No matter which profession you are in, being interviewed for a new job is always nerve-wracking. There’s that awkward wait in the foyer – which makes you even MORE nervous – and then the interview itself, which can go on for hours and you never leave feeling okay. Well, we’re going to prep you.
Firstly, make sure you know what to bring with to your interview. Ensure that you have all the necessary documentation with you, like your CV, portfolio, and sample lesson plans. If you’re unsure of what to bring, simply ask!
While it’s impossible to guess every question that might be asked in an interview, there are common questions that will definitely pop up in your interview. Make sure you have an answer for these:
Qualifications aside, the principal is also looking for someone who is likeable and will get on well with the rest of the staff. While this question seems a little daunting, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to highlight all the positive aspects of yourself.
This question is designed to gauge how passionate you are about teaching. If your response is something along the lines of “I just needed a job”, then your chances of being hired are low indeed.
Have you done your homework, dear teacher? Every school is unique and has its own traits – be sure you can convey what you find so appealing about the school, and more to the point, why you will be a good fit.
The topic of discipline will inevitably come up during the interview. What is your strategy for dealing with a rowdy classroom or a distracted student? The answer to this question will reveal a lot about your teaching style so make sure you’re prepared!
There’s no avoiding parent interactions. There is the PTA, parent-teacher conferences, and phone calls from angry mothers wanting to know why their darling angel is in detention. Make sure you can communicate how you deal with parents.
Can you see yourself from the perspective of your students? Everyone has a different teaching style and students react differently to different styles. This question is to test if you’re the right fit for these particular students, and if you can adapt your style to different classes or situations.
Standards and standardized testing are an important part of teaching. This question assesses your understanding of what is expected, how you plan your curriculum, and whether or not you just “teach the test”.
Answer-prepping aside, try not to overthink it. Be yourself, and be honest. If you don’t understand a question, ask the principal to reiterate. Remember, an interview isn’t a test where there are only right or wrong answers – it’s to discover if you’re suitable for the school, and vice versa.
Teachers can have a reputation for looking frazzled, and who can blame them? There are only so many hours in the day for a teacher. However, when it comes to your interview, be sure that you are neatly dressed. No need to go all out and buy new clothes, just make sure they are ironed and don’t have any stains!
Remember, this interview goes both ways. Make sure you have your own questions written down so that you don’t forget them! Enquire about salary, school culture, and whatever else you need to know.
Now that you’re prepped with our top tips, you can confidently walk into your next interview! Good luck!