Whether you are a new teacher or an experienced educator, when scheduled for a school job interview, always keep in mind that you are not just focusing on your answers to the questions posed, you are also getting to know the institution seeking to employ you.
Employment interviews are a way to validate you as an eager and willing worker who is determined to carry out the job well as a teacher. You can take advantage of the opportunity by being prepared for the interview, putting forward a skilled and proficient demeanor, and becoming acquainted with the school and the position before arriving for the interview.
Before you apply for any open teaching position, it is vital that you do your research even before the initial meeting. This will give you the time not only to find out as much as possible about the school, but also to predict questions that they may ask you during the interview.
Learn about the school
What kind of philosophy does the school have? Does the quality of its curriculum align with one you can get behind? You should also find out about everything such as test scores, neighborhood demographics, student class size and school boundaries.
Visit the school’s website to find out its educational vision and mission, as well as its culture, beliefs and ways of thinking.
Remember that first impressions do matter, so be sure to dress smartly and professionally. Remember to smile and shake hands as you enter the room. Be confident and watch your body language.
Be a good listener. You can accomplish this by paying close attention to the questions being asked as well as in the ones that you ask yourself. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know how to answer a question.
Also, don’t forget to send a thank you e-mail immediately following the interview. Whether it is a formal letter or a greeting card, it should convey your appreciation and encourage them to contact you at any time.
Talk about your experience
Make sure you have specific examples from your school experience, and bring your portfolio.
- Be sure that your resume is updated and checked by a professional.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to travel, and plan to arrive 10 minutes to 15 minutes early.
- Be ready to answer the tough questions with confidence. For example, how you would resolve conflict in the classroom, or out of control behavior? Also, how would you plan to integrate state standards into your lesson plans?
- Bring a list of questions. For example, what is the next step in the school’s hiring process, and are there possibilities for career advancement?
- Be sure to mention the types of communication you will use with the parents of your students.
Interviews will highlight your qualifications, teacher training and prior work experience, so be sure to be as organized as possible without appearing to overdo anything. Good luck!