Congratulations! You’ve landed that coveted teacher interview. Now comes the task of impressing the school district interviewers. To make the best possible impression, you’ll want to prepare; this will involve having an inventory of necessary things to bring to the interview.
We often focus so much on getting ourselves to the interview, dressing correctly, being prompt when we arrive, or the teacher interview questions asked at the end of the interview that we don’t emphasize what’s in our briefcase.
“What do I need to bring to my interview?” you may be asking yourself.
Well, ask no more because we’ve prepared a list of things that will help you to seem like the qualified, capable candidate you are.
If you have a teaching portfolio, remember to take your precious work of art with you, it has many benefits. The interview panel may not have time to review your portfolio, but at least they will see you have one.
Bringing These Items to Your Next Teacher Interview will Help to Land a Job Offer.
Current Resume – Multiple Copies
If you need to distribute them to the panel, you should have enough to do this. Most likely, they will have a copy, but they may be testing you to see if you are prepared. Even if they already have a copy of your resume, be sure to ask if they would like a copy when you introduce yourself. That way, you can still demonstrate that you came prepared even if they already have your information in front of them.
Letter of Intent/Cover Letter Your Submitted
Bring these with copies of your resume if the interview panel doesn’t have a copy of them. If you submitted a document, like a cover letter, a list of employment references, or a reference letter from a former colleague or supervisor, it’s smart to have a copy on hand just if your committee wants an extra copy.
Philosophy of Education Statement
Although you may have submitted this with the rest of your application package, it is always good to come prepared with extra copies. Even if you have handed it in, the interviewer may ask you for an extra copy or ask you a question regarding your teaching philosophy. Having a copy handy will help if you need to refer to it.
Copies of Degrees, Transcripts, Licenses, and Certifications
All of these are a vital group of documents to bring with you to the interview. You need to back up all the claims you make on your resume regarding your education and qualifications.
Even if you photocopied these and sent them through email, hiring managers may want to see them in the flesh to ensure that they are indeed authentic. It is also always better to proactive in these instances. If you have documents like official transcripts, they may need to be submitted in a signed and sealed envelope. Have a signed, sealed envelope on hand so that your interviewer can open an official copy for review if needed.
A Listing of Professional Development Courses Taken
If you didn’t include a complete list on your resume, you need to bring this information to the interview. You want to show the interview panel your latest accomplishments in your professional development to demonstrate you are dedicated to staying current in the teaching profession.
If it’s been an unusually drawn-out hiring process and you have attended a conference or earned a new credential since you submitted your application, this information becomes doubly important because it gives your interviewers an updated picture of your skills and abilities.
Certifications/Paperwork to Confirm Awards or Honors Earned
As with the copies of your degrees and other qualifications, you need to back up the authenticity of any awards or honors you’ve stated that you’ve earned in your teacher resume. In essence, if you make a statement about yourself, be sure to back it up with documentation whenever you can.
Copies of Letters of Recommendation
You should bring two or three great letters of recommendation if you have them. Letters from supervisors, cooperating teachers, and principals are all good choices. The more specific they are in covering your instructional techniques, creativity, collegiality, and classroom climate, the better.
Copies of References
If a hiring manager hasn’t already requested your references, you can rest assured that they will look at your interview. Always have a printed reference sheet ready, with extra copies in case the panel requests copies. As always, ensure that your reference information is correct and up-to-date.
If you haven’t done so already, contact your references to inform them that you will be submitting your contact details as part of an interview and confirm that they are still comfortable speaking to your qualifications and answering questions. Otherwise, qualified candidates have lost out on job offers because references were caught off guard when called after the interview. Don’t let this happen to you.
Teaching Portfolio to Show a Reflection of Your Skills, Accomplishments, and Passion
If you have one, bring it. Don’t bring it if they explicitly stated on the phone or in a confirmation letter that teaching portfolios are not allowed. The interview may refer to this as examples of teaching artifacts.
Try to avoid jamming your portfolio full of examples. It should contain just a few of your best samples of lessons and student work. Choose the examples that best reflect the skills, abilities, and experiences that tie into this particular job, and tailor your portfolio to your teacher interview.
Materials for Your Sample Lesson or Presentation
If you have been asked to participate in a mock classroom lesson or to prepare a presentation for the interview, be sure to make a checklist of everything you will need to complete that portion of the interview successfully.
Determine what materials you will need, how many people will be participating, and create a separate list of quantities of materials, technology needs, and other essential items that will be required.
If you have an obligation to give a presentation, make sure that you have multiple ways to access your slides. Put them on a thumb drive, email them to yourself, and save them using a site like Google Slides or Slide Share to ensure that you will have what you need to be successful regardless of technical difficulties.
An Appropriate Bag to Carry It All
Layout your documents, portfolio, sample lesson materials, and other required items and determine the bag’s size you will need to carry it all.
If you are not supposed to bring a hard copy of your teaching portfolio or if you aren’t asked to give a presentation, you could be in good shape with copies of appropriate documents and a pen and paper to take notes. If you have been asked to bring a portfolio and a lesson plan for a larger group, you may need a larger briefcase or tote bag.
Be sure to find an appropriately professional carrying case for your materials, as you don’t want to show up in professional dress toting your old college backpack.
Bring a Can-Do Attitude to a Teacher Interview
It may sound cliché, but you cannot forget to bring your enthusiasm and a positive attitude with you to the interview. Your energy, vitality, and passion for teaching need to be clearly evident in your attitude.
Principals are looking for teachers with self-confidence and enthusiasm, someone they can trust with a room full of students. Incorporate effective interview strategies into your preparation to ace the job interview and secure a job offer
Be the kind of teacher you’d want to learn from, and your interviewers will begin to see the possibilities that could be unlocked with you supporting their students.