Job interviews can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but for teachers, it can be especially anxiety-inducing. As an educator, you want to make sure you are presenting yourself as the best possible fit for the job. The good news is that with a little preparation and practice, acing a teaching job interview is easier than you think. After 16 years of teaching at a school 60 miles from my home, I recently entered the interview pool to try for a job closer to home. Now, I am sharing some tips and tricks that will help you feel confident and ready to take on any teaching interview.
Teacher Interview Tips
Research the School
It is essential to research the school you are interviewing for. Go through their
- social media
Learn as much as possible about the
- school’s values,
- culture, and
- mission statement.
This information will give you content to ask questions, learn if the job is the right fit for you, and allow you to showcase your talents that would be a good fit with the school.
Dress professionally and appropriately for the school you are interviewing at. One of my biggest tips to help you stand out – wear something colorful! When I interviewed, almost all the other candidates wore black. Choose a color to help you become more memorable than the other candidates.
While wearing a suit might not be necessary, I would suggest dress pants and a blazer. Don’t forget to accessorize with minimal jewelry and polished shoes. Your attire should be neat and clean, without any wrinkles or stains. The way you look can make a significant impact on how the interviewer perceives you.
Also, while waiting, do not scroll your phone. Keep your phone in your bag or even in the car. Show the secretaries and administration that you are focused on the job, not on social media!
Prepare a teaching portfolio
Bring a teaching portfolio to your interview. This portfolio should contain samples of your
- lesson plans,
- student work,
- letters from past students,
- letters of recognition,
- a copy of teaching programs that highlight a need in the school,
- and any other relevant materials that demonstrate your teaching skills and abilities.
Organize your portfolio meticulously so it’s easy for the interviewer to navigate.
A simple project folder can be used. Prepare a few at once so that it is already prepared when you get the call!
Practice Common Interview Questions
Practice makes perfect, and the same goes for job interviews. It is inevitable that you are going to be nervous, so preparing your answers to the most commonly asked interview questions can make all the difference. Don’t just memorize your answers, though. Practice them in front of a mirror or with a friend or family member. Getting feedback can help you polish your answers and make sure you communicate your skills and qualifications effectively to the interviewer.
Also, prepare a list of questions to ask. You do not need to ask ALL of the questions but by brainstorming a list ahead of time, you will be able to show your interest in the job by also asking them questions.
The best way to ace an interview is by being yourself. Remember to smile and relax, even if you are feeling nervous. You want to show the interviewer your personality, communication skills, and passion for teaching. Don’t try to be someone else; instead, let your unique qualities shine through.
There you have it – my top tips for nailing that next teaching job interview. Remember, by researching the school, dressing to impress, preparing a teaching portfolio, practicing your responses, and being yourself, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream teaching job. With a little bit of preparation and polish, you can take the stress out of the interview process and show off your best self. I wish you the best of luck on your interview!