School Therapy July 19, 2022

By Sam MacKay

Tips to Rock Your School Traveler Interview

As a new grad allied traveler seeking to start your career in the school setting, you can put yourself ahead of the pack by better preparing yourself for the school travelers interview process. Each job opportunity and school district has its own unique hiring procedure with different requirements and steps toward an offer-however, there are certain best practices that can set you up for success now and throughout your career.

To outline some important things to remember when interviewing for your next school assignment, we enlisted the help of one of our own—AMN Healthcare University Program Manager, Elle D.—an expert in transitioning travelers from grad school to new careers.

BECOME A SCHOOL TRAVELER

New Grad School Traveler Interview Tips From an Expert

When approaching an interview, it’s important to first distinguish what you should expect. “I typically advise candidates that there are two primary interviews they can have in schools,” says Elle.

  1. A longer, more stereotypical interview that can sometimes feature a panel 
  2. A shorter, more laid-back interview

When setting up for either type of interview, set aside plenty of time to participate and, if you’re doing a phone or virtual interview, make sure you have solid cell service and high-speed internet access to avoid any potential technical difficulties.

As for the interview itself, Elle offered some key differentiators to keep in mind.

“The shorter interview tends to surprise candidates the most and I have had situations where it turned them off from a position,” she says. “I remind them that, with shorter interviews, keep in mind that there is a trusting long-term relationship between their company and the school district—that, more likely than not, their professional portfolio has been reviewed and their references have contacted by both their employer AND the district they are interviewing with.”

If a hiring school district hosts a relaxed interview, they are likely trying to get to know the person you are, rather than examining your on-paper qualifications. “The hiring manager wants to get a feel for your personality and whether it would be good fit for their position and professional environment,” Elle says.

Whether you’re prepping for a standard or short interview, make sure have questions ready for the interviewer because the key takeaway is for you to make an informed decision regarding the position if an offer is presented. There is no such thing as asking too many questions!

Interview follow up can be equally important in leaving the right impression with a hiring school district. “At the end of the interview, it's ok to ask for an e-mail address if you feel it went well—this can be an effective avenue for following up later,” says Elle. “However, make sure your recruiter is looped in prior to doing so OR have them draft an email for you.” 

Here is a solid example email for a school CF:

"Dear [Hiring Contact],

Thank you again for your time. After meeting with you/your team, I am very excited to hear back about a potential offer. I would be honor to complete my Clinical Fellowship with your district."

It may seem like a small detail, but writing a thank you or follow up email exemplifies your confidence and professionalism to hiring managers. It’s also a great way to keep your name top of mind and stand out from other candidates.

These tips can not only help you succeed in your next school traveler interview, but also in future interviews across settings. As you gear up to make an impression, remember that you are interviewing for a reason—be confident in your skills and take a key learning away from each interview process you go through. Your recruiter can be an amazing coach as well—use them for additional support!

Are you ready to put these interview tips to work?

Discover our SLP Clinical Fellowship Program and PT & OT New Grad Program.

 

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