Step-by-step for total confidence
Teacher interview preparation is your secret weapon; nearly every other applicant will show up to the interview without any effort to prepare at all – but not you! No one performs at their best without putting some effort into getting ready.
Step 1: Get Ready to Answer Questions with Confidence
Read all the way down for your comprehensive list of teacher interview questions and answers.
You don't have to come up with an absolutely unique answer to each of these teacher interview questions; it's not likely for an interviewer to ask all questions, or even to ask the questions exactly as written.
Over time, your answers will seem to blur together as you start to repeat yourself by using the same examples and that's OK – it means you are as prepared as you can be.
Just do your best on all of them and you will be ready for any question an interviewer may throw at you, even if it is slightly different.
Practice a few times before a teacher interview until your answers become somewhat automatic. Once you reach this point, you can be (nearly!) certain that you won't experience uncomfortable silence while you grope for words.
Practice answering questions realistically
This means speaking your answers out loud – not in your head – while practicing good eye contact with your patient spouse or friend or your own image in a mirror. Smile as you speak to show enthusiasm. Remember that the interviewer(s) will not be looking at you as they take notes on your responses.
Remember too that during an actual interview, you will get nervous (if you're human). If you go blank, ask the interviewer if they would please repeat the question. I have done this every time I have been interviewed. Sometimes there are several parts to interview questions, so asking for a repeat helps to make sure you answer all parts.
Develop a few questions to ask the interviewers
You'll normally be given an opportunity to ask a couple questions, so be prepared – your questions can mark you as a good candidate just as much as your answers can.
Tailor these questions to the school as much as possible by reviewing the online school profiles. Since you already did this to prepare your teacher cover letter and to get ready for practicing interview answers, you should be all set.
Just ask two real questions, and be sure you don't ask something that has already been answered during the interview (so prepare more than two, just in case).
Finally, you can of course ask the third question, the one you really want answered:
- “When do you expect to make a decision?”
They are expecting you to ask it anyway, so go ahead and do it.
Practice gives you the edge
Practicing teacher interview answers will place you far ahead of most of your competition during any interview; most people simply don't take the time to prepare at this level.
Video tips: how to dress in a teacher interview
Step 2: Teacher Interview Preparation for Poise and Confidence
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.
Check out this article on my seven-step process for teaching an interview lesson.
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.