Interview Tips for Physical Educators

The following are general tips that may help you when interviewing for a K-12 physical education job. These were primarily designed for the teacher applying for their first job fresh out of college.

Interview Preparation:

  • We highly recommend you prepare a professional portfolio to take to the interview.
  • Do your research. Spend time before the interview to learn about the school, the physical education and athletic program, and the school system (e.g., do a search on the Internet to see if the school and/or the the physical education department has a Web page). This will help you develop specific school related questions.
  • Print out the sample interview questions and practice answering them out loud with a friend, colleague, or family member.

The Interview:

  • Dress in a suit for males, and a dress or suit for females.
  • Arrive on time (early would even be better!).
  • Have a firm, but not overbearing, handshake both at the start and end of the interview.
  • Be yourself--don't put on an act.
  • Do not fidget or use mannerisms like uh's and ok's.
  • Use positive body language and good eye contact.
  • Listen carefully to each of the questions.
  • If you do not understand a question, paraphrase it or ask to have it repeated in a different form.
  • On tough questions, think briefly and put your thoughts together in a logical fashion. You do not always have to respond instantaneously.
  • Be prepared to ask one or two good questions when given the opportunity (e.g., How will I be evaluated on my performance if I were hired? Or, what is considered excellent teaching in your school?).

After the Interview:

  • Thank the interviewer and express again how interested you are in the position.
  • Write a thank you letter as soon as possible.

Submitted by Todd Pennington who is an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University and a Senior Editor of PE Central. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/23/00.