How to Prepare for Behavioral Interviews - Why School Districts Use Them
Are you fully prepared for behavioral interviews? Whether you are a teacher, school administrator, higher education instructor, or any other position behavioral interview questions are common.
Do you know what awaits you when you enter the interview room? Let's discuss what to expect.
First of all, you must be thrilled to be asked to attend that big teacher interview with a dream school district.
The use of behavioral interviews in education is helping schools ensure you have the qualities they are seeking in a teacher or school administrator. Behavioral interviews are a targeted selection technique utilized by recruiters.
Many school districts, colleges, and organizations make use of behavioral-based questioning during the interview process. This creative technique was designed under the assumption that past behavior qualities are the best predictor of future behavior.
A potential employer can quickly identify what skills and qualities you possess through behavioral interview questions. These skills and qualities are often referred to as competencies, dimensions, and problem-solving abilities and can be discovered by asking detailed questions about your thoughts, feelings and actions in past situations. This approach will assist the district or school in determining whether or not you possess the qualities they are seeking in an educator.
Behavioral Interview Preparation Tips to Conquer the Competition
Behavioral interview questions probe past experiences in which you encountered potential conflict in an educational environment. The objective is to examine how you dealt with the situation, and what the final outcome was.
In the response to these questions, you will be expected to accurately outline the context, actions, and derived results of the circumstances.
How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions
- Recall experiences that can be drawn upon from your previous full-time and part-time teaching employment, volunteer work, professional encounters, university or academic encounters, extracurricular activities, and life experiences.
- Hone in on situations in which you were required to apply your problem solving skills
- For each situation, also develop hypothetical situations. You may be asked to recount past problem-solving experiences and/or answer how you would respond to hypothetical situations.
Educational Behavioral Interviews Preparation Formula
Now that you have a full understanding of why behavioral questions are asked, and what your responses and answers are to be based upon, you are ready to prepare for your interview. To effectively plan for the interview you must uncover as much information as possible about the teaching skills and qualities the district requires. It is important to tap your memory for stories that will precisely illustrate your skills and successes.
Think through each situation and remember who was involved and what role you played in the situation. Most importantly, "LISTEN" to the question being asked of you in order to successfully answer the question with detailed and appropriate responses.
Tailor your practice responses to the area you want to work in. If you want to work for a special education program or applied behavior analysis (ABA) program, practice on hypothetical situations that arise in these specific areas. You may also want to prepare for some of the tougher teacher interview questions and answers.
Consider hiring an interview coach, specialized in the education sector to prepare your responses in a behavioral interview. To be fully prepared, it is important to understand all four stages of the teacher interview.
Teacher Qualities Desired
There are many attributes and characteristics that a district or school desires in a potential candidate. We have put together a list of typical traits a district will be seeking:
- Superior Verbal Communication Skills
- Research Skills
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Analytical Ability
- Lifelong Learner
- Appropriate Judgment
- Problem Solving Techniques
- Leadership Ability
All of the above characteristics can be emulated when you have mastered the ability to effectively answer behavioral interview questions.
Learn how to prepare if the school district hiring committee requests you to present a demo lesson plan as part of the interviewing process
When writing your resume career objective for teaching profile, consider emphasizing similar qualities to those sought in a behavioral interview: problem solver, analytical thinker, results-oriented, team player.
This section appears in your resume profile or summary. The behavioral interview is commonly performed because these qualities are valued by the schools. Review the objectives of a teacher in the classroom. Behavioral management is one of the biggest challenges a teacher will face.
Ensure you have a response prepared to how you would manage past and hypothetical classroom behavior challenges.
Schools, however, do not want a teacher who is always putting out fires, no matter how good you are at extinguishing problems. The most talented school administrators will have proactive strategies in place to prevent the fires from starting in the first place.
This school administrator resume sample provides an example of a forward thinking administrator. This administrator creates and monitors safety policies and encourages open communication.
Practicing for Behavioral Interviews in Education is Critical
The best way to prepare for a behavioral interview is to practice answering questions you may be asked. Advanced preparation will help you project a confident applicant who is comfortable with the questions being asked.
Be prepared; recall key situations, and the role you played in the situation and listen to the question being asked.
One simple way of recalling the appropriate answers is by being a "STAR".
S - Situation
T - Task
A - Action
R – Result
For more on resume basics that will help you get a first interview, see how to write a new teacher resume that gets results.
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