Walking Away With the Job

The interview is your opportunity to prove to employers that you are the right person for the job, so make your first impression be a long-lasting one

What to Do Before the Interview

Research the academic and surrounding living environment

Take time to thoroughly investigate the academic environment to ensure you are a good job fit for the position before applying for the job. Visit the school’s website to review the school’s mission statement; student demographics; state standardized test scores; and faculty and administrators profiles. It is imperative that you understand the school’s needs and academic standing prior to applying. Also, investigate community factors such as cost of living to ensure the job salary will enable you to live a productive life. Although the employer is assessing you for the position, it is important that you also assess the employer before applying for the job.


Complete all of the required parts of the job application

One of the most important elements in getting a job is the job application. Completing a job application can be very time consuming. However, please keep in mind that in most cases, the job application is reviewed and judged well before an interview. Therefore, be prepared to dedicate quality time to completing the application. In many cases, applicants are disqualified because of incomplete or confusing responses on the application. Make sure you include the most updated phone number, email, and home address. In addition, remove music or unprofessional voicemail messages from your phone and website. KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL.

Include a cover letter, resume, and a professional portfolio, if possible

Make sure you include a cover letter. Your cover letter should thoroughly explain how your academic skills align with the job description and discuss how the employer will benefit from hiring you. Be sure your resume is concise and free of grammatical errors. Your resume should include contact information, degrees, awards, teaching experience, publications, or other information that aligns with the position description. In addition, you can include a digital job portfolio to share important artifacts with the employer such as: special academic projects, outreach projects, honors, publications, or thank notes from educators. Remember the primary goal of a job application/resume is to secure you an interview with the employer. Your job application and resume must have a loud voice without you being present to say, “Hire me!”

What to Do During the Interview

Dress very professional

Ladies, wear a black dress or suit. Make sure your dress is a mid-knee length or longer. In addition, select closed-toed pumps, nude hosiery, and do not wear midriff or low-cut blouses. Also, cover ALL tattoos and remove or cover all body piercings. Gentlemen, wear a black suit, business shirt (tucked in), tie, belt, and dress shoes. If possible, review the professional dress code for that school district before selecting attire for the interview (check on the school’s website or at the Board of Education for that school district’s dress code policy). Always make eye contact and use positive greetings such as “yes sir,” “yes ma’am” and “thank you.” ALWAYS KEEP A SMILE. This can be a very challenging and unexpected question. However, this is the one question, if answered to the satisfaction of the employers, can prompt a job offer on your interview day because they are 100 percent sure you are a “diamond in the rough.” Prepare for this question. Practice this question multiple times until you are comfortable responding. In addition, ask for an audience of your college professors and peers so you can be comfortable responding to this question in front of a crowd of people. Avoid using personal pity responses, such as “I really need the money.” Come to the interview prepared to teach a lesson to students or teachers. Make sure your lesson addresses a variety of learners and includes modifications for students with learning disabilities. If you can convince the employer that YOU are the one for the job,

What to Do After the Interview

Say Thank You

After the job interview, check in with the employer to thank him for the opportunity to apply for the position. Periodically let him know you are still interested if you haven’t gotten a response. However, do not annoy the employer with excessive phone calls, emails, and visits. Follow each school’s protocol when checking on job positions, and always dress and speak in a professional manner.