Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Teacher Interviews

Image courtesy of Phasinphoto at
It is the time of the year where contracts are offered and teachers are looking for jobs. This year I am one of those teachers. Its been several years since I have gone through the process so I did a ton of research and asked around.

Interviewing can be a long and discouraging process. (I was told that up to 350 people apply for elementary positions in the district I live in.) I thought it would be helpful to ask around and do some research to make the process seem less daunting and hopefully encouraging for those seeking their dream teaching jobs. 

Resumé Dos and Don'ts:

This is a tricky one! You want to stand out but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. I really researched resumés. You need a good resume´to get your foot in the door. I have heard many teachers want to make their resume´cute and some include pictures of themselves. After extensive research on this topic I have found that you should have a simple resume´with nothing fancy.

Let your qualifications speak for themselves! 
You need a solid cover letter and good reference letters to help you sell yourself!

What to Bring: 

Many teachers like to bring a portfolio. I have been on several interview committees and we never have asked to see a portfolio. I have never been asked to bring one either. My recommendation is to ask if you can bring anything. 

I have been asked if I had a video of myself teaching on more than one occasion. If you do not have one, it is a good idea to do one. I created a YouTube video so I could share the link.

One of my friends had to upload several interview questions and a video of her teaching when she applied to the district. 

What to Wear:

A principal I used to work with in a very competitive district told me not to interview in a power suit or a frilly dress. He said dress the way you would in your classroom because thats what a school wants to see.

Find something that you feel comfortable and confident in! ( I always love an excuse to go shopping!) I recently wore a conservative but bright blue dress. I was told by the principal she liked what I was wearing and it exuded confidence.  I also wore a trendy tassel necklace and was so animated in my conversation that it wrapped around my glasses in the middle of an interview. ( It was not my shining moment!) 

Image courtesy of Ambro at
Questions to Think About:

Be prepared to talk about your classroom and experience. You are selling yourself and no one knows how well you will do in this job but you! Be prepared for them to ask you if you have questions. I was told that this may make or break you!

Here are some real life interview tips and questions for you from teachers like you!

I was asked what was the last book you read?

  • After interview question: "Is there anything you asked me that you would like me to speak more about?" 
Share your personal experiences, don't just give generic answers!
  • Take every question seriously, even if you don't think it's a serious question. My response to "If you were an animal, what kind would you be, and why?" is what got me the job!
  • Practice practice practice! Practice interviewing with family and friends so you can turn answers into stories and get rid of your ums. Also eye contact and smile while you talk.

  • So it was before I was a teacher and was interviewing for another job. The question was, "Do you consider yourself lucky?" Of course I answered truthfully, not knowing there was a correct canned answer to give. I answered that yeah, I felt pretty lucky [thinking what a weird question that was]. I didn't get the job. Some time later I read that the "correct" answer was to say that yes, I was lucky... because I work hard and make my own luck.
The Waiting Game:

THE WORST PART!!! Did you get the job? Did they like you? When will they call?

Ask! When you are leaving ask what are the next steps. That will give you a time frame and some peace of mind.

The interview process is different for every school. I have had to teach a lesson, I have had multiple interviews at the same school, I have been interviewed by several people and by one. Be prepared for all scenarios! 

I hope you found this helpful. Here are some more blog posts about the topic:

Advice for New Teachers.

How to Land the Perfect Teaching Job.

Do you have anything to add? Please do so in the comments. I got the job I really wanted and I hope you do too! 

1 comment:

  1. Tks very much for your post.

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