Career Services Center hosts annual teacher interview day

Devin Hennessy

Senior special education major Kayla McGarry has nine teaching interviews on Wednesday. All of them are coordinated by Teacher Interview Day, an event held by the Career Services Center.

“I signed up the first day registration was open in February,” McGarry said, “I have interviews for northeast Ohio districts and three out-of-state schools because I am willing to relocate in order to get a job.”

Teacher Interview Day is held every spring for graduating seniors and alumni looking for teaching jobs, school support roles, and school administration jobs. Carla Owens, associate director of the Career Services Center, said the day consists of a one-hour meet and greet in the morning, and the rest of the day is full of 10 to 15 minute interviews.

Owens said students and alumni must be registered in advance with the Experience Job and Internship Board to participate in the event.

“Once students are registered, they can go on the Experience Job Board and submit their resumes to schools they are interested in,” Owens said. “Then the school district looks over the candidate pool and hand pick students they would like to interview. Students are given an acceptance email saying a particular school has accepted their resume. They have about five days to go into the registration system and request a time slot for the interview.”

Owens said more than 43 school districts will attend this year, and more than 700 interviews were held at last year’s event.

Associate professor in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies, Joanne Caniglia, said math, bilingual education, special education, and science areas always have the greatest need for teachers.

“Because of the changes in the State Teacher Retirement Fund, more teachers will retire because the retirement package is very good,” Caniglia said. “This will open up more positions and benefit students graduating this year and the few following years.”

Owens suggests the students come in a suit and bring copies of their resume.

McGarry said she prepared a lot for the event on Wednesday.

“For Teacher Interview Day, I went out and bought a suit because that’s what my teachers suggested,” McGarry said. “I’ve also made hard copies of my resume, got letters of recommendation, and prepared my portfolio in case someone wants to look it over.”

Brian Wycuff, director of human resources at Canton City School District, said his district will be at the event on Wednesday.

“I suggest students do research on the schools they are interested in, especially if they already have an interview set up,” Wycuff said. “Students should also bring their resume and a cover letter explaining why they want to work at Canton City Schools or any other schools they are interested in.”

Wycuff said they are looking for high quality candidates who are really interested in working at the Canton City School District.

“During our interviews, we share information about the Canton district, ask some questions to get to know them, and share what areas we are looking for. Then we give the student an opportunity to ask us questions about the district and we look for candidates who will fit comfortably in our district,” Wycuff said. “We look for students who are confident and friendly, have the appropriate certifications, and are willing to relocate. Last year, we hired more than 50 teachers, and in about every grade level. Currently, we know we will be hiring in some specific areas like special education, math, and science, but as the summer progresses, more and more openings become available as teachers retire or move.”

Owens suggests that students prepare questions for the recruiters, practice an elevator pitch, and practice interviews. The elevator pitch is a one-minute speech introducing yourself and talking about your qualifications and successes.

“Always come with questions because that shows the recruiter you are interested,” Owens said. “During the meet and greet, students should network and meet as many people as possible because it’s the perfect time to build so many contacts all in one day.”

Contact Devin Hennessy at [email protected].