Are you looking for a teaching job? If so, congratulations! You’ve probably put in hours of hard work to get your applications filled out, your resume and cover letters uploaded, and your work samples prepared. Your hard work has paid off and you have landed an interview. Now what? Check out these tried and true teacher interview tips to help you prepare for the next step and rock your interview!
7 Teacher Interview Tips
Tips #1: Practice, practice, practice.
The best thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to practice! Do your research and look up some common teacher interview questions.
Think through as many of the questions as possible. Research shows writing builds better memory connections, so grab those flair pens and write down your answers.
Ask a good friend or trusted colleague to rehearse with you and give you feedback. If you're a new teacher and your university program offers mock interviews, take full advantage of them.
Have a solid grasp on current educational trends and your personal teaching philosophy. Think about how you will explain your stand on educational topics and prepare detailed examples that show that you know your stuff.
Tip #2: Do your detective work.
One of the best teacher interview tips is to learn as much about the school as you can. This shows administration that you are willing to go the extra mile to learn about them.
Go to the school's website to learn as much as you can about their district and educational philosophy. Use these findings to prepare accordingly.
Think about what types of questions may be asked and how you can tailor your answers to their school and their needs. This is a great way to personalize your questions and relate on a meaningful level.
For instance, if academic achievement is heavily stressed in a school's bio, prepare examples of your proficiency with standards-aligned instruction and assessment methods. Show that you know how to use data to drive instruction.
If artistic expression is highly valued, prepare work samples to show how you've integrated art into your instruction across the curriculum.
Tip #3: Prepare physically.
There's no amount of teacher interview tips that can help you if you are physically exhausted. The last thing you need the night before an interview is to stay up tossing and turning with anxiety.
Do what is right for you to prepare for a good night's rest so that you can be at your best the next day.
Maybe that means you head to bed a little earlier than usual or wind down with a nice warm bath. Perhaps you dig into a juicy fiction book until you're good and sleepy.
Set your alarm early enough that you won't be scrambling in the morning. If there's time, take a walk or do a short workout. Eat a healthy meal and try to limit caffeine. You don't want to have the coffee-shakes at your interview and feel quesy!
Give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Get excited for the day by turning on your favorite music of Netflix show to listen to while you get ready!
Tip #4: Dress for success.
First impressions are so important, so one of the best teacher interview tips is to dress the part.
Although schools may have a casual work environment day to day, most school districts expect interview candidates to show up in proper business attire.
That means nice slacks and a shirt and tie for men. For women, it means dress pants or a skirt and nice top or a professional dress.
Be sure to choose shoes that are comfortable and easy to walk in. No one needs the stress of trying to walk in tricky shoes into your interview!
Try to choose colors that suit your personality, but that are also professional. I've always heard that navy is the go-to color for interviews and big events.
Just remember, you are a professional and should dress the part!
Tip #5: Prepare mentally.
Pre-interview jitters are super common, so don't feel bad if you feel them coming on! Shower yourself with positive self-talk.
You've put in an enormous amount of time and effort to get to where you are. Your credentials are solid and your attitude is stellar. You've got this!
Remember, an interview is a two-way process. It's a time not only for the school to get an impression of you, but for you to gather a lot of information on the school and administration.
Ask yourself during the interview:
- Do you like what you're hearing?
- Does it feel like a good fit?
- Do your philosophies seem to be in sync?
- Do you feel welcomed by the administration?
Trust your gut and you'll find the right fit for yourself as a teacher.
Tip #6: Be fully present.
As hard as it sounds, take a deep breath and try to not let your mind race during your interview.
Take it one question at a time. Answer each question honestly and fully. Find a friendly face on the interview panel and draw in their energy.
If you need clarification on a question, don't be afraid to ask. Keep your answers concise and give a lot of real world examples to back up your professional knowledge.
Tip #7: Put the process in perspective.
It's hard to remain objective after an interview, especially when you meet a teaching team that seems like a great fit. But it's best to not get too invested just yet.
Before you picture yourself moving into a particular classroom and planning your set-up, keep in mind that a lot of factors go into finding the right person for the job.
Give each interview your best effort and then let it go and try not to dwell on it or overanalyze.
When you're a new teacher especially, you may need to go on several interviews before you get hired, and that's ok!
Keep your cool and count every interview as a valuable experience and preparation for your professional future.
The teaching job search process is a tough one, that's for sure. However, with a little hard work, a lot of faith in yourself, and some grace, you'll end up right where you're meant to be.
I wish you the best of luck and all of the success in the world! There are so many students out there that are just waiting for you to touch their lives!