You filled out the application and received the call for an interview – Congratulations! But, do you actually know what to expect? Consider the following success tips for teacher interviews from someone who has interviewed hundreds of teachers.
Want a printable checklist? Grab yours HERE!
…but don’t act like you know everything. This is a balancing act. You want to show that you are confident in your ability to do the job and at the same time, odds are there will be people interviewing you that have been in education for 10, 20, and even 30 years. You want to show that you know you have a lot to learn but that you’re confident in your skills and are open and excited to learn more.
Do Your Research
If possible, do a little bit of research about the school and district you are applying to so you understand the perspective of the people interviewing you. It’s helpful to know the makeup of the school/district.
- Is it low/high socio-economic?
- Is it low performing/high performing?
This helps you focus your answers on what is important/realistic to the population you would be working in.
Talk about Classroom Management
Be ready to tall about your classroom management plan, including rules and procedures. This is so critical. Administrators want to know that you will be able to walk into your room and handle the group of students you are given. They don’t want to think they will need to be in your classroom constantly helping you deal with behavior.
Note: If you are struggling to put together a classroom management plan that works, why not schedule a Day of Voxer with me. You’ll get 11 hours of time to bounce all of your questions and plans off of an experienced educator and come out with a clear plan for the year ahead. Learn more HERE.
Address Your Current Position
Be ready to talk positively about your current position if you are making a transition. DO NOT talk bad about your current school, current administration, or current colleagues. THIS is a red flag to any interview team! I’ve interviewed teachers for the last 20 years and I can tell you that I have never hired a teacher that talked bad about a previous situation. It indicates that you will do the same thing in a new position.
If you are leaving a bad situation, reframe how you talk about it. Perhaps it wasn’t a “good fit” or discuss how you learned a lot from the experience, but are just ready for something different. Whatever you do – leave the negativity at the door.
Share Your Education
If you completed student teaching, be prepared to share what you have learned from that experience. (again… keep it positive!). This is another opportunity for you to show that you are able to gain knowledge and positive experiences from any opportunity you are given. Mention one specific thing you learned from your student teaching expeirence and be able to convey how that has made you a better teacher.
No matter what – dress like you want the position (because you do, right?). This is especially important if you are on a virtual interview. Show the interview team that you are serious.
Note: For virtual interviews, you’ll also want to consider what’s in the background. Eliminate anything that might create a distraction or leave a bad taste in the interview team’s mind.
Take a Few Seconds
Not having the answer right away is okay! It is okay to take a few seconds to think about an answer. You can give yourself a little extra time by saying “that’s a great question, let me think about it” or “interesting question, let me think…”.
Convey Curriculum Experience
You will likely be asked a question about what curriculum you have been trained in or have used. Think about a curriculum that have used, like and can speak about with some knowledge. Having a smooth/clear answer about this shows the interview team that you have a knowledge base that will allow you to jump in and teach from day one!
Discuss Conflict Management
Be prepared to talk about how you would deal with conflict. The team will definitely ask how you will deal with conflict, whether with a colleague or a parent. This can be challenging for new teachers, but take a moment to think about it and then respond with a clear answer. Hint… Collaboration is always a good place to start!
Show Up on Time
Be on time! Either in person or virtually, don’t make an interview team wait on you!
Say Thank You
Follow up with a thank you. It is always a nice touch to follow up with an email to thank the interview committee for their time and let them know you would be thrilled to work for their school and look forward to hearing from them!
More Tips for Teacher Interviews
Struggling with any of these tips for teacher interviews? Contact me and let’s chat about your situation and how you can navigate the interview process like the pro you are!