Interviewing Skills: The Rules of the Road

Interviewing Skills

The Rules of the Road

By NAfME Member Marcia Neel


One of the most nerve-wracking of all of life’s experiences is the job interview. Everyone has to go through it, yet it can lead to stress and anxiety because we all want to do well. Psychology Today has provided some tips for calming your anxiety—and maybe even taking advantage of it.

interview | PeopleImages


One of the items addressed in this Psychology Today article references preparation. I address this more specifically in my NAfME Academy webinar.

Topics include:

  • Making a great first impression
  • Considering what the interviewer wants to learn about you
  • Sharing “all about you”
  • Considering the position of the interviewer
  • Organizing your materials for presentation at the interview
  • Doing homework prior to the interview
  • Practicing for the interview
  • Anticipating what questions might be asked
  • Following up after the interview
interview | Steve Debenport


Having all the above items prepared is only the beginning. You might be surprised to learn that your chance of getting a job may have a great deal to do with your people skills. You may be the best teacher candidate ever to graduate from your pre-service music education program, but what is the best way to get that across in your resume or in your interview?

In the big picture, administrators want music educators who are organized yet flexible, and growth-minded yet prudent.

In the big picture, administrators want music educators who are organized yet flexible, and growth-minded yet prudent. They want a motivating educator who will inspire students to demonstrate measurable gains in achievement-related goals. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they want someone who works collegially—someone who wants to serve the students and the total school community to make it a better place for everyone.

resume | Steve Debenport


Are you this person?

If so, this webinar will help you understand how to capitalize on both verbal and non-verbal (body language) skills to help calm those jitters and progress more smoothly through the interview process.

Subscribe today to NAfME Academy to view Marcia Neel’s webinar on “Interviewing Skills” and receive professional development recognition.

Add your profile to the NAfME Career Center today. Receive career coaching, job alerts, and more.

About the author:

music education

A veteran of 37 years in public school music education, Marcia Neel has directed successful music programs in Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts and Nevada. She received her Bachelors Degree in Music Education with a concentration in Choral Music from Miami University and her Master of Arts Degree in Applied History from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Marcia received her administrative credential in 1993, and was subsequently appointed Secondary Fine Arts Coordinator for the Clark County School District—the nation’s fifth largest—headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, where she served for 14 years. During the course of those years, she led the Secondary Music Education Program to a total class count of over 55,000 in 56 middle and 38 high school music programs and over 100,000 in Secondary Fine and Performing Arts overall.

Elected to numerous leadership positions, Marcia has served as Western Division President of NAfME (MENC); President of the Nevada Music Educators Association (two separate terms); and President of the Nevada Choral Directors Association. She was appointed by two Nevada governors to sit on the Goals 2000 Panel and in that capacity, co-chaired the team responsible for the writing of the original Content Standards in Arts Education in Nevada. In 2016-17, she was seated on Nevada’s ESSA Accountability Subcommittee and participated in the writing of the Nevada State Consolidated Plan which was approved by the U.S. Department of Education in August, 2017. In 1993, The Disney Channel selected Marcia as their National Performing Arts Teacher of the Year.

Marcia serves as president of Music Education Consultants, Inc., a consortium of music education professionals which works with a variety of educational organizations, arts associations, and school districts to foster the growth and breadth of standards-based, music education programs. She also serves as Education Advisor to the Music Achievement Council, a 501(c)(6) organization whose sole purpose is to enable more students to begin and continue in instrumental music programs through effective professional development programs for music educators. In 2016, Neel was named Senior Director of Education for the Band and Orchestral Division of Yamaha Corporation of America and most recently, Marcia accepted a position on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society.

Did this blog spur new ideas for your music program? Share them on Amplify! Interested in reprinting this article? Please review the reprint guidelines.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

Catherina Hurlburt, Marketing Communications Manager. September 27, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (