School of Education Interview Bootcamp returns to ǿ޴ý University

School of Education student-teachers are paired with alumni to hone their interview skills in the annual event on Feb. 27.

ǿ޴ý Interview Bootcamp

DECATUR, Ill. – will host its annual on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in the Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Rooms of the University Commons.

The event connects School of Education student-teachers with alumni and local school administrators to improve their interview skills, provide feedback and develop professional networks among regional school districts.

ǿ޴ý Interview Bootcamp

“The Interview Bootcamp is one of the School of Education's signature annual events that facilitates an ongoing professional relationship between our current and soon-to-be alumni. All ǿ޴ý Alumni who attend now work in educational leadership and administration positions in Illinois schools, and they provide a wealth of knowledge that they share with our students as they prepare to enter the teaching profession," School of Education Director Dr. Chris Cunnings said. “The fact that we have so many successful and selfless education alumni that return to campus each year to help our student teachers prepare to enter the profession is a testimony to ǿ޴ý's long and storied tradition of educational excellence. 

An alumni-led panel discussion will cover a variety of topics, including common challenges new teachers face in their first year and tips on navigating the job application process. Students will take part in break-out sessions talking about the Illinois Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and tips and tricks for teacher evaluations. 

Interview Bootcamp ǿ޴ý Alumni
ǿ޴ý School of Education alumni who took part in last year's Interview Bootcamp. 

Three rounds of 15-minute mock interviews with ǿ޴ý alumni will also prepare students for real-world interviews in the future. 

“We currently anticipate approximately 20 of our ǿ޴ý Education alumni—now serving as educators and administrators in Illinois schools--will be returning to campus to lead this event,” Cunnings said. “Dr. Dan Cox—the Superintendent of the Rochester School District—is our alum who helps organize, implement, and lead the alumni side of everything, and the School of Education is immensely grateful to have him serving in a leadership capacity for this event.”

ǿ޴ý School of Education

Interview Bootcamp Schedule of Events

8:30 a.m. - Alumni arrival, Student Teacher check-in begins, Student Teacher & Alumni Professional Headshot Photo Session No. 1

8:45 a.m. - Alumni Welcome - Dr. Chris Cunnings, ǿ޴ý Director of the School of Education

9:00 a.m. - Student welcome & opening remarks by Dr. Cunnings

9:10 a.m. - Panel discussion with Student Q&A

9:40 a.m. - Small Group Breakout Session #1

9:55 a.m. - Small Group Breakout Session #2

10:10 a.m. - Break

10:20 a.m. - Interview Round 1 – 15-minute interview, 5 minutes for feedback

10:45 a.m. - Interview Round 2 – 15-minute interview, 5 minutes for feedback

11:10 a.m. - Interview Round 3 – 15-minute interview, 5 minutes for feedback

11:30 a.m. - Lunch, Student Teacher & Alumni Professional Headshot Photo Session No. 2

12:25 p.m. - Small group resume critique session & professionalism discussions

12:50 p.m. - “The Student-to-Alumni Transition”: Alumni & Development 

1:00 p.m. - Concluding remarks by Dr. Cunnings

1:05 p.m. - Administrator and Alumni debrief and plan for 2024

After 1:20 p.m. – Admins: Call Backs or Interviews with Specific Candidates