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Interview Tactics for Teachers

When your resume has been accepted, and you are scheduled for an education interview, you may want to wait before breathing a sigh of relief.  While it's true you've gotten further than many other teachers in the process, you've still got a long way to go.  While your teacher resume speaks to your credentials and work history, it is only a small snapshot of your abilities and personality.  In order land the job, you need to make a significant impression during the teacher interview.  Different schools handle the teacher interview process differently.  For example, you may have an interview with the principal; or you may have an interview with a panel from the school district.  Don't let the interviewing process intimidate you.  Regardless of the process, you can prepare for all teacher interviews the same way.

Preparing for the Teacher Interview

The best way to excel at the interview is to be very well-prepared.  As far in advance as possible, review the top teacher interview questions and practice your answers.  You should be physically and mentally ready for the teacher interview.  First, be sure that you know where the interview will be located and how long it will take to get there.  Check into the parking arrangements and plan to arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your interview.  Some campuses are quite large, and it can take some time to park and walk to your interview location; therefore, you need to plan accordingly.  Get plenty of rest the night before your interview, and, in the morning, allow enough time to get ready without rushing.  Eat a good breakfast, wear a nice suit, shine your shoes, and be sure your grooming is impeccable.  Don't forget your portfolio, a resume, etc.

Top Teacher Interview Questions

Teaching interview questions usually focus on areas regarding your teaching skills and background, your communication skills, and your general attitude about teaching.  Administrators are looking for teachers who are enthusiastic and passionate about teaching.  The most commonly asked question you're likely to hear is "Why do you want to be a teacher?"  Your answer to this simple question will enable the interviewer to see your personality traits, as well as your interest in and passion for teaching.  Here are some additional interview questions that you may be asked:

  • What are your goals for the next five years?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • How would you handle a student who is doing poorly in class?
  • What would you do if the majority of the class is not doing well?
  • How do you handle speaking with parents about their children?
  • What is your philosophy on discipline?
  • What role do the teacher, administration, and school play in a child's life?
  • How do you encourage students to participate in class?
  • What frustrates you most about being a teacher?
  • What aspects of teaching do you like the most?
  • Name some of your weaknesses and how you address them.
  • How will you individualize instruction?
  • What techniques will you use with children learning English as a Second Language?

Consider these and similar teacher interview questions when you are preparing for your interview.  It's best not to be caught off guard by any questions that you haven't thought about; however, it can and does happen.  Always prepare some responses that will fit with various questions.  Focus on your strongest points; for example, if you are great at getting kids to participate and respond in class, talk about that when you have an opportunity in the interview.  Give specific examples for your answers whenever possible, and draw upon your teaching experiences.  If you are a new teacher, give examples from student teaching or other areas of your life that demonstrate your skills.

The Interview

Enter the room politely and don't sit down until you are invited.  Smile and shake hands with the people to whom you are introduced.  Sit quietly, but not stiffly.  Look at the interviewer(s).  Try not to hem and haw; wait a moment before answering a question to give yourself time to think.  If you are unsure what the interviewer is asking you, ask for clarification.  Use good English; don't use slang, four letter words, or say things like, "Well, I was all…" or "OMG! (Oh, My God!)."  If you speak a second language, mention that at some point in the interview.  If you have only one portfolio, hand it to the main interviewer early in the interview, as each participant will want to see it.  Thank the interviewer(s) at the conclusion of the interview.

Candace Davies is the author and owner of A+ Resumes for Teachers  (http://resumes-for-teachers.com) which has been in operation for over 8 years. Candace is a Resume Writing and Interview Coach Strategist that is dedicated to assisting teachers, administrators, corporate trainers and other professions within the education sector.

Don’t miss her two highly acclaimed interview e-books:

A+ Teachers' Interview Edge.
101 Teachers' Interview Questions and potential Answers


A+ Principals' Interview Edge
101 Principals' Interview Questions and potential Answers

 Candace and her team partner with teachers and administrators worldwide to create job search documents and provide interview and job search coaching to leverage their strengths, accomplishments, and unique selling points to capture their dream career. Candace is a Dually Certified Resume Writer, Certified Interview Coach, Certified Employment Interview Professional, and an Associate Certified Career Coach.



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