Are you searching for teaching interview tips to land your dream teaching job? Wonderful, you found the right post for interview strategies for teachers and other educators.
When you walk into a teacher interview, you will be judged on your responses to the interview questions. The interview panel will compare your answers with other teachers’ responses competing for the same teaching job. If you have the exact skills and knowledge the school district is seeking, it will mean little if you can’t communicate and conduct yourself properly in a teacher interview.
Teaching Interview Tips to Secure the Teacher Job You Desire
1.) Be on time:
Nothing is worse than arriving late for a job interview. You haven’t even started the job and you are getting there late. Tardiness will indicate you are not a serious teaching candidate, you are disrespectful of other peoples’ time, and you are disorganized.
In fact, it is wise to be at least 10-15 minutes early. Arriving before the interview will show you are punctual and enthusiastic, plus it will give you a few minutes to gather your thoughts. Be careful not to arrive too early, though, as it can be a major inconvenience to your interviewer if you’re waiting in their lobby 45 minutes before your start time. Be at least 10-15 minutes early, but no more than 25.
Out of all the critical teaching interview tips, this could possibly be number one – your arrival will set the stage for the rest of the interview. Keep reading, there are many interviewing strategies to implement to achieve a job offer.
2.) Demonstrate confidence and friendly manners:
You may have been told this over and over again, so listen to this advice. A strong handshake gives the impression of a strong personality. Walk in confidently and extend your hand in a confident manner. Seal the deal with a firm handshake and introduction. Whether you are feeling confident on the inside or not, tell yourself you are confident and you will be. Confidence isn’t only a handshake, though. An appropriate amount of eye contact, sitting upright (not slouching), and a clean, polished appearance will all exude confidence.
Greet the receptionist/front desk in the same polite, professional manner that you would greet any interviewer. Thinking of the front desk personnel as a “lowly secretary” will do nothing but sully your impression with the interviewers (you should also probably take a good look at yourself if this is your mindset).
3.) Research the school:
Almost all schools now have websites, so there is no excuse for going into your interview unprepared. When you show up asking informed questions, you look smarter and more prepared. These are two pluses any principal will take into consideration. Also, when you arrive with plenty of prior knowledge and relevant, probing questions, it will show that you are truly interested in being selected for the position and working for the institution.
4.) Focus your conversation:
Direct your conversation and questions about the job at hand and the school. Do not bring up salary too early in the conversation. You can negotiate your salary and benefits when you have been offered the actual job. If you are asked about what you want in terms of salary, give a price range so that you have room to negotiate later if hired. Do some research on what jobs in your discipline are paying in the district before going to the interview.
It’s okay to ask about the typical career path/trajectory for the job you’re interviewing for, but be very careful not to give off the impression that this job is intended as a mere stepping stone for your next role. If the conversation veers toward future teaching positions (a common tactic/recruitment tool for employers) you may entertain it for a little, but then gently steer it back to the job at hand to show that this is the job you want for now.
5.) Maintain your composure:
Maintain your composure even if you are feeling pressured. It is important that you do not let your nerves show in terms of your body language or speech. Going into the interview prepared and asking meaningful questions will help you maintain your composure. Remember that you really are prepared to take on this new phase in your life.
Nerves are a completely normal part of an interview; it’s okay to be nervous!
If you find that your anxiety is starting to spiral out of control (uncontrollable shaking, stuttering, blanking on answers, etc.) it’s okay to politely let your interviewer know that you’re very much interested in this job and, as a result, are super nervous.
Ask for a moment to have a drink of water, or if it’s truly been a “failure” up to that point and time allows, ask to “start over”. Simply tell them that you know you can do better and would appreciate a chance to circle back around to some of the questions that you don’t think you answered effectively.
6.) Let them know you are qualified:
Bring in your previous experiences and point out how they will help you carry out this teaching job. Give a ‘voice’ to your resume during the interview, make the content in your resume come alive. Pinpoint areas of expertise that will contribute to your success.
What do you think the secret is to secure a job offer?
I think it is a combination of things.
Preparing and practicing for the interview encompass them all.
Make sure to always highlight relevant accomplishments and any major projects you’ve worked on. If these projects are in the form of tangible forms, feel free to print them out and add them to your professional portfolio.
It will really impress your interviewers that you made an effort to bring proof of your strengths and showcase them. Knowing what the school district and what school principals are looking for in a new teacher.
7.) Don’t talk negatively about past experiences:
Talking negatively about former principals, schools or colleagues is just not acceptable. It is bad taste and will cost you your interview. Never give off the impression that you’re bitter about a prior experience or old coworkers, it will only serve to make you appear unprofessional.
As you can see there are many teaching interview tips. Don’t overestimate the number of negative vibes you will feel if you talk harshly about students, parents, coworkers, or anyone else. Refrain, refrain – seriously!
8.) Radiate confidence:
Show you are confident in your body language and the way you speak and converse. Sit up confidently in your chair. Listen intently to your interviewer and nod in understanding. Do not fiddle with anything or play with your hair, it is unprofessional and distracting. Fiddle is an indication of nervousness, and no school wants to hire a teacher that seems to be nervous all the time. Take the steps necessary to increase confidence in the interview to take control of your teaching interview.
9.) Dress appropriately:
Business casual is acceptable in most schools now, unless you are applying for an administrative job, or it is a private school with a dress code. Even if the school is a casual one, dress a little more formal. Make sure you are properly groomed and your clothes are clean. Appearance is important and you will be judged on it.
10.) Ask for the job:
An interview is your opportunity to let a potential principal know that you want this job. If you have learned more about the school by the end of the interview, and you are even more intrigued, let them know it. This will show them you are truly interested in the position.
Do you have any teaching interview tips you can offer fellow educators? Comment and share below!