Someone in a facebook group recently asked for tips about interviewing at schools for her CFY job.
Here’s what I suggested:
- Even though many school have a salary schedule, salary is negotiable.
- When you arrive for your interviews, be really friendly to the secretaries. They are gatekeepers and the heart and soul of the school.
- As you wait for your interview to start, observe the staff. How do they interact with each other? Are they friendly? Do they smile? etc. Look for the interaction characteristics that are important to you.
- During your interview, lean in as the interviewer speaks; it shows that you’re interested.
- It’s okay to ask for a second to think about the question before you answer.
- If you have a portfolio or work samples, bring it with you.
- Bring extra copies of your resume with you.
- Bring a portfolio pad with pen and paper.
- Be prepared to explain why you want to work in schools and why you want to work with that age group in particular and that school/district in particular.
- When comparing contracts, consider salary, benefits, proximity to your home, work environment all of the other factors that are important to you.
- When they ask you if you have any questions, ask what the typical caseload is like there (size, types of disorders, etc.).
- Ask why the district is in need of a new SLP at this time (This will give you a little insight on if the last person left because of the workload, conflict, or just new life opportunities)
- Ask what your supervision will be like. Can you request a particular CFY supervisor or will one be assigned for you?
- Ask about the service delivery model in the school (individual, group, pull out, push-in, co-taught lessons, etc.)
- If your CFY supervisor does not work in the same building as you, ask about having an additional mentor who will be in the same school that you are in.
- In one of my interviews, I was asked to explain how to treat an /r/ sound. I don’t know if this is typical.
- (If you can meet other members of the student services team, like the social worker, psychologists, and special education teachers, that would be great. You will work with these professionals often so it’s important that you get along well with them).
Be prepared, be confident, KNOW YOUR WORTH and don’t settle! You ARE a communication expert and you have a Master’s degree and experience in this field already. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth.