Close Menu

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 email announcement to all interested candidates. Our information comes from district emails, 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.