SRU’s Snyder, Rader, provide teacher interview advice


Diversity in Ed magazine Spring 2016 issue

April 14, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University teacher-educator majors graduating in May need look no further than John Snyder, associate director of career education and development, and Aubrey Radar, assistant director of undergraduate admissions, for advice on how to successfully interview for a job.

john snyder


Snyder and Rader consolidated the results of an employer survey with their own knowledge of job interviews to write "What Employers Seek - And What They Don't." Their article was published in the 10th anniversary edition of Diversity in Ed.

In the article Snyder and Radar provide education job seekers with how-to "help-their-cause" pointers. They stress the importance of conveying content knowledge, willingness to learn, professionalism, experience with diverse populations and good verbal skills. They also provide candidates with advice about what not to do during an interview.

"We summarize what important characteristics employers seek during an interview and what factors will eliminate a candidate from consideration," Snyder said. "It (the article) is written specifically for educators. For example, administrators want to see evidence from educators about their knowledge of content areas, classroom management skills, instructional methodology and knowledge of state and national standards."

"Knock-out factors includes inappropriate attire, poor body language, lack of eye contact and negative references to past employers or co-workers," he said.

Aside from their own expertise, Snyder said the article summarizes the results of a survey of school hiring officials who attended the spring 2013 Pittsburgh Education Recruitment Consortium, which SRU sponsored. Snyder serves as consortium treasurer.

Other important characteristics employers seek, which are outlined in the article, include an ability to use technology in the classroom, ability to work as part of a team, ability to establish rapport with parents and demonstrated good organizational skills.

Snyder and Radar cited lack of professionalism as the number one reason candidates fail on a job interview. Other mistakes include interviewing with facial piercings, swearing, not paying attention, using their cell phone during the interview or inability to engage in a lasting conversation.

"The goal of the article was to help students see exactly what employers are looking for and hopefully give them an edge when searching for jobs in the highly competitive field of education," said Radar, a 2012 and 2014 SRU graduate. We thought of the article as a 'cheat sheet' for students to utilize as they prepared themselves for interviews, specifically interviews to become a teacher."

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