Interviews can be daunting, especially when you’re applying for your dream teaching job! Here at Horizon Teachers, we support our candidates throughout the whole process, from applying to the interview to the first day. We have put together some of our top interview tips for teachers to make sure you nail the interview stage.
Here is our top 7 interview tips for teachers:
1. Research the School
The first step of any interview should be to do your research. With a wealth of information available online these days, there is no excuse to attend your interview without already researching the school you’re applying for. Try to find out what they pride themselves on, the specialities of the school, the history of the school and there’s no doubt you’ll impress the interviewers with all your prior knowledge!
2. Your opinion is worth it
Teaching requires a lot of individuality and creativity. New ideas are always welcome in schools and much of classroom management requires improvisation. Things don't always go according to plan in the classroom. Schools are looking for your personal teaching philosophy and your thoughts regarding education. There are many issues which need to be identified, for example, how can you combat bullying? How can you ensure student inclusivity in the classroom? How will you structure your lesson plans to coincide with time management? This will be highly indicative of your management of a large class. Some classes are easier to handle than others, so being able to answer these will show your capability!
3. Prepare your portfolio
One opinion is not enough. Even though you may have put a lot of effort and work into it, constructive criticism is of great use. Get opinions from different people, both in the educational field and others, friends and family. Don't be shy, brag a little bit. Get your certifications, experience, degrees and everything else at hand for your interview. Perhaps create a little project folder, showing your creativity and it can include your achievements, lesson plans, teaching philosophy and more. If you can show that you can work with the curriculum and create a syllabus, schools will definitely be interested!
4. Make sure you present well
Don't get it twisted, although a lot of classroom management requires improvisation, this doesn't give you an excuse to be disorganised and unprepared. You should show your maximum organisational skills in your interview. Present in a way where you show that you can keep control and attention of a classroom. Treat your interviewers like you would treat your student, if you can see the attention of one of your interviewers is dwindling, then you're either babbling or focusing too much on one particular thing and boring them. You don't want to do that! None of your teachings will be consumed if you bore your class. Try and remain relaxed, personable but also professional.
5. Prepare yourself for the feared “Tell us about yourself” question!
Don't be scared of this question. Sometimes people want to appear so professional that they feel that one ounce of normality portrayed in the interview may ruin your chances of getting the job. You don't have to feel that way. This is the best opportunity for you to show you're a sociable person and you can work with your colleagues. A good idea would be to show how teaching is a passion of yours and how it impacts your personal life. It's a good idea to not go off on a tangent on what you do in your personal life but to apply the aspects of the teaching role to your personal life. Prepare for this question before the interview to ensure you know exactly how you’re going to answer.
6. Prepare and ask thoughtful questions
This is an opportunity for you to ask your own questions too. It shows that you're thinking beyond the interview and have a genuine interest in the role, therefore, you should prepare some questions. Do some research on the school and note some questions you have about the school and your prospective future, working there.
7. Be confident, you've got this!
Remember that! You've gained experience, you've worked hard and earned your degree and the mere fact that you have applied for this teaching, teaching assistant or support staff role shows that you have a passion for education and can make an impact in the schooling system. You make a huge impact in your students' lives. As long as you reflect your passion and dedication, you will shine through!
Here at Horizon Teachers, we have years of experience working with teaching candidates to find them their dream teaching job! We support all our candidates through every step of the process to ensure they have the best chance of landing the role. If you are looking for teaching jobs, view our vacancies here, or get in touch with the team who would be happy to help!