Career Corner: Interview Question – Why Do You Want to Work for our School District?
by Heidi Kay, co-owner, PediaStaff
Why do you want to work for our school district?
Here is a great question that definitely requires your advance preparation for each individual interview. In general, you can answer most questions the same way throughout your job search. Not so, this one, because every district is different. Your ability to give a specific answer tailored to the particular district will show that you really ARE interested, and didn’t just throw your a handful of your resumes at a wall to see what would stick.
Before the interview, do your research. Talk to friends that work at the district if you have any, and go online. Visit the district’s website, but also “Google” the district by name to find out whether they have been in the news as of late, and in what capacity. Has the Special Education Department been in the news at all? You can learn a lot about a district by the way it presents itself in the media and the relationship it has with the media.
Find out about the district’s size, student body, demographic makeup, and the extracurriculars it offers. Have there been recent changes to the general administration? What can you find out about the special education director? The people in charge at both the school and department level also says a lot about the district itself.
What is the school’s mission statement? Does that mission resonate with you?
Consider the town or city. What are the benefits to working there? Learn about the city. Again, the internet will be your friend, as you can learn so much about a municipality by researching it. If you are working with an agency like PediaStaff, they will be able to help you collect much of this information.
Compile the results of all your research at home and make a list of the things you like that you have learned and consider which of those would be ideal to use in your answer.
Here are a few things you might want to say:
- you think the district provides great opportunities to children
- example – new building/after school/new lunchroom, etc.
- you have seen the results of test scores
- you have friends and family who sing praises of the teachers
- you know teachers who work there, and they say it’s great
- you are new to the area, and want to be part of this community
- you lived here all your life, and would love to be part of this dist.
- My college referred me to your district
Here are a few answers you should shy away from:
- I want to be close to home
- I know you pay more than xyz district
- I have a friend/family member here
- My husband works around the corner
- I need to work 2 years, before I can get my masters degree
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PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.