In order to gain a teaching job, interview you first need to apply for a position. This entails submitting your application form, in addition to a professional looking resume and a well-crafted cover letter
At this stage it is easy to relax and wait for interview offers to come rolling in. However, this is the time you need to be preparing for your teaching job interview.
There are no shortcuts or tricks to succeeding in interviews. All it really comes down to is being well prepared.
As well as putting together your Teaching Portfolio, you also need to go to an interview prepared with responses to these issues:
- Your personal teaching philosophies
- Your personal story
- Your history and background
- To have an edge over other candidates aim to be articulate in your responses and answers to the types of questions that will likely be asked.
Unprepared candidates will be exposed pretty readily by an experienced interviewer. An unprepared candidate is usually more agitated, fidgety and unnaturally nervous. Long pauses are often observed before they respond to fairly straight forward questions. Even the use of educational jargon might confuse them.
Nearly all teaching job interviews are conducted with a set of core questions. You can benefit from this knowledge by preparing responses to the questions most commonly asked in teaching job interviews. Your answer to these questions can then roll off your tongue in a confident and articulate manner.
As mentioned before there are no short cuts or secrets here, you simply need to be prepared.
In the interview room, smile and greet each person in the room. When it is appropriate, firmly shake hands with each of these people. When you are invited to sit, be mindful not to slouch, as this looks very poorly on your character. Relax your hands.
Remember that confidence can go a long way, however don’t overdo it by being too boastful.
The interview room is a professional arena, so act professionally. Don’t be a joker, however a little light heartedness can seem to break the ice sometimes.
In your teaching portfolio, have extra copies of your teaching certification and resume. Other evidence to show your interviewers that you are a serious contender, are sample lesson plans and samples of student’s work. You will not be asked to present your portfolio however it is generally expected that all candidates will arrive at an interview with a portfolio. Your portfolio should be neat and professional looking, preferably bound leather or another professional alternative.
Use your portfolio as a tool during the interview. Refer to the contents when answering questions. For instance, refer to you sample lesson plans when appropriate.
As with all interviews across all industries, the first questions to be asked will inevitably be to tell the intervier(s) about yourself. Keep your response truthful and brief. Be sure to know what you are going to talk about.
Topics to talk about include:
- School and college back
What not to say:
- Your weak points
- Anything negative
- Things you don’t know
- Things that you are not good at
This is a great tip when answering a question on how you “would do something?”. Answer it as if you have previously done it. For example, “When I was teaching …, I used ….” By using specific examples, you are demonstrating your experience and convincing the interviewers of your competence.
At the conclusion of most interviews, the candidate will be asked if they would like to ask any questions of their own. Have a number of questions ready for this opportunity and leave the interviewers with a positive impression. This is a chance to ask something that may stand out in the interviewer’s minds.