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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

10 Tips for a Great Interview


  1. Keep your answers brief and concise. Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question.
  2. Include concrete, quantifiable data. Include measurable information and provide details about specific accomplishments when discussing your strengths.
  3. Repeat your key strengths three times. It's essential that you comfortably and confidently articulate your strengths. Explain how your strengths relate to the school's goals and how they might benefit the potential employer.
  4. Prepare success stories. Make a list of your skills and key assets related to teaching or administration. Be ready to use examples of teachable moments when asked.
  5. Put yourself on their team. Ally yourself with the prospective employer by using their school name in your responses. For example, "As a teacher/administrator at _____ School, I would..." Show that you are thinking like a member of the faculty.
  6. Image is often as important as content. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. Studies have shown that 65 percent of the conveyed message is nonverbal; gestures, physical appearance, and attire.
  7. Ask questions. The types of questions you ask and the way you ask them can make a tremendous impression on the interviewer. Prepare some good questions in advance.
  8. Maintain a conversational flow. By consciously maintaining a dialogue instead of a monologue, you will be perceived more positively. Ask feedback questions and use body language and voice intonation to create a conversational interchange.
  9. Research the school. Research will provide information to help you decide whether you're interested in the school, and will give you important data to refer to in the interview.
  10. Keep an interview journal. As soon as possible, write a brief summary of what happened. This will help you remember all that happened, and help you to decide whether or not to accept an offered position.

 Excerpted from NewsLinks, a publication of International Schools Services.


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