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Interviewing for a Teaching Position

Compiled By: mshunny Bookmark and Share
Interviewing for a teaching position can be a daunting task. Preparation can help you ease into a successful interview. Good luck!
Learn About The School Before the Interview
Posted by:mshunny #136976

Learn as much as you can about the school or district you are applying to. The more you know about the school, the more comfortable you will feel in an interview.

Here are some things you should know about a school or district.

1. The interview format
2. The names and positions of those who will interview you
3. The size of the school/district
4. The programs in the school/district
5. What the community is like
6. Evaluation of teachers.
7. Professional Development opportunities offered by the school/district

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Possible Interview Questions
Posted by:mshunny #136977

It is always a good idea to look over possible interview questions. You will never know exactly what you'll be asked, but it is a good idea to practice some interview questions.

1. What is the role of the teacher in the classroom?
2. How has your education and life experiences prepared you for this position?
3. What is the most exciting thing happening in the area of education?
4. Describe the physical appearance of your classroom.
5. What rules have you established for your classroom?
6. Describe the format you use to develop a lesson.
7. What should schools do for students?
8. How do you handle the different ability levels of students in classes?
9. How would your students describe you?
10. What is the toughest aspect of teaching today?
11. What is the role of homework?
12. What is your system for...

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More Possible Interview Questions
Posted by:mshunny #136986

I have included another batch of possible interview questions.

1. What questions have I not asked that you wish I would have raised?
2. If you were selected for this position, whatcand we do to help you become successful?
3. In what kind of environment are you most comfortable?
4. How do you individulize learning in your classroom?
5.How would you motivate the hard to reach children?
6. do you consider your education as a valuable experience?Why?
7. Are your grades indicative of your ability?
8. What changes, if any, would you make to your education?
9. what type of person do you not get along with?
10. In less than two minutes, describe yourself.
11. What values are the most important to you?
12. How would you define teaching as a job? As a profession?
13. How do you receive feedback? Criticism?
14. What do you base student...

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Questions to Ask at an Interview
Posted by:mshunny #136987

When going to an interview it is important to ask questions. You are not just being interviewed, you are also interviewing the school. The more information you learn about the school/district the better choice you can make about taking a position in that school. Asking questions shows that you are interested in their school.

Here are some questions, you might want to ask at you next interview.

1.Which grades are responsible for what topics?
2. Whohas the responsiblity for a particular topic?
3. May I have a copy of your scope and squence?
4. How does the administration work with teachers to improve instruction?
5. What types of media resources are available?
6. What textbooks do youuse in this subject area?
7. How would you describe the typical professional staff members in this district?
8. What professional skills do you expect of the person you hire?
9. How...

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Posted by:vateacher #110857

I always check the school's website before an interview. I also thought very carefully about what I expected in my classroom. What I expected from a school and I made sure to have a few questions concerning the school just to make you seem prepared. As for the portfolio. I took a paper based one and never once had the opportunity to crack it open. So I wouldn't worry. If you have the portfolio's site you can always leave a card with your resume that has the portfolio address. Every interview I've gone to has asked me about my language arts block, my behavior model and my teaching experiences. I've also been asked situational questions like "what would you do if the school lost power for an extended period of time" or "describe how you would handle a difficult parent approaching you at the mall"
I've never been in an...

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Posted by:Tounces #110863

Congrats! I've had the opprotunity to be on both sides of the interviewing table. Here are a few things I've picked up along the way.

First of all, it is a bit overwhelming when interviewing with a room full of people. It is very common in teaching. Enter the room with a smile and a firm handshake for everyone present. One thing to keep in mind is that the principal will probably guide the interview while the others observe and take notes. Try to ignore the note taking and concentrate on the questions instead. They too will probably ask a few questions. Remember to keep good eye contact on all the people in the room though. Believe it or not, a lot of times its HOW you talk during the interview that is just as important as what you say.
Research the school district before the interview. The questions usually fall in 6 or 7 categories. Instead of...

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Posted by:Amanda K. #75684

My first grade team and I just went through interviews. Here were the questions that were the most important to us. The candidate that we chose had obviously already given some thought to these things, and we liked that about her. She gave very good answers that really showed us that she knew a bit about what teaching this grade level will entail, even though she will be a first year teacher next year.

1. Knowledge about how children learn to read. What process do they go through, from letter/sound awareness through blending and sight words? What strategies can you use to help teach students how to read?

2. How do you differentiate instruction, particularly in the area of reading? What will your reading groups look like? How will you manage the other kids while you are doing guided reading groups?


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interview jitters
Posted by:Carolyn #32778

One thing I did when I went interviewing is to assemble a portfolio of my ideas--samples of work that I had students do, rubrics that I composed, a copy of my discipline plan which outlined consequences, etc. I felt I was very much prepared when I went to the interview with this stuff, because the moment they asked me a questions about something I believed in doing, or about my discipline policy, I just pulled it out of an organized folder. Being this organized alone is enough to impress them. Better still, you are able to answer their questions with concrete examples, rather than sputtering over questions you're not sure they'll ask or not.

Have a friend pretend he/she is an interviewer at a job. Assemble all of the questions you could possibly include in the interview. Definitely include questions about your...

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questions and preparing
Posted by:Cathy-Dee #16746

First of all don't worry about the curriculum right now. You are right in that until you know the grade level you can't know all the curriculum that is required for each grade level. It doesn't hurt to take a quick glance at curriculums just before an interview if you are interviewing for a specific grade, but those interviewing you know you do not know all the different things and they are not expecting you to.

I was hired literally 3 weeks before school started for a kindergarten class. I had one week to buy all my furniture and get moved and then 2 weeks more or less to figure out what I was doing. And even then I couldn't get into the school until about 4 days before school started. You do not need to know everything before the first day of school. You start more general to begin with, classroom management, rules, getting to...

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Posted by:Cathy-Dee #16977

Having sat in on a few interviews for my school I have learned so many things.
First appearance does make a difference but only to a point. As long as you are dressed nicely, etc., that's generally all that really matters.

Voice - depends on the position - but someone who whispers or talks too quietly may get looked-over. Same if someone is too loud or boisterous.

I think nervousness is part of the equation - I hate being interviewed myself - but not the deciding factor. I know many of the teachers or aides we hired were very nervous but still were able to answer the questions and fit our criteria.

Unfortunately you rarely know the criteria and that makes a difference. If we are looking for someone who will be able to take on the gym classes or music as an extra class and someone we interview has...

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Getting a job......
Posted by:Susan/5th #58747

I've said this to people before, and I was told it before I got my first job...... you have to show up at the places. I was told the same thing you were over the phone. That's not good enough. Do this:
1. Have your resume in a folder with you, along with your college transcript (if it's especially good!)and any references.
2. Go to the schools you're interested in and just tell them you're interested in the school and would like to speak to the principal. They're going to tell you to leave your resume. Tell them no thank you, you'd like to speak with him/her personally about their school first. No kidding! It'll get you to the principal!
3. Talk to the principal about the school. Tell her you're a new teacher and that you heard good things about the school and wanted to...

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My biggest interview tip...
Posted by:Lisa #24150

Share that enthusiasm you have with them! You obviously have a tremendous passion for teaching. If you communicate that to the interviewers, especially right at the beginning, it will really help you out. Schools want teachers who love teaching and will work very hard to be successful.

Other tips-
Have a classroom management plan
Make sure you know as much about the school and the district beforehand as you can
Know the basic curriculum for the grade
Have a strategy for teaching reading
Have a plan for parent interaction
Have ideas for integrating social studies and science into your curriculum
Have questions prepared to ask your interviewers!!

Good luck!

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sound of voice
Posted by:Carolyn #16901

I have had so many interviews in my life for teaching positions that I can't begin to name how many there were. My general impression was that interviewers LIKE enthusiasm--an enthusiastic voice draws them in. If you show a sense of humor and have a sparkle in your eyes, so much the better.

I also had some interviews, especially when I first began interviewing, where I probably showed my lack of experience in interviewing. I know for sure that I showed some body movements, fast talking, stuttering, and hesitation. My interviewers were kind and sympathetic, maybe even thinking I was pathetic, but they didn't hire me.

Being confident, displaying enthusiasm and a sense of humor helped me obtain a teaching position. Don't be afraid to say something funny to break the ice.

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Sending a Thank You Note
Posted by:mshunny #138599

After every interview, I always sent a thank you note to the person who interviewed me. I think that it is the polite thing to do.

Thank them for taking time to interview you. Explain how you would look forward to teaching in their school.

I just think this is one way to make you stand out. Make sure you send it out as soon as possible. The quicker the person receives it the better.

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Posted by:Tabitha/5th #45981

I have been on an interview committee this whole week. First off try to relax. Take a deep breath and think about what you want to say.
Some of the questions we asked were:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and working with children. What led you to becoming a teacher?
2. Have you heard of "At Risk Students?" What does it mean? What are some of the causes? What do you think should be done to help counteract this problem in the classroom?
3. If we come into your classroom during reading/ElA time what would we see in your room?
4. If we come into your classroom during math time what would we see in your room?
5. What is one major challenge you might find in your classroom? What would you do to remedy this challenge?
6. How would you go about assessing...

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Posted by:Jennifer #66824

The best piece of advice that I can give you is to be confident. Don't let this guy shake you. If you are confident in an interview it translates to you being comfortable elading a group of children. Talk about strategies and be specific. What behavior strategies work for you, what decoding, etc... Be able to cite a lesson that worked very well and one that you chnaged after reflection. Be able to constructively point out your strengths and be realistic about a weakness, but again be confident in your abilities. I was in a similar situation. The superintendent of a school district I wanted to be in (and ended up in) was giving mock interviews at my college to prepare us. I spoke of a behavior strategy which was titled "Rules, rewards, punishment" he got hung up on the fact that...

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Posted by:Anna #42500

Not that this would make you feel any better, but I went on what seemed like hundreds of interviews before I got my first job. I, too, would freeze up and not be myself in front of a panel. Needless to say, they wouldn't want to hire someone so nervous and timid that couldn't seem to put thoughts together quickly.

Here's what worked for me. This may sound silly, but I would practice answers to interview questions in front of a mirror at home. When I left an interview, I would write down all the questions they asked, then rehearse what I'd say if I were asked that question again (and you usually are asked it over and over).
Try it and see if it works for you. Just know where you stand on certain topics (discipline, style of teaching, management, how to handle upset parents or students, homework...

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Posted by:Niki #24988

I hope I am not too late! I recently went through the interview process but for a different reason.

I was nervious but I didn't let it show (easier said than done, right!). An interview requires preparation. Don't just assume you can automatically go in and ace it. I had to prepare myself mentally and having a strong faith God and yourself helps a great deal.

To help me prepare, I bought a book called "Interview Power", by Tom Washington. This book gave me some great tips and it was very inexpensive. I also searched various websites and read interviews of various people just to get and idea.

Some questions that they may ask is:

How could you use team teaching to provide your students with better education?
What is your teaching philosophy?
In what ways can you use technology in...

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