Three Tips to Ace Your Teacher Job Interview

You’ve sent out dozens of resumes and finally landed an interview for your first teaching job. After your celebrate getting the interview, you need to do some preparation to make sure that you do your best.

In order to stand out and be the best candidate you can be, you need to:
Be Professional
Be Prepared
Be Yourself

Be Professional
1. Dress appropriately. 
I can’t tell you how many job interviews and career fairs I’ve been a part of where potential candidates did not dress professionally. A suit and tie, or a suit and collared shirt aren’t necessarily required, but you should at least wear dress slacks or a knee length pencil shirt and an appropriate top. This helps you stand out and look professional. The last thing you want is to look like a student.

2. Use appropriate language in your interview. 
Do not, I repeat, do not talk about inappropriate topics during your interview. You are a professional. The interview is no place for jokes, sarcasm, slang, or foul language.

3. Be aware of your body language.
Yes, job interviews can be intimidating and nerve-wracking, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to slouch and relax. Sit up straight, keep your fidgeting at bay, and make a conscious effort to make eye contact with every single person on the interview panel!

Be Prepared
1. Practice what you are going to say and how you will respond to typical interview questions. The key to practicing what you are going to say is to pretend that you are in your interview. If you mess up, stumble, or say something incorrectly, go with it until you finish answering the question. Then, start all over again with the same question. The more times you respond aloud to certain questions, the better prepared you will be.  There is a list of common teacher interview questions at the end of this post.

2. Research information about the school, school district, and the surrounding area. Before going into your interview, it is important to learn as much as you can about the school, school district and surrounding area. Look up the school and school district’s demographics, strengths, weaknesses, school-wide learning goals, mission statement, and more. The more you know about the job, the better. It will show the interview panel initiative.

3. Prepare some questions and comments of your own. Typically, interviews will end with the panel asking you if you have any questions or if you have anything else that you would like to add. While you may feel relief that the interview is coming to an end, the last thing you want to do is keep quiet here. Iterate why you are the ideal candidate for this position and/or ask questions about the job, the department, or when the panel will be making their decision. This shows that you are interested in the job.

Be Yourself
An interviewer is going to see right through you if you try to be someone else or embody a different educational philosophy than you believe in. In your interview, be the best version of YOU, and you will go through. You want to seem genuine and sincere, and being yourself is the best way to achieve that.

Finally, remember to smile and thank your interview panel for their time and for the opportunity to interview.

Common Interview Questions
  • Tell us a little about yourself
  • Why do you want to work at this school?
  • What are you the best candidate for the position?
  • What is your educational philosophy?
  • What is your classroom management philosophy?
  • How do you handle parent contact?
  • Run us through a typical day in your classroom.
  • What is the most challenging thing you’ve encountered in the classroom?
Three Tips to Ace Your Teacher Job Interview