Whether you’re finishing up your teacher certification requirements, or stressing because you have an upcoming interview for a teaching position, rest assured. We understand that you want to know what kinds of teacher interview questions and answers are relevant in today’s world of education. These teacher interview tips are meant to help you prepare to put your best foot forward as you try to step into the classroom.
Have a pitch for your teaching philosophy. Administrators want to hire teachers who care enough to have their own personal thoughts and opinions on core academic topics. How do you believe a student’s day should be structured? How should they be managed? How do you prevent bullying? These are important topics for every teacher to think about and discuss in ways that translate into effective classroom outcomes.
Watch your body language and presentation. We know teachers can be as messy, unprepared, absent-minded and quirky as the rest of us, but please don’t let this show during your interview. Be confident in a way that shows you can command a classroom, but also in a way that will set your students at ease. Dress well, and exhibit a clean appearance that portrays you as organized and ready for action as possible. In a nutshell, just try to be relaxed and personable, while keeping it professional.
Prepare your portfolio. This is no time to be shy. Make sure your resume was looked over by a professional who works in education. Have your achievements, degrees, awards, and certificates available for review when you interview. You will also house your teaching philosophy and sample lesson plans in this portfolio. Employers want to know that you can put together lesson plans and create a syllabus for students that fit the position you are applying for.
Get ready to talk about yourself. The inevitable “So, tell us about yourself” question can be a great opportunity to prove you can fit in socially, and that your desire to teach is reflected in your personal life. This question is so basic that it is easy to overlook. You should be as honest as possible but stick to the parts of yourself that are relevant to the type of teacher they want to hire.
Prepare for the tough questions. “Tell us how you manage out-of-control behavior, and how you prevent it.” “What techniques for conflict resolution do you feel are appropriate to apply in your classroom?” Every teacher should be able to answer these questions with confidence. After all, if you can’t manage a classroom of students, how can you possibly teach them?
Determine why are you a good fit for this position and school. This is one of the classic interview questions for teachers. Every school is unique, has its own history, reputation, academic strengths, and so forth. Be sure you can communicate what you find appealing about the academic institution you are applying to for your interviewers.
Be ready to outline how you plan to incorporate the necessary state standards into your lesson plans. “Tell us about the curriculum you want to design, and how it teaches to state standards.” We all know that state and federal standards are tied to funding, which can make or break school districts’ ability to provide quality education for their students.
What types of communication will you use with parents, and how will you manage student/parent dynamics in difficult situations? In a world driven by social media, instant sharing, political correctness and other topics that can challenge teachers and institutions, you need to show that you have a level head and common sense approach to conflict resolution.
Don’t over-think it. Look, you’ve got this. Especially if you worked hard to earn your degree in education and meet your state’s requirements, have a passion for teaching others, and want to make a difference in people’s lives. All you have to do is prepare your supporting materials, and communicate your passion with prospective employers. Even if you aren’t perfect and show a bit of nervousness, you’re only human. They will recognize your commitment, intelligence, and dedication to inspiring students to achieve at their highest level.
This is your interview too, so prepare some questions. Usually, an interview will end with an opportunity for you to ask questions of your prospective employer. Don’t miss this chance to prove you are truly interested in the position and what it would be like to work in that school. Plus, not having any questions can sometimes make interviewees seem uninterested and aloof. Just remember, this is your interview too.