- 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.
- 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
- 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!