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The Interview Process

Relax and be yourself!
in addition to trying to fill a specific grade level or subject area, interviewers are looking for certain qualities in a teacher. These qualities typically include, but are not limited to presentation and professionalism.

Presentation Qualities

  • Appearance: Wear appropriate professional attire and pay attention to neatness and appropriate grooming.
  • Appropriate clothing choices for men include suit or sport coat, nice solid color shirt, tie, and slacks.
  • Appropriate clothing choices for women include a suit with a skirt, or a dress with a jacket.
  • Note: If you choose to buy a new outfit, make sure you are completely comfortable in it. (Wear it sitting down before you buy it.)
  • Fragrances: Don't wear perfume or cologne.
  • Hands: Be sure that your hands are manicured appropriately.
  • Breath: Fresh breath is essential.
  • Demeanor: Be friendly and sociable. Interviewers are looking for likable candidates.
  • Voice: Keep your voice clear, pleasant and well-modulated.  Speak distinctly.
  • Correctness of expression: Use well-developed vocabulary, good choice of words and well-formed sentences.
  • Listening: Listen closely and carefully to the questions being asked in order to grasp their meaning.
  • Speaking: Good organization, integration and presentation of ideas are important.
  • Poise and self-confidence: Smile, maintain composure during the interview; be self-assured without being overly confident or arrogant; make direct eye contact, and offer a firm handshake before and after the interview.

Professional Qualities

Enthusiasm for Teaching and Children

  • healthy motivation to teach
  • happiness with choice of profession
  • warm feelings about children
  • willingness to learn
  • willingness to help where needed
  • professional, social, and personal experiences with youngsters in addition to  student teaching and field experiences

Classroom Competencies

  • knowledge and skill in subject area
  • ability to motivate learning
  • sensitivity to needs of students
  • history of work with children of varying ages, abilities, and backgrounds
  • ability to develop good self-concepts & trusting relationships with students
  • ability to set achievable goals
  • multicultural awareness
  • ability to relate curriculum to students' needs
  • organizational and leadership ability
  • flexibility, patience, ability to analyze situations
  • recognition of learning and behavioral problems
  • ability to maintain suitable classroom control

Interpersonal Relationships

  • ability to understand and relate to students
  • ability to cooperate and communicate well as a team member with teachers, community members, students and parents
  • ability to deal well with constructive criticism

Professional Awareness

  • knowledge or awareness of latest developments in education
  • familiarity with professional literature and philosophies of education

Social Awareness

  • choice of personal reading
  • awareness of contemporary issues

Once Your Interview Has Been Scheduled:

  • Practice in front of one or two people wearing your interview outfit. Practice answering questions with approximately three-minute answers.
  • Get to know the district and the school.  Visit their website, or call the district if you have questions about the current curriculum and the mission statement.
  • The better-prepared you are and the more you know about the district, the greater your chances become of making a good impression.

During the Interview:

    • Be ready to be asked to “Tell us something about yourself.” A few suggestions: Include where you come from and where you've lived, your educational background, two or three strengths related to the position, and your reason for choosing your major.

  • When answering a question, give an example of:  Situation  Task  Action  Result.
  • Focus on what you have to offer, not what they can offer you (including salary).
  • Be honest.

After the Interview:

  • Shake hands and thank everyone for the opportunity to interview.
  • Leave a handwritten thank-you note that same day.

Additional Information:

  • Stay in close touch with the Whitworth Educational Certification and Career Services Office.  We send out a periodic job position e-mail announcement to all interested candidates.  Our information comes from district e-mails, phone calls from principals and human resources representatives, and our own check of local employment webpages. Please keep your address and phone number current with our office at all times. 
  • Refine and update your résumé whenever you are preparing to begin a job search, whether it is at the end of your program or when you're seeking a new position.
  • Your application materials are extremely valuable documents.  All materials you provide, from the components of an online application to your résumé,  should be  PERFECT – free from errors, prepared with great care – and should show your thoughtful consideration.