Three Steps to a Successful Teaching Interview

Three Steps to a Successful Teaching Interview
Three Steps to a Successful Teaching Interview

You’re preparing for your first teaching interview—or maybe you’re changing schools.

Either way, it’s a good time to practice and hone your interview skills. When it comes to teaching, your answers to interview questions concerning the care and education of students is of the utmost importance. 

Are you capable of completing the job well? Do you care? Are you willing to go above and beyond? These are the things your interviewer wants to know.

They have a very short amount of time to determine your character, so be prepared to feel as if you’re under a microscope during the interview. Along with your resume, they will determine your character through your answers to their most burning questions, along with a general judgment of your personality.

Here are a few necessary steps for the ultimate interview preparation:

1. Create a teacher mission statement.

This statement should encompass the core values you aspire to instill in your students during their time in your classroom. Here is one example of an effective teacher mission statement:

“My mission as a teacher is to support and inspire my students by providing them with a safe classroom and an encouraging atmosphere, where I will help build a solid foundation for learning and thriving–academically, emotionally, and socially.”

The mission statement is a good starting point for brainstorming what type of teacher you want to be, and what type of teacher you want to present to the interviewer. When all else fails or you lose focus, you can think back to the mission statement.

Get started with creating a teacher mission statement here.

2. Do your homework.

Research the school in which you are interviewing. Know their core values and what they believe in before walking into the interview. This shows you’ve already gone above and beyond expectations, and that you are interested in the school’s beliefs and policies. 

Also, do your homework on technical terminology. This includes phrases such as “student-centered learning” and “digital literacy”. There is a good chance that you will be asked questions with similar keywords. When expected to answer these questions, the last thing you want to do is ask for an explanation of the terminology. 

Find a compiled list of educational terminology here.

When doing your “homework”, think of what you can bring to the table. Can you coach baseball? If so, look up what you can about the baseball team, including any postings on coach openings. This can give you an edge over someone else who may not be able to coach. Do you have experience coordinating events? Your skills could be valuable when planning school events. There’s no skill too small to share: you never know if there’s a need you can fill, which will ultimately give you an advantage.

3. Let your personality shine through everything you say.

You’ve already written an amazing resume—this interview is about being personable. The vibe you share with your interviewer is exemplary of your teaching persona. If you radiate positivity from the moment you walk through the door to the moment you shake hands goodbye, you will automatically have a better chance at landing the job than if you offer questionable people skills. In this profession, you will be expected to be a light and an encourager; start right now, during this interview. 

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and your gorgeous personality. Now, go show them what you can do, teacher friend.

Three Steps to a Successful Teaching Interview

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Whitney Ballard is a writer and teacher from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holding a Master’s degree in Education; she writes about her journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens on her blog. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.

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