parents?
    • What is your opinion about “mainstreaming?”
    • What is your philosophy of discipline?
    • How do you develop a lesson plan?
    • Review a lesson that you thought was successful. How did the instructional theory learned in class transfer to the “real world” during student teaching?
    • How do you feel when a student fails?

    Positive Qualities Sought in Candidates

    • Love of children
    • Positive personality … a “spark” of enthusiasm
    • Involvement in outside commitments
    • Computer literacy
    • High energy level
    • Seeing the job as a vocation
    • Ability to cooperate with colleagues
    • Empathy


    • Inability to speak in sufficient depth about the question or subject
    • Poor reference choices
    • Portfolio that is too big
    • Overconfident attitude
    • Inappropriate or sloppy attire
    • Lack of technical knowledge
    • Lack of any knowledge about the school
    • Discrediting cooperating teachers

    Tips Before You Are Hired

    • During your Student Teaching experience, remember to invite the superintendent, principals, and others to observe you. This might get you hired!