Job Interview Tips for Educators

Now that you have completed the gauntlet of learning and testing, you are ready to become a teacher. If you happen to land an interview (which you will, of course!) you may be nervous. That's okay! Almost every person gets nervous, but with the following interview tips you can make sure you are prepared to impress:

  • Dress Appropriately: Above all, you want to look like you deserve a job as a teacher, so no sandals, short skirts, etc. Pants, a shirt, and a tie for guys is perfect, and a blouse and slacks or a mid-length skirt for women. Avoid jeans, and no sneakers!
  • Use Proper Speech: You are going to be teaching students, so interviewers will be paying close attention to how you speak. Make sure to clearly enunciate, don't talk too fast, and don't use slang!
  • Have a Great Portfolio: Show your interviewers just what you are capable of by putting together a concise portfolio. Document any type of teaching you have done, even if it's not with the same age group you are applying for. Your portfolio should be neat and well organized. Another option is to offer an electronic version on CD or DVD, or upload your portfolio to a central website and provide the interviewer with access.
  • Show off your Techie Skills: Many schools these days are interested in recruiting teachers with good technology skills. If you can do graphics, websites, or use other types of software you may want to mention it on your resume, and bring a sample on a flash drive or CD should they request it.
  • Know the Territory: Each school district has specific mantras and goals that they wish to achieve, and proving that you know just what they are shows that you are keenly interested in the job. Before attending an interview try to find out as much as you can about the school or district you are applying in.
  • Don't Talk Numbers: Whoever is interviewing you likely does not have the authority to discuss salary and benefits, so don't even think about bringing it up. Should you be offered the position, the numbers will be discussed then with the appropriate people.
  • Have a Philosophy: You may be asked for your personal philosophy on education, so have this prepared. Avoid going with something that has buzzwords or clichés, as these will likely come a across as phony. If you are serious about becoming a teacher, then a good, true philosophy is needed.
  • Be Knowledgeable: Interviewers want to know that you are ready to hit the ground running, which means you need to be up to date on all the course content. You also need to be able to justify why you feel the content is important.
  • Be Ready: Besides being able to handle the content, interviewers want teachers who are ready to handle the students, which means that you need to have a good plan for how to handle your class. Make sure you can be convincing with why you feel your particular plan will work for your class.
  • Look and Act Like a Good Employee: Above all, interviewers are looking for a teacher who will fit in with their school, and who will not cause problems. Try to project an air of confidence, but not arrogance, and prove that you can relate to everyone around, whether student, staff, or parent.

After the interview is completed, it is customary to follow up with a thank you card or call to express your appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the interviewer. Hopefully once the interview process is completed, you will either be called back for a second interview or offered the job!