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Interview Advice from a Principal: 5 Things Admin is Looking For During Interviews

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Show Notes:

Whether you are a new teacher looking to land your first teaching position or a veteran teacher looking to make a change, interviewing can be incredibly nerve-wracking. You may feel like you have no idea what the administrators are looking for or that you don’t know how to showcase how much you truly love kids and being a teacher, so every time you walk into an interview, you get anxious and nervous.

Hang with me today because I have an incredible principal joining me to give you all the inside details on what she looks for when interviewing teachers.

Cari Owens’ career in education began in 1993 in Louisiana as a fourth grade teacher. Since that time, she’s had the privilege of serving both elementary and middle school students in Louisiana and Texas. In 2014, she began her journey as a school administrator in Frisco, Texas, serving on elementary and middle school campuses. 

Since 2018, she’s been a part of the McKinney ISD family with her first position at Wilmeth Elementary as an assistant principal. 2022-23 was her first principalship at Eddins Elementary in McKinney. On the personal side, Cari is a graduate of LSU and Concordia Universities. She and her husband Dan have three adult children who live in Texas. She enjoys running, swimming, gardening and just about anything outdoors. As empty nesters, she and her husband really enjoy eating out and cruising.

I had the honor of personally meeting Cari at her school and I could instantly feel that she had amazing energy and positivity that spread throughout her school. From the moment I stepped into the building, I knew it was an amazing place to be and an incredible place for teachers to teach. So, how can teachers stand out in interviews so that they can work at amazing schools like Cari’s?

The key is connection over content. Showing that you care and that you truly want to work with, help, and build relationships with your students, parents, and colleagues is so incredibly important when interviewing. Cari is sharing some amazing tips and advice on how to nail your interview so you can feel more confident knowing what principals are actually looking for!

If you are still looking to land a position for next school year, be sure to grab my FREE Interview Guide for Elementary Teachers so you can crush your interview and teach at a school that’s a perfect fit! Inside, I walk you through what to do the week before your interview, what to include in your portfolio, the most common interview questions, what questions you can ask during the interview, and what to do after your interview.

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • A piece of advice Cari would give her younger self as a new teacher
  • The 5 things that she looks for when interviewing potential candidates for her school
  • 3 questions Cari sees can often trip up interviewees and how they can prepare for them
  • Cari’s opinion on bringing portfolios to interviews
  • What advice she has for teachers preparing for an interview

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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Get the 24 Questions Teachers Get Asked Most During Interviews & Tips & Strategies for How to Answer Them