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Interview Success Strategies for Educators

Updated: Mar 13

Interviews are a crucial part of the job application, especially in education. They are the best opportunity to articulate your teaching philosophy, experiences, and achievements with clarity and impact. Your body language, tone, and demeanor are vital in creating a positive and memorable interview presence.

Interview process with two people.
Interview process

Essential Techniques for Preparing for Teacher Interviews

Preparing for an interview requires more than just updating your resume. Here are some essential techniques you should consider:

  • Clean up your social media posts.

  • Practice your responses to common questions.

  • Dress for success.

  • Have questions tailored for each interview team (2-3 questions).

  • Schedule time in your calendar to practice and prepare for the interview.

  • Check-in with your career services department.

  • Think of examples that you can bring into the interview.

  • Participate in mock interviews.

  • Arrive early! Remember, the interview starts and ends when you enter and exit that building.

  • Thank the team.

Research the School District

Before entering the interview room, you should know much about the school district. Start by exploring its website, reviewing its mission and vision, reviewing its curriculum and teacher websites, and checking out its social media.

  • Understand the district’s goals, the data they have for the district, and how they support their teachers.

  • Question yourself: how do you align with their vision and goals?

Common Interview Questions

It is always beneficial to prepare for the common interview questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself, describe how it relates, and highlight your strengths.

  • Why do you want to be a teacher? Share your story and show passion.

  • Why should we hire you? - Highlight your strengths.

  • Describe an effective and engaging lesson.

  • How do you assess students?

  • How do you get involved outside of the classroom?

  • Share a time that you dealt with a difficult situation in the classroom.

  • Share an example of working with families and communities.

  • Specific pedagogy and content questions.

  • What are some ways you differentiate learning?

  • How do you use data to inform your teaching?

  • How have you used technology in the classroom?

Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

Absolutely yes! Customize the questions for each district. Write them down so you don’t forget. Remember, questions could be answered during the interview, so have a few ready. Don’t ask Google-able questions. For instance, you can ask:

  • What qualities are you looking for in a teacher?

  • Describe the culture of your district.

  • What is one strength and challenge area of your district?

  • What are the goals of the district?

The Interview Process

Typically, the interview process consists of three rounds.

  • The first round is conversational, where you share about yourself.

  • The second round usually involves a demonstration where you present the context and content of a lesson, its sequence, where they are in the lesson topic - new or review, differentiation, tech used and available, number of students, etc.

  • The third round involves content and pedagogy questions.

Articulate Your Teaching Philosophy, Experiences, and Achievements

Know your resume, describe your approach to teaching and learning, and consider creating a digital portfolio to showcase your work. Practice sharing your experience with storytelling by answering the questions:

  • What

  • Who

  • Why

  • How

  • When

  • Where,

  • What happened as a result?

How to Handle Tough Interview Questions

Be confident, positive, and honest. Take a minute to collect your thoughts.

  • Can you relate it to your experience?

  • Can you show that you are continuing to learn about that topic?

Create a Positive Vibe

Body language, tone, and demeanor are important in creating a positive and memorable interview presence.

  • Have open body language.

  • Listen to the question and answer it fully.

  • Smile.

  • Show that you are the best candidate for this position.

  • Build rapport during the interview.

  • Don’t be on your phone the whole time!

  • Show that you are interested.

  • Stay present.

Remember, interviews are an opportunity to showcase your skills, knowledge, and passion for teaching. Stay confident and prepared. Have a great interview!

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