Reaching the interview stage is a crucial part of the job search process. Nail down the meeting by competently ending the conversation the way you started it – strong and impressive.
Ten Techniques to Close a Teacher Job Interview
There are several steps a job seeker must take to achieve a teaching position: getting chosen for an interview is step number one. When you are selected for an interview, this shows that a school is interested in you and that you may have some quality or skill they are looking for in a teacher. They will then require you to come in person to clarify or buttress some key points regarding your resume and the teaching position.
When you reach the interview, you are very close to securing the job; don’t forget other candidates will be shortlisted. So, it now boils down to how you can effectively prove that you are better qualified than the others; and you have to do this in a brief period. Starting the interview on a positive note is important, but closing it on an electrifying note is even more important.
1. Emphasize the Reason Why You Are Applying.
Make it very clear why you are applying for the job and customize your responses to fit the school and its goals. Why are you the best candidate for this particular school, its unique population of students, its specific mission, and its local community? Why you? Why here? Why now?
2. Make Relevant Claims.
State how you can help the school fulfill its mission and vision with your own ideas and how your agenda can fit theirs. You can only do this if you have researched and studied the institution’s creeds and ethos beforehand. Your goal is to make sure that this opportunity is the next logical step in your story and that an educator with your unique experiences is the next logical step in the school’s story.
3. Ask Insightful Questions.
Be careful not to sound ill-informed or ask questions of items you could have readily gotten off their website or other easily accessible sources. Ask questions relevant to the position’s daily activities, like disciplining the students or extracurricular activities. Ask about specific things like the faculty’s team environment, how the administrators foresee the school growing or changing in the future. What goals the principal expects new teachers to set and meet for themselves and their students during their first year on the job.
You can also turn your questions into a conversation by listening to your interviewers’ answers and responding with ways that you could contribute to their overall vision, to help them meet opportunities for growth on the horizon, or how you embody the qualities they just described when they discussed what they look for in an employee. This will demonstrate your interest, your capabilities, and your motivation.
4. Request for More Questions from the Panel.
Ensure they have exhausted all possible questions for you by asking if they have any more questions. This shows you know what you are doing and are fully prepared for them and will also ensure that you will leave the interview with your interviewers having all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Answering as many questions as possible will serve a dual purpose. It will help you to communicate your qualifications and find out what the panel is seeking in a candidate. Listening carefully to their questions will allow you to ask informed questions when it’s your turn.
5. Never Talk About Money or Remuneration.
During the initial interview, you cannot discuss wages and benefits; you can do that when you have a concrete job offer. For now, limit the discussion to how you can be of help. Once you offer the job, there will be plenty of time to negotiate compensation. There are some education positions where you will not be allowed to negotiate salary.
6. Inquire About the Competition.
There is no harm in finding out how many job applicants the school is interviewing for the teaching position. Knowing what you are up against may help you plan the best possible strategy to land the job. Make sure not to sound as if they are a threat to you, though. A good strategy for asking about this is to inquire regarding their interview timeline during your opportunity to ask questions.
Though the hiring committee may not explicitly tell you how many people they are considering, they will often let you know the duration of time interviews will be conducted and when they expect to make a decision will be made. They may let you know if the candidates will be notified of the decision. This is also valuable information as you will have a reasonable expectation of when to hear back from them and therefore won’t spend time sitting by the phone worrying about a callback before they’ve even concluded interviewing candidates.
7. Ask The Next Step in The Hiring Process
Be sure to find out what the next step is before leaving. Find out who should contact whom and when they will expect to have made a decision. Ask in a very courteous manner. This can help you plan if there will be multiple rounds of interviews, and it can also help you establish a timeline for when to expect a decision to be made.
8. Demonstrate Professionalism and Kindness
A firm handshake with all the panel members shows confidence, professionalism, and courtesy. Don’t shake one person’s hand; address each individual in the meeting room. Look them in the eyes, smile, and offer a hand to all, one after the other, thanking them for meeting with you. This small demonstration of your appreciation will make a positive impression on the committee.
9. Do Not Leave in a Hurry
In an interview, you are expected to be fully prepared to commit to the hiring committee’s timeline. Don’t rush through the interview because you have other appointments. Ensure that you have a clear schedule, allowing plenty of time between the interview and your next engagement. This way, you won’t have to feel pressed for time, and you can give your full, undivided attention to the conversation at hand.
10. Pack Your Stuff Nicely
Don’t show any sign of nervousness. Take your time, make sure you pack all your things; do it gently and in an organized manner. It commands some respect and shows your confidence and ease.
Don’t stop the job search after you leave the interview room. Properly follow up via email or phone to increase your chances of landing a job offer.