Increase Interviewing Confidence to Control Your Teacher Interview

Increase confidence; don't just rely on crossing your fingers before walking into your teacher interview.

Preparation will increase confidence when interviewing for the teaching position you desire. Without confidence, you likely not take control of the teacher interview process.

More likely, you are presenting your experience and education to the interviewer like an offering to a teacher recruitment officer, hoping you will have a favour bestow upon you. You do not need to leave your interview performance to chance. 

The most critical portion of your teaching job hunt is the interview, which brings you face-to-face with a school district representative. The interviewing process allows both parties the opportunity to get to know each other. You have 20-to-60 minutes to highlight your best qualities while obtaining a clear indication of the teaching job requirements. By the end of the interview, you need to have convinced the interviewer that you are the most qualified candidate for the job.

Ideally, you will distinguish yourself with the first impression and your answer to the first few questions. You wanted to gain the rapt attention of your interlocutor. Like a basketball player who is in control of the ball, you have control over how you match your experience, education and personality to the job position.

You can gain control of the teacher interview by researching what is wanted of the teacher job position, demonstrating how you are uniquely qualified for the position, and telling an evolving story that engages your interlocutor and reinforces key points.

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Research to School District Before Your Teacher Interview

Based on research you conduct on the job position, school and district (see the research steps below), define the school's ideal candidate. School districts are primarily seeking educators who possess solid interpersonal and communication skills and a passion for working with children.

This ideal candidate is educated in the field of teaching and has diverse work experience, is well organized, exhibits a positive role image and acts as an advocate for all students. Don't forget dedicated to making a difference in a child's life while creating an empowering and positive learning environment.

Next, define the specific job requirements. In business, sales people are advised to talk about what keeps their customers up at night. You can connect with what really matters to your interviewer without intruding on his nocturnal ponderings. The point is, understand the needs of the school and teacher position and demonstrate how you can meet those needs. How can you help them do a better job?

 Below is a list of vital information one should research before embarking on an interview:

  1. District boundaries, student enrolment and grade levels
  2. Future vision
  3. Student learning objectives and student achievements in Mathematics and Reading
  4. State or federal recognition for high achievements in academics
  5. Extra-curricular and sports programs that are offered
  6. Mentoring programs and career development initiatives
  7. School and District challenges including budgetary restraints
  8. Salary grid

Researching a school district will be one of the most important tasks you will do in your quest to secure a job in the education field. Research methods you may want to employ include:

  1. Visiting the district office to obtain printed documentation
  2. Frequent district Web sites
  3. Visit schools
  4. Speak with teachers and principals
  5. Attend board meetings
  6. Speak with parents

The more information you can bring to your interview, the better chance you have of creating a positive impression and landing that desirable education position. Based on this research, you may also want to update your teacher resume skills.

Communicate Your Value Confidently In the Interview

During the interview, the committee will attempt to assess your motivation, personality, and values, leadership potential, ambitions, etc. This is when your expertise and skill to communicate that knowledge is put to the test. Keep in mind that the more information you have obtained about a school district, the better prepared you will be during the interview.

Fair enough, you cannot communicate all of these qualities in your first sentence. You would be surprised at how much you can communicate in only a few words. Thoughtful answers should be developed in advance, conveying the professional and personal qualities of a teacher you want to convey. Back up your key points with examples, anecdotes, statistics, and so on. If you list attributes without evidence and examples, you are simply boasting.

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Like a good storyteller or writer, move from the general to the specific. Try and encapsulate each major point in one sentence, and provide evidence of your boasts.

Consider this example:

I am continually developing new teaching methods to engage my students in writing. Having the students role play as teachers and mark their classmates' work has resulted in a 10 percent improvement in writing scores.

Now reinforce the main points in a summary sentence: My more analytical and engaged students now ask me when we can do the next writing lesson. In under 50 words, you have introduced an innovative writing program and provided both quantitative and qualitative evidence of its success.

Before the teacher interview process, it is important to take the time to reflect on your skills and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Creating a positive impression during your interview is critical. Even professional speakers such as politicians prepare for each presentation.

Working With a Career Coach

The best way to build confidence for your interview is practice, practice, and more practice.
Knowing the interview questions and their answers can be tremendously helpful in building confidence. Confidence comes from having answered dozens of teacher job interview questions in advance of the real event. Even if the principal shoots you a surprise question, you will be calm and confident in your ability to thoughtfully craft a meaningful response. This is because you have given much thought and preparation to presenting the value proposition you will bring to the teaching position.

An education career coach can help you communicate a consistent message. If you are a special education teacher, for example, the special education teacher skills you highlight in your cover letter should be elaborated on with evidence in your interview. By reinforcing and elaborating on points, you can lead the interviewer by telling a story.

Avoid practicing with generic online interview questions. Interview questions specifically designed for teaching positions will help you personalize your answers. We have created two ebooks to do just that, the first is A+ Teachers' Interview Edge and the second is A+ Principals' Interview Edge. Narrow your questions even further by job post. If you are considering a principal's job, try School Principal Job Interview Questions and Answers. You may want to supplement it with School Administrator Interview Questions and Answers to ensure you can answer job function questions.

A+ Resumes for teachers provides interview questions for many teaching positions, and even the most difficult of scenarios, such as how would you deal with angry parents? Or how do you differentiate your teaching?

Visit A+ Resumes for Teachers for interview questions for your specific job profile. A good place to start is with 101 A+ Education Job Interview Tips.

Learn more about Candace Alstad-Davies and her teacher interview coaching services by reviewing my about me page. From that page, you can review testimonials and frequently asked questions.

Need some writing help making a teaching application letter, cover letter, resume, or CV curriculum vitae to show your value? Take the time to review and order one of our resume packages or individual services.

Have questions, please connect by sending an email to Candace or call toll-free at 1 877 738-8052. I would enjoy chatting with you.