Professional Practice

5 Ways to Stand Out at Your Next Interview

For educators, the season of summer can be synonymous with the season of job hunting! We know this can be a stressful time, so I’ve rounded up some great tips, tricks, and resources to help you feel prepared and confident for your next interview.

You’ll notice a “Be Yourself!” theme running throughout these tips. Be professional while showcasing your unique traits and strengths. The more comfortable you are, the more your confidence will come across to potential employers.



1. Get Noticed

Many application programs are streamlined and boring. There are also many applicants using this confining system and applying for the same job. Don’t eliminate yourself early with poor grammar, run-on sentences, or unclear statements. In addition to having someone else check your writing, download extensions like Grammarly for your web browser. You should also make sure you stand out with a stellar resume. These usually get attached as supplemental resources, so there’s a little more artistic freedom.

More about getting noticed:

–       Check your grammar here too!

–       5 Secrets for Landing a Job in Art Education

–       12 Things Every Art Teacher Needs to Know About Scoring a Job

–       Getting a Job… from Art Ed Guru

2. Practice, Don’t Memorize

Unless you have an insanely amazing memory, DO NOT memorize your answers. You will sound like a robot, and your answers won’t flow naturally as you try to remember everything you wrote down. One of my colleagues said to think through and answer questions using the PEP structure: answer with your Philosophy, provide an Example, and conclude with the Philosophy again. This communicates to the interviewer that you know what you’re talking about and you’ve put it into action!

More about knowing what to say:

–       A Winning Answer to a Common Interview Question

–       Interview Questions for an Art Teaching Job from Art is Basic

–       What to do in an interview from Incredible Art Department

–       …and wear! 3 Easy Tips to Get Dressed for Your Next Interview

3. Know Your Stuff

Research the district and school. Don’t forget to be up to date on your art ed news and practices either!

More about knowing your stuff:

–       How to Ace Your Next Job Interview

–       Art News from Incredible Art Department

–       National Art Educators Association

4. Prep a Portfolio

Whether you go digital or hard copy, prep a portfolio you can’t wait to share! My principal and colleagues divulged that the best part of my interview was when I whipped out an iPad preloaded to my blog. The blog featured my mission as an educator and contained posts of my projects and lessons. It’s important to keep these as simple and easy-to-navigate as possible. (See #10 in the first helpful link!)

More about prepping a portfolio:

–       12 Things Every Art Teacher Needs to Know About Scoring a Job

–       Art Teacher Portfolio Ideas for an Interview from Art is Basic

–       Digital Portfolio vs. Paper Portfolio from Art is Basic

5. Follow-up, Follow-up, Follow-up

Send the interview team a letter of appreciation for their time and consideration. The letter should reiterate your common goals and explain why you’d be a great fit. Don’t forget to include contact information!

More about following-up:

–       How to Write a Letter of Appreciation

Hopefully, this list has helped supplement what you already know about the interview process. Remember to be prepared, comfortable, and capitalize upon your unique strengths. Best of luck!

If you have additional tips, tricks, or strategies please share them below!

What helped you stand out at your interview?

What was the best piece of advice you ever received before an interview?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek, an elementary school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She is passionate about teaching and reaching students through an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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