Teacher Interview Tips That Will Get You The Interview and The Job
Reading my teacher interview tips on this page and the two additional pages with suggestions on how to handle many of the teacher interview questions that are sure to be asked, is the first step towards getting an interview and landing the job you want.
Believe it or not, getting an interview is more difficult and stressful than getting the job! The saying "It's who you know, not what you know" holds very true in this situation!
There are basically two types of interviews:
1. An interview at a school board in the Human Resources department in order to be placed on an "eligible to hire" list.
2. An interview at a particular school for a particular position.
Getting the Interview
Based on my experience in the school boards that I've been associated with, here are my teacher interview tips to use to get an interview:
1. It is imperative to be pro-active. Speak to anyone and everyone you can that is involved in the education field or even works in a related field (e.g. sells supplies to schools,etc.). You never know who knows who.
2. Volunteer in different schools - in the library as well as in the primary and junior grades (remember the older kids need extra help too).
3. A vital suggestion. Make a list of schools with a 30 Km/20 mile radius of your home. Visit these schools and leave your resume (write down the date you visited the school) and your cover letter. Keep in mind that the first paragraph of your cover letter needs to wow and grab the interest of the principal or VP who will be reading it- be creative!
Hopefully you can meet with the principal or VP when you drop off your resume - matching a face and a name to the resume.
Be prepared that the principal/VP may say that they don't need anyone at the moment, but ask that he/she read it anyway and keep it on file or pass it on to another principal or VP.
You never know; the day after you visit a school, a teacher may inform the principal that he/she needs a medical, maternity or some other type of leave.
About 3 days after dropping off your resume, email the principal (be sure to record that date too) and ask if he/she has had a chance to peruse your resume and if you can come to the school to meet with them.
If the principal emails a response and says "thanks but no thanks", please don't be discouraged (their loss). Just respond and thank him/her for their time and ask if he/she can pass on your resume to another principal who may be interested.
In a month's time (record the date), send another email (even if you're first email did not get a response), a short one just to reconnect. Often, unforeseen situations arise and a position may open up.
Now, you don't want to be thought of as a stalker, but emailing every 2-3 months is fine (record the dates). Show that you are determined and diligent. Keep your name in the back of the principal's mind.
4. Try volunteering in some of the schools you left your resume at, so the principal can see you in action.
5. If you are supply teaching at a particular school, leave your resume with the principal.
6. Keep copies of your resume in the car - you never know who you will meet on your travels.
Use these teacher interview tips and you will get the interview and remember never give up!
Preparing for the Interview
Well, you did it. You've landed an interview - Now use these teacher interview tips and be well prepared!
1. Prepare Information:
* Research the school or school board websites. Identify the mission statement, action plans, special programs, initiatives, etc.
* Prepare your personal information: examples from your experiences to be used to illustrate your strengths in class management, instruction strategies, assessment, planning, etc
* Prepare and bring the following (as appropriate - Cover Letter and Resume, References, Certificates and Diplomas, Portfolio)
2. Prepare Yourself:
Don't kid yourself, how you present yourself is just as critical as what's in your resume and your strengths in the classroom.
* Dress appropriately (no jeans).
* Wear a watch - shows you're punctual.
* Arrive early - approximately 15 minutes - walk around the foyer and front hall and try to get a feel of the school. Come up with a comment about what you saw (student art work, displays, etc.). It's an excellent way to start off the interview.
* Practice answering typical questions, ideally in a "mock interview" setting. Stand in front of a mirror - body language is extremely important. Research has found that your hair is the first thing a person notices when meeting someone. - You can't take back first impressions.
* Fix up your Facebook page, be positive and creative. 20% of employers hire from looking you up on Facebook.
3. Some DO's:
* Smile, be open, natural and friendly
* Make eye contact
* Use inclusive language (e.g. gender neutral, no stereo-typing)
* Use positive language
* Ask for clarification if in doubt
* Brag about your strengths and accomplishments.
* Try to be the last person to be interviewed - you'll be the last person they remember.
Prepare a brief closing statement; something that you want to highlight about yourself, something that you might want the panel to be aware of that didn't come up during the interview.
The next step in the preparing for the interview is to practice how you will respond to questions that are sure to be asked.
Please read my two pages that will give you some teacher interview tips on how to handle interview questions.
The first page deals with knowledge and information oriented
teacher interview questions and answers
. These questions are asked to learn more about your teaching strategies in areas such as classroom management, instructional strategies, student assessment, preparation and planning, and so on.
The second page of teacher interview tips deal with personality oriented
questions and answers
that are designed to understand your teaching philosophies, career goals, etc.
Here are couple of great resource books that will definitely help you GET the teachimg job you want!
1. Guide to Finding The Right Teaching Job
Everything You Need to Know - Interview Questions & Answers, Resumes, Cover Letters and More!
2. Get Your Dream Teaching Job
Discover Teaching Job Interview Secrets - The Teaching Interview Resource You Need!
I wish you the best of luck on getting an interview and landing a teaching job - remember my teacher interview tips and don't ever give up on your dreams.
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