Inside: Teaching job interview tips from our teacher community!
If you could ask me what the most common topic I’ve been getting questions about in our teacher community the last month, it would definitely be job interviews! Whether you just finished student teaching and are on the search for your first job, or you are simply looking for a change, you want to be prepared for your interview. Have no fear! These tips were compiled from a wide variety of teachers inside the Wife Teacher Mommies Unite Facebook group. With this variety of insight, you are bound to ace your teacher job interview!
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How To Ace Your Teacher Job Interview
Do your research before the teacher job interview
Doing your research about the school or district you are applying for before the interview is probably the most important thing you can do. Research the policies of the school. You will also want to know the curriculum the school uses and show any familiarity that you have with the curriculum, or your eagerness to use it. Knowing the school’s demographics is also very important. Is it Title 1? Are there many English Language Learners? These are things you will need to know.
Katelyn, one of our teachers, had some suggestions about this. “First, if you can find out anything about the district you’re interviewing with – each district has some type of philosophy they lead with. This may be something like specific engagement strategies, teacher clarity, etc. If you can find out that information, those will be the “buzz words” to use during an interview.”
Bring an up to date teaching portfolio
Prepare a teaching portfolio with your resume, recommendation letters, credentials, and examples from your teaching experience. You may want to tweak your resume slightly for different schools to emphasize what is most important to that school.
One of the teachers in our group shared the importance of her portfolio. She said, “My portfolio wowed my principal! I had a black binder with all of my stuff in it, labeled in different categories. I had student examples to show her with student growth from my internship (I am a first year teacher). Make sure you mention how much you love kids and care about them. Flexibility is important.”
Even if you uploaded your resume and recommendation letters ahead of time, it is still wise to bring a copy with you to the interview. Put them in a nice folder. While you may not need it, t comes across as proactive and “go-getter”.
Dress professionally in something you feel confident in
The ever-important question- “What should I wear for my teacher job interview?” There is no one right answer for what you should wear, but here is a good rule of thumb. Wear something that is professional, but that you also feel fabulous and confident wearing. Your confidence will shine through when you wear something you feel great in, but if you are uncomfortable in your outfit, that can have the opposite effect. I personally love to wear dresses, but for you, it may be a comfortable dress suit. Use your best judgment to find something to wear. You may even use this as a reason to find something new that you love!
At the same time, don’t dress “too loud”. Remember the keyword is professional. You want to be remembered by how you rocked your interview, and not the crazy out-there outfit you were wearing.
Be ready for questions that will arise during your teacher job interview
Be prepared ahead of time with answers for popular interview questions. Common questions may be about:
- Why you want to work for that school/district
- Your teaching philosophy
- Classroom management procedures
- Why you decided to become a teacher
- Strengths and weaknesses as a teacher (don’t be afraid to admit what you want to improve at and how you plan to do it!)
- How you evaluate students
- Utilizing and interpret student data
- Running small groups
- How well you collaborate with other teachers
- Ways you differentiate your instruction to reach all learners
- How you utilize technology in the classroom
- How would you contribute to our PLC or school community
Be prepared for how you will answer these questions, keeping in mind the school policies, procedures, and community at the school you are interviewing at.
Show your teaching knowledge and experiences
“Reference educational text when you can. An oldie but goodie is Wong’s book First Days of School since it refers to a lot of management practices.”
Be sure to play to your strengths during your teacher interview. If you are great at technology integration, music/art, have any additional endorsements or special qualifications, be sure to bring those up during your interview!
At the end of every interview, you will likely be asked if you have any questions. While it may be easiest to just say no, it is a good idea to have a question or two prepared ahead of time. It is even better if the question shows that you have researched the school’s website and you are asking for clarification on something.
Be passionate and be YOU during your teaching interview
One teacher from our group had the following advice to share, and I think it sums this up quite nicely. “Remember to be yourself your passion will come through. Think about the things that you are passionate about and definitely research the programs and talk about the experiences you were part of in student teaching. Classroom management and discipline are always big questions. You will do great.”
If you don’t get the job, don’t panic
If you don’t get the teaching job you interviewed for, don’t panic. It simply means that it was not the right teaching job for you at this time. Most teachers will have multiple interviews before landing their teaching job. Although it can be a stressful process at times, the right job WILL come along, and you will be so happy when you land the position!
Join the Wife Teacher Mommies Unite Facebook group to get more interview questions answered!
Want personalized advice on your job interview, or your new teaching position? There are hundreds of teachers in our Facebook group who are happy to help you! The Wife Teacher Mommies Unite Facebook Community is filled with the kindest ladies who teach a variety of grade levels all over the world. (Yes- some even teach abroad!) It’s a great way to get a wide variety of input from teachers.
And be sure to grab your FREE teacher resources as well by joining our mailing list. As a new teacher (or a teacher moving schools or grade levels), you will want to take advantage of all of the resources you can get. Don’t feel the need to re-invent the wheel. You can sign up here for FREE samples of our most popular sub plans! This will make sub planning much less stressful for you as a first-year teacher, or a teacher in a new school.