Why am I expected to complete a Professional Skills Interview?
The Professional Skills Interview is a requirement of all teacher candidates at CMU. As a formative assessment of skills in leadership, oral communication, human interaction and critical thinking, it provides feedback which candidates may use to continue growing and developing as they advance in the teacher education program. This is also an opportunity to engage in a unique way with peers.
Do the results impact my admission to the teacher education program?
The Professional Skills Interview does not have a grade or score and is not pass/fail. Teacher candidates will not be excluded from admission to the teacher education program based on their interview performance. The intended purpose of the Professional Skills Interview is to provide teacher candidates with formative feedback and the opportunity to enhance their skills as developing pre-service teachers.
When do I need to complete the interview?
Teacher candidates must have admission status prior to registering for an interview. Interviews are required be completed during the same semester in which candidacy is confirmed. Candidates will NOT be allowed to proceed in Professional Education Sequence coursework until they complete the interview. The link for sign up is included in the candidates' admission email and should not be shared with others. Any exceptions to this timeline must be approved prior to moving forward in professional coursework.
How long is the interview?
The duration of the Professional Skills Interview is 90 minutes. Teacher candidates are scheduled to arrive 15 minutes prior to the actual interview session, thus should expect to be at the interview site 1 hour and 45 minutes.
What should I wear to the interview?
Professional attire is expected for the Professional Skills Interview. Professional dress is generally described for women as modest dresses, suits, skirts or slacks with blouses or sweaters, and closed-toe shoes. For men, professional dress is generally described as suits or sport jackets with ties, slacks and collared shirts with shirts tucked in, and non-athletic, closed toe shoes. CMU's Student Teaching handbook also advises candidates to refrain from wearing flip flops, low-cut tops, tight clothing, displaying tummy skin, wearing t-shirts, hats, or jeans, covering all tattoos and exhibiting pierced ears only; no other facial piercing.
What should I do if I do not have professional attire?
Professional attire is available for FREE from First Impressions, a CMU program located in the Bovee University Center. ALL CMU students are eligible to receive First Impressions clothing. First Impressions is not need-based, but does ask for a brief explanation of why you need First Impressions clothing for an event. For more information visit their website here.
Should I bring anything?
No. There is nothing you need to bring to the Professional Skills Interview.
Will I be graded?
No. There is not a grade assigned for the Professional Skills Interview. You will receive formative feedback on your performance in the group interview that will detail the areas in which you demonstrated strengths and areas of focus for you to improve your skills as a developing pre-service teacher.
Does the interview cost anything?
No. There are no additional costs to teacher candidates to participate in the Professional Skills Interview.
What if I have a conflict with the interview times?
Every attempt will be made by staff in scheduling Professional Skills Interviews to provide for a variety of interview times. It is expected that you do not miss class to attend an interview, however, you may need to accommodate work and other activities to participate in the Professional Skills Interview. As dates and times are released, they are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Accommodating for an interview time from the selection in the semester of admission is ultimately the responsibility of the teacher candidate.
What if I do not complete my Professional Skills Interview as instructed?
Failure to complete the Professional Skills Interview in the timeline agreed upon for admission will result in the teacher candidate being unable to proceed in Professional Sequence Coursework for the following semester. Additionally, a candidate may be submitted to the Director of Professional Education for a formal professional dispositions concern for certain circumstances such as (but not limited to) attendance and preparation. Failure to attend a scheduled Professional Skills Interview time will result in an automatic submission for professional dispositions, and will require a meeting and action plan prior to moving forward.
What can I expect when I arrive on the day of my scheduled interview?
The Professional Skills Interview is a group interview session in which up to 8 candidates are interviewed by a team of 3 interviewers. Teacher candidates are scheduled to arrive 15 minutes prior to their interview session. They wait outside the interview room and attendance is taken 10 minutes prior to the session. They enter the interview room and are seated with name tents to assist the interviewers in identifying them. The interview commences when the 3 member interviewer team enters the room. A series of four tasks are posed to the group and candidates respond through interactions with each other. At the conclusion of the 90 minute session, teacher candidates will be given information on how they will receive feedback and will be dismissed.
How do I access my results?
Teacher candidates will be informed when results are available to view and will access results through the Taskstream system. Candidates can expect feedback on their critical thinking, oral communication, human interaction and leadership skills based on the interview. If you need help accessing your Taskstream account or a reset of your password, contact Stephanie Terrian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do I do with my results?
As pre-service teachers, it is expected that candidates review the results in Taskstream and consider how to continue building on strengths and areas of focus. This should not be treated as another item to complete on a to-do list, but as an opportunity to gain critical feedback on how one can grow as a future teacher! Educators are constantly learning, growing and developing their skills to meet the needs of students, colleagues and communities. This self-reflection from the interview results is the opportunity for teacher candidates to take this feedback and apply it in coursework and clinical experiences as they advance in the program.
Candidates may also receive personalized support for Professional Skills Interview results by reaching out to Amanda Buzard, Coordinator of Clinical Experiences, at email@example.com or by meeting with faculty or other teaching mentors.