Tips for Interview Success!
Good judgment is your best approach when answering teacher interview questions, and the same thing applies to dress and interactions for the interview itself. Having sat on several hiring committees, I have seen the judgment displayed by hopeful teaching applicants and it was not always a pretty sight.
With a little thought and preparation, you can be the standout candidate at your next interview.
Wear appropriate clothing
Dress up more than you would for your classroom. Men should wear a tie. Be well-groomed. Your clothing communicates how seriously you are taking this job opportunity, so don’t dress casually, even in the summer.
Show up a little early
Just a few minutes early to your interview to ensure that you are not late. Be aware that you are likely to see at least one of your competitors leaving the interview room.
Bring an extra copy of your cover letter and resume
Also bring any other documents that may be specified in the job posting, such as certifications.
If requested, be ready to teach a lesson for the appropriate grade level
Some hiring committees want to see you in action. This is really an area in which you can distinguish yourself, so if you are not asked when you get the scheduling call, volunteer to teach a sample lesson. If you do teach a lesson, select a brief one from your classroom or student teacher experience.
Bring everything you need for the lesson and don’t assume that the interview room will have instructional items, such as a white board and markers. Ask the interviewers:
“Do you want to be 5th graders today?”
They may want to act like students, or they may simply prefer a description of the lesson. Be flexible and prepared for either situation.
The resume gets their attention, but the interview gets the job.
Read and listen as I walk you through it step-by-step.
Apply judgment to teaching a lesson
I know of one candidate who tried to force the interview committee to stand up and do jumping-jacks to “get their blood moving.” Word to the wise: women wearing heels don’t enjoy jumping jacks.
Even if the interviewers say they want to be treated like fifth graders, they don’t mean literally.
I cover exactly how to teach a great lesson for any grade level…it’s part of my “Teacher Interviews 101″ course.
Look them in the eye and be sincere
They are looking for someone who can manage a classroom – be that person. Deliver the answers you have practiced to the common interview questions for teachers concisely.
Don’t be distracted by note-taking
The interviewers will likely have to score you after the teacher interview and will need to refer to written notes.
Thank them for the opportunity before leaving.
Kind of goes without saying…common courtesy and a nice ending note.
Bottom Line: You are a professional
Look the part. Act the part. You’ll get the part.