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How to Best Prepare for a Teaching Interview

Janelle Cox

Preparing for your first teaching interview can be very stressful. If you’re a hopeful first year teacher, it’s imperative that you come to the interview prepared with teacher interview questions and answers. Use the following tips to help you in your preparations. 

Know Your Stuff

The single worst thing you can do when in an interview is to not have an answer for the interviewer. Be prepared and show them that you took the time to research teacher interview questions and answers, what programs the school districts use, and what innovations they are trying. Familiarize yourself with the common core standards, and be prepared to have an example of a behavior management plan, and how you would assess students.

In addition to all of that, make sure to research higher order thinking questions such as Bloom’s Taxonomy, how would use data to guide instruction, and how you can reach out to parents. If you know your stuff, you will definitely stand out and it will speak volumes to the prospective employer.

Bring Your Teaching Portfolio

Your professional teaching portfolio will be your best asset in an interview. Fill this will examples of student work, lesson plans, common core standards, your resume, pictures, a class website, recommendation letters, your degree, a teacher certification, or anything that you have from student teaching. When the prospective employer asks you a question, you will not only give them a verbal answer, but show them a concrete example of what you are talking about.

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Practice Answering Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Interviews are all about how you answer the questions. It’s wonderful for you to use your teaching portfolio, and to be dressed for success, but if you stumble your words and cannot answer a question, then there’s a good chance you will not get the job. Here is a list of a few possible interview questions and answers to help you prepare.

  • What would your 90 minute reading block look like? Possible answer, “I would use the Daily 5, Guided reading, etc.”
  • How will you differentiate learning to suite all of your students’ needs? Possible answer, “I would use the Multiple Intelligence Theory.”
  • How will you communicate and involve parents in the classroom? Possible answer, “I will create a classroom website, weekly newsletter, and offer volunteer opportunities.”
  • How would you incorporate technology into the classroom? Possible answer, “I would utilize the computers and iPads during learning centers.”
  • Describe your behavior management plan. Possible answer, “I would use a behavior clip chart where every student starts their day on the ready to learn square. Then students have a chance to move their clip up or down throughout the day depending on the choices they make.”

Know and Practice All the Education Catch Phrases

Know and understand all the catch phrases or “buzz words” in education so you can discuss them with confidence and clarity. Here are a few examples: Common Core State Standards, differentiated instruction, standards-based instruction, progress monitoring assessments, data-driven instruction, problem-based learning, flipped classrooms, student-centered, digital literacy, right-brain thinking, college and career ready, differentiated learning, E-learning, Bloom’s taxonomy, six traits of writing. These are just a few, so be sure to research what the school district uses that you are interviewing for.

Be Creative

In order for you to stand out in the interview think of something or some way to make you stand out above the rest of the candidates. For example, leave the prospective employer with a brochure that outlines your educational philosophy, or a cd that links to your online portfolio. At the end of the interview ask them questions to show your interest. Show that your innovative by coming up with your own behavior management plan that is unique from everyone else’s. Or, create an iMovie while student teaching that features you presenting an innovative lesson to students.

Be Honest

As much as you feel you are prepared for an interview, there may come a time in the interview when you are unable to have an answer for a question. Instead of trying to come up with an answer that may be wrong, be honest and say that you are unfamiliar with that term but would love the opportunity to find out more about it. Employers will love your candidness.

Teaching Interviews will focus on your experience, teacher training, and what you can contribute to their school district. If you come prepared, and be yourself, you are off to a good start.

Do you have any tips on how to prepare for a teaching interview that you would like to share? Feel free to leave a comment below. Your tip may just be the one that gets a prospective teacher the job!

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators