Here are nine teacher interview tips to help you make a stronger impression and land your next teaching job.
You already know that applying for a teaching job is often stressful.
Your resume and references may not be enough to get you hired. You need to make the right impression during the interview.
So here are some of the best teacher interview tips to help you prepare.
Best Teacher Interview Tips
Follow these tried-and-true teacher interview tips to give yourself the best chance of landing the job.
1. Review Common Interview Questions.
Start preparing by reviewing commonly asked interview questions.
While every school is different, you can expect administrators to ask some of the following questions:
- What made you want to become a teacher?
- How do you include parents in their child’s education?
- What’s your preferred teaching methodology?
- How do you keep students engaged and motivated?
- Describe how you would you handle a disruptive student.
Administrators love hearing stories of why people chose to become teachers.
This is also your chance to demonstrate your commitment to the profession. Explain how teaching affects your life and why it is so important to you.
You should also outline your teaching methodology and style.
For example, you may explain whether you prefer collaborative or cooperative learning and why.
Furthermore, rehearse these common teacher interview questions with a friend who can provide constructive feedback about not only your answers but also about how you answer.
You might not be aware of phrases that you use frequently such as “um” and “like”.
2. Practice a Mock Interview.
Practice answering the questions from the previous tip and any other questions you find. Give each question serious consideration.
Write down your answers, and fine-tune your responses. After coming up with answers to questions, hold a mock interview.
Enlist a friend or family member to act as the interviewer. If you don’t have a partner available, practice answering the questions in front of a mirror.
You could also record yourself using a webcam or the camera on your phone. Read the questions aloud and respond as you would during the interview.
Review the mock interview and your performance. Make sure that you answered each question fully yet concisely.
3. Ask a Couple of Questions Afterwards.
Towards the end of your interview, the interviewer will most certainly ask if you have any questions.
Have at least a couple of questions prepared. Those questions should not be about salary, vacation days, or benefits.
Questions to consider…
- What do teachers say is the best thing about working here?
- Which academic area is the school currently looking to improve?
- How long will it be before I hear back from you regarding your decision to move forward in the interview process?
This is one of the teacher interview tips that can’t be stressed enough.
4. Prepare a Portfolio of Achievements.
Bring a teaching portfolio to your interview.
A resume only offers a snapshot of your experience. A detailed portfolio better illustrates your value. It helps represent your teaching practice and strategies.
The typical teaching portfolio includes the following:
- A summary of your teaching experience
- A teaching statement
- Evidence of effective teaching
The portfolio should include a summary of your past teaching roles.
If you’re new to teaching, you can focus on ensuring that your resume discusses any related qualifications or achievements. Examples include working as a tutor or student advisor.
Teaching portfolios typically revolve around a teaching statement.
The statement is a detailed description of your teaching style and goals for student learning. You provide a complete overview of your experience and intended classroom practices.
The statement should also include evidence of effective teaching. Provide detailed examples of your past classroom activities.
Though you may not think to bring a portfolio, this is one of the teacher interview tips that show that you are prepared.
5. Research Your Future Place of Employment.
Failing to research a potential employer is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Take the time to learn more about the school or facility where you plan on applying.
Here are some of the details to pay attention to:
- History of the school
- Current administrative structure
- Names of the head administrators
- Size of the student body
- Curriculum adoption
You may find some of these details on the school’s website or social media pages.
Also search online for information regarding the student population such as demographics and performance.
Thorough research helps you to realize gaps in information that you may want to ask about during the interview.
6. Dress Professionally for the Interview.
This is one of those teacher interview tips that cannot be stressed enough.
Always dress professionally for interviews to start with the right impression. Even if the school maintains a casual dress code, you should dress to impress.
Business attire is a common choice for a teacher interview.
Men should wear a suit or a button-down shirt with slacks and a tie. Women may also wear suits or pair a blazer with a long skirt.
If you’re a vibrant person who loves bright colors and wild prints, you may need to tone down your look for the interview.
Instead of dressing boldly, choose a fun accessory, such as a fun tie or colorful socks.
Above all, look professional, neat, and clean.
7. Act Professionally During the Interview.
Along with dressing professionally, you should maintain a professional attitude. Treat the interviewers with respect and acknowledge their comments.
Part of acting professionally is avoiding negative body language. Pay attention to your expression, posture, and overall demeanor.
You should also pay close attention to the interviewers.
Smile politely and maintain eye contact. Avoid shifting around in your seat too frequently or staring down as you answer questions.
8. Bring Examples of Your Past Successes.
If you have teaching experience, share examples of past success stories. Provide examples that demonstrate how you’ve helped students excel or overcome challenges.
Try to come up with at least three or four examples of how you interact with students. Use as much detail as possible to give the interviewers a better idea of your teaching style and abilities.
For those without teaching experience, you may find examples from related work, such as working as a tutor or in a childcare setting.
9. Focus on the Students When Answering Questions.
Try to tie your responses into statements on how you can help the students. Always bring the conversation back around to the students.
For example, instead of stating that you’re a creative individual, explain how your creativity benefits the students.
Instead of describing yourself as detail-oriented, explain how your organizational skills help with classroom management.
You can work your responses by creating a list of your best features and accomplishments. After writing the list, go through each item to consider how it helps you be a better teacher.
10. Send a Thank You Note.
Within 24-48 hours of the interview, send a thank you note to the interviewer and/or panel thanking them for their time and consideration.
While a handwritten note adds a personal touch, a kind email works just as well.
This is one of the teacher interview tips that could help you stand out.
These Teacher Interview Tips Land the Job
Use these teacher interview tips to prepare for your next interview. While you should go into the interview expecting you’ll get the job, you should also prepare for disappointment.
If you don’t get the job, treat the interview as a learning experience. Think about how the interview went and what you could have done differently.
As a final suggestion, come up with a list of questions to ask your potential employers. Asking questions shows interest, which may increase your chances of receiving a job offer.
If you found these teacher interview tips helpful, you might also like… career tips for teachers.