Tips for Teacher Interviews

This is that time of year when new teachers begin looking for their first teaching job. It's also that time when current teachers start thinking about applying for a job closer to home or in a new grade level. Sadly, lots of teachers are also looking for new jobs after having their current position cut. I recently asked teachers on my Facebook page for their best teacher interview tips. They had such such great ideas, that I wanted to share them with anyone who might be interviewing for a teaching job. 

1. Do your research!

Make sure that you spend time really researching the school's and school district's websites before going to the interview. Take time to learn the school's mission statement. Look for any published goals or improvement plans. You might also want to take some time to look at teacher biographies and/or websites. Some of these teachers will probably be on the interview committee! 

2. Prepare for the typical questions.

There are certain questions that seem to get asked at almost every teacher interview. Do yourself a favor and spend some time writing answers to these questions. Then practice saying your answer. Ask for feedback from friends, coworkers and family. When you get asked the question during the interview, you will be able to answer without as much nervousness. 

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Talk about your classroom management strategies.
How do you differentiate in your classroom?
What is your biggest weakness and your biggest strength?
Tell about a time that you had to deal with a difficult student or parent and how you handled the situation.
Tell about a lesson you taught that failed and what you learned from that lesson.
Where do you see yourself in five years?

3. Bring samples or pictures.

Bringing samples of lessons that you created or pictures of your classroom can be a great way to set yourself apart. It shows that you are innovative and that you make learning fun. You can bring hard copies. It might be nice to give each person on the interview panel a page with pictures. You could also upload samples to Google drive and send a link to the file prior to your interview. Some principals will look at the material and appreciate the effort. Some principals will never look. I think it is better to be over prepared though! 

4. Be honest.

You are not perfect and you don't need to pretend that you are. If there is something that you don't know, you should just let them know that this is an area you will need some support in. This let's them know that you are willing to learn new things and able to admit when you need help. Principals like knowing what teacher need help with.

5. Send a thank you.

You know that teachers and administrators are very busy people. It takes a lot of time to conduct interviews. It is very polite to send them an email and thank them for taking the time to consider you for the position. One email will suffice. Don't be the crazy one that sends a message and calls every day! #creepy

Good luck with your interview and enjoy the next adventure!