Getting the interview was no small feat - but when it comes to putting your best foot forward, what you wear on the day of the interview matters. There are many articles and words of advice that stress professional attire - we’re talking full suits, and tights with skirts. But if you ask us, landing the role, means playing the part - and we don’t often see teachers dressed in full suits. Now, if that’s you, then by all means, show up to the interview in a suit! We want you to be yourself. And we want you to show up like you’d show up every other day in the classroom - unless you’re teaching PE, then we’ll have you dress it up a bit. For the safest bet, we suggest you plan for business casual clothes you can comfortably teach in.
Here’s our recommendation for go-to interview looks:
- Bottoms: dress pants, knee length skirts, or dresses (no shorts)
- Tops: dress shirts, blouses, cardigans, or blazers
- Shoes: closed-toe with a back (no sneakers or sandals)
Keep in mind that teachers move around classrooms and bend or squat to speak to students sitting in desks. Check that your outfit can stand up to the demands of classroom leadership, and won’t keep you preoccupied readjusting all day. It’s the last thing you want to worry about when focused on meeting the diverse needs of your students.
Then, no matter what you choose to wear, top it off with closed-toe dress shoes. Most schools require closed-toe shoes with a back (other styles can pose safety risks). If it’s got a heel, make it modest. Bottom line, if your shoes aren’t comfortable enough to stand in for long periods of time, then they’re not right for the job - or the interview. And if your shoe should include a sock, wear them - missing these small details can lead your interviewer to wonder what else you might forget on the job.
Finally, if you want to kick it up a notch, add an accessory that shows a bit more of your personality: ties, bow-ties, and signature jewelry looks are always great options. Again, make sure you are seen during the interview; interviewers want to get to know the real you, and how you present yourself tells others a lot.
The teacher job search has gone virtual! Download our free guide to acing the virtual job search here.
Selected helps teachers find jobs at schools they love. We offer a free school matching and career support platform for teachers that connects them with 1,200+ PK-12 public and independent schools in urban metro areas in the Northeast US, CA, and AZ, including New York City, NJ, CT, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, SF Bay Area, and Phoenix. Create a FREE teacher profile in 5 minutes and connect with hiring schools immediately!