Tips for After the Interview

Take the Next Steps

Going to an interview is like running a marathon; the best part is when it's over. But your sense of relief and satisfaction will be enhanced if you plan to do a few things. First, you need to make a decision about leaving your portfolio with your interviewer. Then, regardless of what you do with the portfolio, you need to be sure to leave your "Portfolio at a Glance" brochure. Finally, after you leave, you need to write a follow-up letter. Let's take a look at each of these.

Make a Decision About Leaving Your Portfolio

Sometimes interviewers wish to spend more time with the portfolio and may ask you to leave it with them. If you have an electronic portfolio, your decision is easy. Simply leave a disk, a brochure, and some written instructions for accessing the portfolio. If your portfolio is not electronic, you will need to give this issue some thought prior to the interview. Again, decide what you feel comfortable doing.

If you do not wish to part with your portfolio, you might suggest that you could bring it back at another time or offer to leave it and pick it up later the same day. Another suggestion is to simply say, "I will need to keep my portfolio but I can leave copies of my brochure, which summarizes its contents." You may also offer to send copies of any documents in the portfolio that intrigue the interviewer.

If you do decide that you are willing to leave the notebook with the interviewer, be sure to make copies of all documents before you go to the interview, so that you can duplicate the portfolio if necessary.

Leave a Brochure

By all means, leave your "Portfolio at a Glance" brochure when the interview is over. The brochure, because it highlights your capabilities and shows how you have documented the standards that govern your teacher education program, is a strong advocate for you in your absence. We suggest leaving a folder or a bound booklet that contains the brochure as well as any other important documents that highlight your achievements and capabilities, such as your resume, copies of transcripts, and letters of reference.

Many school districts require you to submit credentials such as the transcript prior to the interview. Thus, these documents may already be available for your interviewers. However, you may want to ask if there are any other documents that would interest the interviewers and offer to send them right away.

Write a Follow-up Letter

All of the authors of this book are parents; thus, we can't resist the opportunity to tell you, "Be sure to say 'thank you.'" As any parent would tell you, writing a letter of thanks is simply the courteous thing to do. After all, in many school districts, competition for teaching positions is fierce, and your interviewers spend lots of time and energy preparing for and conducting interviews. Thank them for the opportunity to talk with them.

A follow-up letter will certainly enhance the impression you have made on your interviewers. It also gives you one more chance to remain in contact with them. In your letter, after saying thanks, you can summarize the highlights of your interview, making sure to mention a document or two in your portfolio. This would help the interviewer remember you, as well as showcase your communication skills.

You should be proud of this milestone you have reached. Graduation from college says many things about you – among them, your perseverance, your academic strengths, and your professional capabilities. With this achievement, you face yet another test - that of getting the job you want. Because you have a portfolio that is organized around teaching standards, you are already well prepared.

More on Finding a Teaching Job

Excerpted from How to Develop a Professional Portfolio, by Campbell, Cignetti, Melenyzer, Nettles, Wyman

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