In the same way, we expect our students to be ready for class, reading the given materials, and working on their projects, we need to prepare ourselves for a job interview.
It may be helpful to have a checklist on what to bring and not to bring. Let us start with what “not”to bring. Some may be obvious but worth noting anyway.
- Do not arrive with your morning coffee, chewing gum, or candy. It is also advisable to turn off your mobile phone before putting it away.
- Do not bring company, like a friend or so.
- Do not bring accessories that may distract your interviewers, such as piercings and big earrings—the same with tattoos. Try to hide the ones that call much attention.
- Do not wear clothes that may appear too informal like shorts, flip flops, and caps.
Some basics to bring to an interview should include:
- Proper ID.
- A notebook or notepad and two pens.
- Names of your interviewers’and any other contact you may have.
- Extra copies of your resume and business card if you have.
- References whose names you may have to provide during the interview.
- Teaching philosophy or teaching statement.
- Tablet, I-Pad, or laptop in case you need to show samples of your work or your e-portfolio.
- Printed portfolio.
What is an academic portfolio?
Although it is a reality that educational institutions do not always ask for portfolios, it is advisable to have one. Portfolios are perfect organizers of your professional background and also a great help to write your teaching philosophy and teaching statements.
A portfolio contains all your academic and professional accomplishments beyond what your resume or CV can show. It basically should contain:
- A teaching statement, which should describe how you apply your teaching philosophy, including teaching strategies and goals.
- A list of the courses that you taught, mentioning, if possible, the number of students and their levels to give context.
- Course descriptions and syllabi, including methods for assessing student learning.
- Samples of reading materials, assignments, quizzes, and exams.
- Samples of materials used in class and outside class, handouts, etc.
- Recorded classes on video and photographs if you have them.
- Materials that show student learning, for example, scores, including written work and comments of students.
- Examples of how you use technology in class.
- Publications, volunteer work, etc., activities that show your contribution to education and your institution.
- Students’, mentors’, colleagues’feedback
- Honors, awards, etc., you have received.
Some practical suggestions to make your portfolio look more organized:
- A title page and a table of contents.
- Two or more copies of your resume and other documents in case you have to hand them in during the interview.
- Be careful to select those materials that show your teaching quality.
- Organize it and write it in a way that makes it easy to read and follow.
- Try to include empirical data to support your statements.
Building a portfolio requires a significant effort, but it can be of great assistance to review your career and keep on adding your new experiences. It also helps you consider what you have done, and how and where you can improve.
And finally, but not less important, a portfolio will play an important role in an interview. Even when the panel does not look at it, it will let you have all your information mentally at hand, making your interview more effective.