for teachers and principals
- overview: before, during and after
- interview techniques
- typical interview questions
- Our general Interview Skills pages
overview: before, during and after
1. The Purpose
a. The employer will learn more about you and why you are suited to the position.
b. You will learn more about the employer and whether or not you want the position.
c. Both of you will develop some rapport and "feel each other out".
2. The Preparation
a. Anticipate, think through, and "practice" questions from the employer and your responses to them.
b. Research the organization and the position that you are interviewing for.
c. Prepare several questions for the employer.
3. During The Interview
a. Pay attention to body language: eye contact, firm handshake, posture, appearance.
b. Accentuate the positive and back up your answers and comments with examples.
c. Take responsibility for the quality of the interview. Don't leave it all up to the employer. Be enthusiastic!
4. After The Interview
a. Record your impressions. Every interview is a learning opportunity! What went well? What were the tough questions? What will you do differently or the same next time? Write it down or your thoughts will be lost.
b. Send a thank you letter within 2 weeks. Highlight your strengths and the match between you and the organization. Reiterate your interest in the position.
5. Don't Forget
a. You'll improve with practice.
b. Some nervousness will help you -- it keeps the adrenaline flowing so that you will be "up" for the interview.
c. Be yourself.
d. Attend a Career Center Interview Workshop and/or have a practice interview on videotape. Call the Career Center for details.
The interview is a 2-way street. You and the employer are evaluating each other. Many applicants fail because of poor interview preparation. Before meeting your interviewer, prepare yourself to discuss those topics that you know will be addressed (see list of questions that you can anticipate being asked). In addition, prepare several thought provoking questions for the interviewer - it will be a good way to get information and to demonstrate your interest in the position.
- Be professional, but show a sense of humor.
- Don't rush yourself or the interviewer.
- Use tact in the discussion.
- Be a good listener.
- Let the interviewer direct the discussion.
- Be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the line of questioning.
- Do not digress, but stay on the topic at hand.
- Speak directly to the person or persons interviewing you.
- Listen carefully to what is said and answer questions honestly.
- Volunteer such information as you know can further your candidacy, if questions are slow in coming from the interviewer.
- Do not, however, interrupt the speaker.
- Be enthusiastic, but not beyond the point of sincerity.
- Be confident of your ability.
- Do not stumble along as you answer and question, but use a smooth rate of speech.
- Do not go overboard in trying to be funny, but be cheerful and smile.
- Be careful of posture; let the interviewer invite you to sit down and let him/her initiate the discussion.
- Be careful not to show your nervousness by playing with bag, pencil, and the like.
- Ask intelligent questions when the occasion presents itself.
- Avoid flowery or stilted language; be natural; choose the appropriate words in your mind before saying them aloud.
- Let your statements be specific and exact.
- Do not brag and boast of your great ability and experience, but state your qualifications as a matter of fact.
- Show a keen interest in the school and a desire to be one of the faculty members.
- Make sure the interview has resulted in a clear understanding of the position you seek and a reasonable evaluation of your qualifications.
- Express pleasure at having met the interviewer. Ask what the "timetable" is - when they expect to conduct second interviews, make offers, etc.
An experienced Career Center Director said: "There is no substitute for the impression that a neat, conservatively dressed, well-groomed person with a firm hand-shake and a courteous manner makes on the prospective employer the first time she meets you. If in addition, you give evidence that you know who you are, and where you are going, the chances are that you are going to get there. You are ready for a great interview!"
some typical questions asked
typical questions-by interviewer
- If I were to talk with the people who know you the best, how might they describe you?
- Why did you decide to go into teaching as a career?
- What did you learn from your field experiences?
- If you had another chance to student teach, what would you do differently?
- What is your philosophy of education?
- What attributes do you possess that would qualify you as a teacher of young people?
- Let me give you a simulated case: Johnny has a continuing habit of running into the room after recess, bangs his desk, slams his books down on the desk top creating noise and is becoming an increasing nuisance to you and the class. What approaches would you take to change this behavior?
- How can you get students excited about your subject area?
- What strategies and/or materials would you use to aid students in developing creativity?
- What techniques would you use in diagnosing the needs of students in mathematics?
- Given a class of 30 elementary youngsters, regardless of grade, how would you organize your reading program? Assume that reading materials are available in sufficient quantity and variety.
- What ideas do you have to improve children's spelling and handwriting abilities?
- What kind of relationship do you want with your students?
- Why are you interested in our School System?
- What do you know about our System?
- Why do you feel qualified for this position? Why should we hire you?
- What do you think is the most satisfying aspect of teaching?
- What do you think is the most frustrating aspect of teaching?
- What do you consider to be the most pressing problem today for public education?
- Do you have any questions that you would like to ask me about our school district or this position?
typical questions-by candidate
- What is your philosophy of education and that of your school system?
- What are the challenges that you face in this particular school/system/district?
- What are the pupil enrollment trends?
- Does this community support its school system well financially?
- In the past few years, what has been the average faculty turnover rate?
- Are parents active in your Parent Teachers Organization?
- Does your district or nearest school cooperative offer faculty in-service training days during the school year?
- What reading series do you use? Curriculum materials?
- Tell me about supervision visits.
- Am I certain that I should teach?
- Are the people who supervised me or worked with me in my student teaching convinced that I should teach?
- What am I certified to teach?
- What am I willing to teach?
- Where am I willing to go to teach?
- What experience do I have, both teaching and non-teaching?
- When will I be available for a position?
- Am I interested in teaching in a private school?
- Can I coach and/or sponsor a club or activity?
- Can I speak, read or write a foreign language?
- Am I willing to work with the culturally disadvantaged and/or minority students?
- Am I willing to work in urban and/or rural areas?
- What is the minimum salary I will accept?
- When and where can I go for a personal interview?
- Do I have a specialty that is needed by educational employers?
- Am I willing to take a part-time position or to substitute?
- Why do I want to work with children?