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What Not to Wear to a Teaching Job Interview

Photo by Jesus Leon

While educational theories and classroom routines may be the first thing on your mind when you get the call for your first teaching interview, do not forget to think about what you will be wearing.  As a teacher, all eyes are, quite literally, on you.  It is important to project that professional and school-appropriate image from the moment you walk in the interview room.  Not sure what to wear?  Check out the fashion do’s and don’t below to help you get started.

  • Do dress professionally in a suit that is the appropriate length and fits your body style.
  • Don’t dress in clothing that is too tight, too revealing, or too casual.  If you can’t take your outfit seriously, the hiring committee will have little hope of you taking your job seriously.
  • Do wear shoes that match your outfit and are clean.
  • Don’t wear super-high heels or sneakers.
  • Do wear simple, tasteful jewelry.
  • Don’t wear a lot of accessories or ones that will distract your audience (i.e.-chunky bracelets, swaying necklaces, etc.).
  • Do style your hair neatly.
  • Don’t go into the interview with it wet, disheveled, or in desperate need of a color touch-up.
  • Do cover tattoos and remove visible body piercings.
  • Don’t go into the interview with facial piercings.  You are applying for a job as a role model for young, impressionable children and not everyone is comfortable with the message that tattoos and body piercings may send to students.
  • Do wear clothing and shoes that you are able to move around in easily.
  • Don’t wear brand new shoes that you have not broken in or a skirt that restricts your movement.

Getting hired for a teaching position is difficult and dressing for success is one way to give yourself a head start.  Be sure to try your outfit on a few days before the big interview and always have an extra pair of hosiery on hand in case you get a run at the last minute.  When you are confident about how you look on the outside, you will be able to focus on what matters most – all that you know on the inside.


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