Your first interview for a teaching job or your hundredth? It doesn’t matter so much. Everyone is somewhat nervous for these situations, even the interviewers to an extent. The stakes are high all around; how do we get the right teachers in front of the right students?
There are somethings to consider before the interview.
Expect the person conducting the interview to be the gatekeeper and the Human Resources department to be the vetting department. You need to be recommended by the educator/administrator interviewing you for HR to check up on you. Sometimes teams of interviewers are used, so do not overly bend yourself to the interviewer in front of you. Be yourself and they or HR will identify which school fits your skills. Be aware the notes taken by this interviewer will likely be notes that anyone in their district looks at before calling you back. Let’s get you through this interview, sharing who you are as an educator, so you can get into a classroom of your own!
How sure are you about your resume? Consider purchasing Confessions of a Teacher Recruiter: Templates, Samples, and Formatting Guide. This inexpensive, quick read could be the confidence boost you are looking for going into your interview.
Here are some questions/answers to consider and the three things you can add to the interview to ace it:
Why did you go into education?
Speak about your personal journey to this decision to teach candidly.
Consider including your experiences working with children. Speak to your desire to be part of a community of teachers and learners.
Describe your Classroom Management philosophy.
What are your classroom routines?
Concentrate on the positive aspects of classroom management and routines, but be ready to answer questions about consequences for undesirable behavior. Highlight how your organization and structure of rituals and routines minimize off-task behaviors.
As part of your vision of teaching and learning in your classroom highlight how each student is producing at the right level of effort/reward (mention differentiation) and how they are engaged by your classroom structures.
What structures and strategies do you use to teach (any subject)? Elementary teachers the biggest two are Reading and Math.
Highlight research-based strategies you have used successfully and are interested in trying. Discuss discrete, subject-specific skills which students need to demonstrate to be considered on grade level; highlight any experience (teaching or tutoring) you have had on bringing students up to that standard. How do you flexibly group learners in your classroom? Include how you plan backward from assessments that measure the standards and what that looks like in your collaborative planning meetings and ultimately in your classroom/planbook.
How does Technology factor into your instruction?
Here is an opportunity to educate the one interviewing you, feel free to talk about Technology Integration, but contrast it to Blended Learning. You may want to talk about the pinnacle use of technology for students who should be creating content over just consuming content. Your interviewer is likely looking for your experience with Learning Management Systems, like Google Classroom/Canvas/Schoology. Do your homework on which one they use before you interview and study that LMS for things you could do the first day, week, month of teaching for them.
What can you bring to the interview to make that best impression?
You cannot fake passion, at least not well.
Identify what you really are passionate about in education early and often in your interview. This means some preparation in advance of the interview. And it is not worth trying to tailor to the audience either. Really find what you care deeply about for your students and speak to that; passion shows nicely through nervousness and in spite of any credentials.
No, you may not much experience in the job you are applying for, but are you certified in anything? Many educational softwares offer educator certification. This can be an easy differentiator for you. Consider your interviewer, someone who may want more technology integration or Blended Learning in their school, but not sure how to implement it. When sharing your certifications, make sure you make the connection on how you would use that product in the classroom, and how it benefits students in learning.
If this is the first teaching job you are trying to get, you likely don’t have what is considered traditional teaching experience. But think about historically how you have coped with entering new situations and acclimating to overcome your experience gap. Talk about that and how you estimate you can do the same in a new teaching position. This is also a great opportunity to ask intelligent questions about how the district/school/that Principal supports new hires.
Your social media history doesn’t have to just be something that can lose you the job. Have you established a PLN on Twitter? Social Media is as much about who you follow as what you post remember! Have you participated in any Educational Twitter Chats?
Do you have a blog or blog posts to point to as evidence of the thought you have given your educational approach?
If none of this comes up in your interview – because sometimes it does not – this would be an awesome opportunity for you to bring it up if you have a positive social media presence which showcases your interest in education!
What other interview tips would you share?
Best of luck!
2018-04-28 at 5:32 pm
I know couple of people who never became teachers because they just couldn’t do a good interview. Some people just really freeze up so any tips could be helpful.
candy recently posted…Texas Hash
2018-04-28 at 7:20 pm
These are great tips for interviewing for a teaching position but could apply to many types of interviews. I think displaying passion and knowledge of modern technology are very important when interviewing.
Melissa Chapman recently posted…Sibling Preparation- Helping to welcome your new bundle of joy
2018-04-29 at 10:47 am
Great important tips to remember not only for a teachers job but for any interview. I know for my girlfriend who became a teacher she said she was so nervous she just knew she wasn’t getting the job. Well she did and she is a great teacher to this day! Her passion for children out weighed her fear!
2018-04-29 at 10:49 am
I think that is typical with teacher candidates Lisa. If you prepare by identifying and practicing talking about what you love about teaching that can shine through in an interview! Thanks for the inspiration!
2018-04-29 at 6:18 pm
I always say to just be yourself when in an interview. But these are some wonderful tips for any prospective teacher looking for a new position.
2018-04-29 at 6:43 pm
I am a teacher and some of the things I did during my interview was to talk about some of my favorite activities I did with my classes Practicing interviewing with a friend is also a great way to prepare yourself.
sara recently posted…Mother’s Day Gift Guide
2018-04-29 at 10:41 pm
This is all such great information! I remember how nervous my husband was before he went on his teaching interviews!
2018-04-30 at 7:55 am
These are great tips to share with anyone going for a teacher interview. I haven’t been to an interview in a long time and it is always good to be prepared.
2018-04-30 at 1:38 pm
This is great advice for teachers who are looking for their first job or switching schools. Being prepared for an interview is so important in any field. Being specific to your field can only further your chances.
2018-05-01 at 3:54 am
How you perform in an interview is so important. One may be really good but unless this shows in the interview things will not work out. These are some really good tips.
2018-05-01 at 3:59 am
Whenever doing a teacher interview (or any interview for that matter), it is always important to be yourself and to answer with your heart. The interviewer would see right into you.
2018-05-01 at 7:21 am
This is great information that I wish I had when going on an interview to be a Religious Ed teacher. The entire experience was nerve-wracking for me but it ended up being rewarding in the end. I struggle with interviews but thrive in the position once I get it so I could use some tips for sure!
2018-05-01 at 7:58 am
Great info! Of course I’m not a teacher or trying to be one but I never even thought about the interview!
2018-05-01 at 9:02 am
I am not a teacher, but a lot of your advise can be used for any kind of professional interview. These are great tips. I have been on several interviews recently, which were hard for me because I have been at my current job for over 12 years.
2018-05-01 at 9:32 am
I know of a few people who are studying to be teachers. I am going to share this really great information to them!
2018-05-01 at 9:41 am
This says a lot about interviewing for anything really. I worked in a transitional housing unit one time and had to do some interviewing. You are so correct on passion. You can’t fake passion no matter how hard you try. I also remember asking about peoples goals and a lot of times people could not answer that one clearly.
2018-05-01 at 12:10 pm
Thanks Shelley, articulating personal/career goals should be something we can all share in an interview!
2018-05-01 at 12:34 pm
Interviews are difficult for any industry but for teaching, it’s a whole different ballgame. I think everyone could benefit from learning skills like this for their chosen industry and your tips are very helpful.
Joely Smith recently posted…Happiness Is: Kansas Nature Sights And Sounds
2018-05-01 at 1:00 pm
What a great, informative post. I love that you really explain how to answer questions. Making sure you are honest about your journey to wanting to become a teacher.
2018-05-01 at 2:20 pm
I have not been in a job interview for YEARS. It is such an overwhelming experience. I dread the time I have to do it again. This are some great tips.
censie recently posted…Date Night To See – The Who’s Tommy
2018-05-01 at 7:12 pm
While the template might apply to teaching I actually think the advice you gave about thinking of real life situations and the skills you would learn would actually apply to any job interview. Acing a job interview can be difficult. At the same time it’s all about the having the confidence.
2018-05-02 at 12:13 pm
My career path is either a teacher or a nurse! Thank you so much for these tips for if I do decide to go the teacher route. This not only seems good for teachers but honestly any job interview, these are greats tips and anyone looking for a job interview should read it.
2018-05-12 at 8:23 am
Great tips! I’m not a teacher but I can see why the pressure on acing the interview. I’ll be sharing with some friends who are on their way to become teachers. Thank you for sharing.
2018-05-12 at 5:03 pm
Wonderful and insightful techniques. This can be such a hard thing to do without planning. Love the information!! Very helpful
2018-05-12 at 9:03 pm
I’m not a teacher but these are great tips that I’m sure so many people can use.
2018-05-13 at 9:47 am
These are some great tips!! Definitely passing it on to my future teacher friends☺️❤️
Here’s a link to my interview tips as well:
2018-05-13 at 10:12 am
Anyone me interviewing can use all the tips out there!
2018-05-13 at 2:15 pm
I’ve threw around the idea of teaching a few times. If I ever make the plunge I now know some great tips. I especially like the aversion to experience. That seems like it could be a useful technique in any type of interview. Thank you!
2018-05-19 at 8:56 am
I have 2 friend that are getting ready for their teaching interviews at new schools and I am sending this to them! I think I can use some of this in my non-teacher life too though!
2020-02-24 at 1:42 pm
These are great tips, I love that you point out that you can’t fake passion. I think with any job interview sharing what your passionate about in regards to that job can really make you stand out.
2020-04-29 at 8:53 am
You’re right Adree, passion always comes through!
2020-04-29 at 8:08 am
Indeed, predicting some common questions in the teacher’s interviews will help in passing the interview. And put your best foot forward by sharing a digital resume and portfolio that shows you’re an educator who knows how to prepare students in this digital world.
2020-04-29 at 8:54 am
Excellent point Lawrence, proactive interviewees come prepared!
2020-04-30 at 9:55 pm
‘I once heard someone standing outside our building, smoking furiously and complaining loudly about their phone about the early start time of their meeting and wondering aloud why they were even there. When I got to my next interview, I realized to my dismay the noisy moaner was my next candidate! Not a great start.’
2021-07-04 at 4:21 pm
What if the interviewer asks “Why are you worth this amount?” or “Why do you feel you are worth this amount?” How should I reply to this? Thanks in advance.
Zandra H recently posted…The Best Strategies to Improve Employee Retention
2021-07-05 at 11:53 am
Typically teacher salaries are set by the governing school board or the state. However, to your point, if you are a teacher relocating you could use your experience as leverage to be hired at an advanced salary grade, step, in the salary process.
In these cases, research the salary steps, know the supply/demand of the market you are interviewing for, and when you find ht price point you believe you deserve tailor your resume and what you mention in the interview to support that level of compensation.