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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!