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Teaching Interview Tips

Compiled By: Editor

Tips for successful interviews when interviewing for a teaching job

Posted by: Cathy-Dee

Having sat in on a few interviews for my school I have learned so many things.
First appearance does make a difference but only to a point. As long as you are dressed nicely, etc., that's generally all that really matters.

Voice - depends on the position - but someone who whispers or talks too quietly may get looked-over. Same if someone is too loud or boisterous.

I think nervousness is part of the equation - I hate being interviewed myself - but not the deciding factor. I know many of the teachers or aides we hired were very nervous but still were able to answer the questions and fit our criteria.

Unfortunately you rarely know the criteria and that makes a difference. If we are looking for someone who will be able to take on the gym classes or music as an extra class and someone we interview has those qualifications chances are they will get the job. They may not be the main position so they will not be mentioned in the advertisement because if nobody had those extra qualifications we would then hire someone else. And often someone gets the job because everyone who was conducting the interview felt that individual would best fit into the school, staff and community.

If you treat interviews as learning tools - each time you will come away knowing more tips and techniques to help you with the next one. My sister-in-law just got a job in her field (Registered Dietician). She just moved to the States and in 5 months I would say she had over 20 interviews perhaps even up to 30. Most weeks she went on at least one interview. One hospital interviewed her 3 times. Then last week she had two job offers on the same day. She knew she was qualified and an excellent worker so she just kept at it.

You have put in your time, you finished your degree, did your student-teaching, it might take time but you will get a job. Don't forget that although it seems more hopeless right now, quite often school divisions have last minute openings in the beginning of September due to higher enrollment figures or teachers needing leaves for some reason. Also over the summer some teachers find themselves expecting a baby so short-term positions also open up - they are a great way to get your foot in the door. And substitute teaching is also an option.

Practice questions, think through your answers. I know during the interviews I sat in on, I was always impressed with those who asked for time to think about their answer or who asked for clarification to the question. And use common sense with your answers - one of the questions my principal loved to use was "Is there any type of student you would not like to have in your classroom"? You wouldn't believe how many said they would prefer not having a student with too many special needs or one with very difficult behaviour problems. Of course if we could always have the perfect class, but we know there are challenges and I know my principal was looking for those who were willing to face any challenge.

Remember you are selling yourself - what is the best qualities you have! Think about them and this is what you want to sell those who are interviewing you on.

Good luck to all of you, I really do hope that the right jobs come along for you soon

helpful tips...
Posted by: cherylyn

let me start with GOOD LUCK!!! i am an art teacher finishing my first year in 8 days...yeah... and i had to re-interview to keep my job, so questions are fresh in my mind... 1)what is the most recent educational theory or study you have read? 2) what would you do questions... like if you had a child who has a learning disorder how would you respond to them? 3) how do you know if a lesson was successful? ( i write a paragraph on the back of the lesson, so next year i can refer to what worked and what didn't.) 4) and just a few hints, always be flexable, be willing to relocate, and be yourself. i interviewed at several schools and didn't feel as though i fit in. i actually thought that since the interviews weren't going well i wasn't going to be a confident teacher, but then i was called for one more interview, 5 hours from home, so i went and as i was waiting for the principle in the office, felt as thought i belonged there... and now i have completed one year and plan to be here for 30 years... Congratulations and Good Luck...

preparing for an interview
Posted by: claresmliles

Dress very professionally

Bring tons of resumes and your portfolio. Be prepared if asked to show one highlight or share one thing that makes you special-they do not want to see the entire portfolio.

Send a thank you email or letter to the school that interviewed you.

Prepare a short statement about yourself to start the interview with. Ex. where u went to school, majors, hobbies, if you are the oldest or youngest child. This just gives them a bit about you.

Make a list of key phrases that are positive statements about specific strengths you have. Even if you are NOT asked that
question, be sure to weave those phrases into your replies to other questions.

Lastly, GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ill keep my fingers crossed for you. I hope these tips help ya out! :-)

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My biggest interview tip...
Posted by: Lisa

Share that enthusiasm you have with them! You obviously have a tremendous passion for teaching. If you communicate that to the interviewers, especially right at the beginning, it will really help you out. Schools want teachers who love teaching and will work very hard to be successful.

Other tips-
Have a classroom management plan
Make sure you know as much about the school and the district beforehand as you can
Know the basic curriculum for the grade
Have a strategy for teaching reading
Have a plan for parent interaction
Have ideas for integrating social studies and science into your curriculum
Have questions prepared to ask your interviewers!!

Good luck!