The Job Interview Competition is an opportunity for Educators Rising members to develop and practice their interview skills, as well as cover letter and résumé writing skills. In this competition, entrants apply for a position as a paraprofessional (a link to position description can be found below). This includes submitting a cover letter explaining why the entrant is a good candidate for the position, as well as a résumé that details relevant work, volunteer, and educational experiences.

Judges will review the cover letters and résumés and — just like any job application/interview process — candidates will be interviewed for a paraprofessional position. Interviews will take place on-site at
the Educators Rising Conference. The judges will act as the school district’s hiring committee and will ask questions of the job candidates one at a time. The candidate who submits the strongest cover letter and résumé and performs the best in the interview will be honored as the winner. Since high school graduates are eligible to be employed as paraprofessionals in many districts, this competition offers an immediate opportunity for a real-world application of the work entailed in participation.

Competition Guidelines:

Entrants will apply for the following teaching assistant position: Paraprofessional (The job posting and description can be found below or in the detailed competition information link at the bottom of this page.)

The cover letter must follow a standard cover letter format; review the information on this link ( to see expectations for formatting and content of a successful cover letter. Note: You do not need to already possess a high school diploma to participate in this competition, but be sure to indicate in your materials when you expect to receive the diploma. 

The cover letter must be typed and in English. It should not exceed one page. 

The cover letter should complement, not duplicate, the entrant’s résumé. The cover letter should explain the reasons for the entrant’s interest in the position and school and identify his or her most relevant skills or experiences. The letter should express a high level of interest and knowledge about the position. 

The résumé may follow a standard résumé format; review the information on this link ( resource/719/1/) to see expectations for formatting and content of a standard résumé. However, students may use alternative résumé formats if they feel that will put them in the best possible position to obtain the job they are seeking. (Always remember your audience!) 

The résumé should be typed and in English. It should not exceed two pages. 

The résumé should include at least two references. 

All information in the cover letter and résumé must be truthful. 

The interview will last for approximately 15 minutes. All contestants will be asked similar interview questions by a panel of judges acting as the district’s hiring committee. 

Job Posting/Description

POSITION: Paraprofessional 

Application Deadline: April 21, 2019 

Starting Date: Aug. 1, 2019 

Please send application materials to: 
Smithfield Independent School District 
Attn: Melanie Jackson, Director of Human Resources 214 Arthur Avenue 
Smithfield, USA 01776


Title: Paraprofessional 


1. Have a high school diploma or equivalent at start of employment. (Note: You do not need to already possess a high school diploma to participate in this competition, but be sure to indicate in your materials when you expect to receive the diploma.) 

2. Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking the English language. 

3. Have authorization to work in the USA. 

4. Have a clear record of service from prior employers, if any. 

Smithfield Independent School District is seeking paraprofessionals for the coming school year. Paraprofessionals are teaching assistants who provide instructional services to students under the general supervision of a certified teacher. In New York City, most paraprofessionals work in special education and early childhood education settings. Full-time paraprofessionals receive a generous benefits package (healthcare, paid leave, pension, etc.) and may avail themselves to opportunities such as tuition assistance and paid release time for college study. According to, the national average salary in 2017 for full-time paraprofessional educators is $30,792. 


The role of the paraprofessional is to assist teachers with class work and/or assist with the daily care of students with emotional, cognitive, physical handicaps, autism, and other special needs. Their responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following tasks: 

1. One-on-one or small group instruction as outlined by the teacher 

2. Reinforcing behavior through the use of positive behavior support 

3. Teaching daily living skills such as independent feeding, dressing, toileting 

4. Aiding occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech teachers and adaptivephysical education providers during instruction 

5. Guiding and assisting students in small group instruction settings with class routines and in transitioning from one activity to the next 

6. Teaching students, under direction of teacher in the following areas: recreation, motor,vocational, socialization and communication utilizing the workshop model in Literacy and Mathematics 

7. Assisting students with ambulation within the school premises and on class trips 

8. Collecting data documenting student behavior for instructional purposes 

9. Writing anecdotal information concerning student behavior 

10. Providing language assistance for bilingual students 

Position Type: Part-time or Full Time 

Positions Available: 10 

Find out more information below:

Job Interview