Applying and Interviewing

Learn more about applying and interviewing for jobs in a private school. Here we'll cover everything from cover letters to interview questions. Get tips on common application mistakes, how to ask good questions during your interview, and marketing yourself.
View the most popular articles in Applying and Interviewing:
Updated June 25, 2014 |
How to Write a Cover Letter
When you apply for a position at a private school, you need to use a slightly different approach than you would use if you were applying for a sales job somewhere.
Applying for a job at a private school is a little different from posting your resume on Monster.com as you would do if you were seeking a position in the business world. One of the things which is different is the presentation of your application materials.

Here are a couple of examples of the conservative, old-fashioned approach to applying for a job most private schools still use.

From Andover:

Director, Mathematics and Science for Minority Students or (MS)2

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, transcript and two letters of reference.

From Hotchkiss:

Candidates for all faculty positions should send a letter of interest, resume, list of three references, and academic transcripts
 
Preparing the Cover Letter
 
The cover letter or letter of interest is always one page in length. It must be crafted carefully and free of typos.  Follow these guidelines:
  • Use a plain white paper. This does not have to be a fancy vellum or parchment type of paper.
  • Center your letter perfectly on the page.
  • The letter is typed using Microsoft Word or similar program.
  • Use a plain font such as Arial.
  • The font size should be 12 points.
  • Print the final copy using a laser printer as laser jet ink smudges.
  • Use the address indicated on the school's employment page.
  • Create a customized cover letter for each position applied for.
  • Put the cover letter and your documentation in a large envelope so that you do not have to fold the materials.
Here's an example
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Updated June 25, 2014 |
How to Apply for a Private School Job
Do five simple things when applying for a private school teaching position and you will be successful.
Applying for a private school job has some subtle differences from its pubic school counterpart. Here are five things you must do when applying for a private school teaching position.

1.  Make sure that your credentials are impeccable.  You will probably get looked at for that English position if your degree is in American Language and Literature from one of the better colleges such as Brown, Duke, Stanford or Cornell. If your degree is from Harvard, Yale or Princeton, go to the top of the list. A bachelor's degree is ok, but you better make the right noises during the interview about your plans to finish your master's. Private schools vastly prefer to say that 80% of their faculty have advanced degrees. If your degree is terminal, that's cool too, as long as you are not terminal too.
 
2.  Offer glowing recommendations. If one of your recommendations - and note that most schools will ask for 3-5 references - comes from somebody the headmaster knows personally, that's a big plus. If you are an unknown, make sure that your recommendations are solid, unequivocally glowing ones. Your references must be able to speak warmly and without hesitation during the inevitable phone call which WILL be made to check you out.
 
3.  Be able to coach prep school sports. Prep school sports have their little traditions and rituals. If you know these intimately, your resume will stand out from the crowd. It doesn't matter what the sport or club is which you
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Updated September 26, 2015 |
5 Tips for a Successful Job Interview
You have a lot riding on your job interview. Here are some tips for a successful interview.
Those of us who have interviewed hundreds of job applicants over the years know the traps an interview contains. Here are some tips to avoid those traps when you interview for that job as the math teacher at St. Agatha's Academy.
 
1. Do some role playing.
A few weeks before your interview do some role playing. Enlist the aid of a trusted friend or family member to play the part of the interviewer. Dress in your 'interview outfit'. Do the role playing in a setting similar to what you might expect for the interview, such as an office or a table in Starbucks. The old adage 'practice makes perfect' applies. You will be amazed at the imperfections and glitches which a little role playing will smoke out.
 
2. Prepare a clear, concise resume.
A poorly prepared resume can confuse and mislead the interviewer. Again, enlist the eyes and opinion of a trusted friend to review your resume for clarity and conciseness. Think of your resume as a mirror on you. Make sure it reflects a superb image. Always print a resume in a standard business font such as Arial using black ink on white paper. Make sure there are no typos.
 
3. Dress for success.
 
You will never go wrong dressing semi-formally. For men that means a jacket, slacks and tie. For women a pants suit or jacket and skirt are appropriate. If you have piercings and tatooes you might want to remove the metal and cover the artwork. Once again have a
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Jobs in Private Schools

APPLYING AND INTERVIEWING