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I just returned from a workshop that taught school administrators how to use behavior-based interview (BBI) question to hire quality teachers.  The basic idea behind BBI is that the candidate’s past behavior will be the best indicator for future behavior.  BBI has been around for years, but used primarily in business.

A BBI question may start something like:

  • Tell me about a time…
  • Describe your experience with…
  • How have you…
  • What has been your approach to…

Does BBI sound intimidating?  It doesn’t have to be.  There are two great ways to frame each BBI question you are asked.

PAR – Problem, Action, and Result

STAR – Situation/Task, Action, and Result

For every question asked, first describe the problem (e.g. keeping 6th graders on-task) or situation/task (e.g. organizing curriculum).  Then, explain what action you took.  Finally, describe the end result, trying to always tie into improving student learning.  Just remember PAR or STAR when answering BBI questions and you should do just fine!

Check the Teacher Interview Questions page at for sample BBI questions.

For additional information on BBI, visit

Below are 5 tips from Hubpages on How to Master the Phone Interview.  Check out the link to learn more.

#1: Be Available

#2: No Cell Phones

#3: Research Company

#4: Be Prepared

#5: Put Your Best “Phone Voice” Forward


Short answer – NO.

Longer Answer – Last year, I moved 2000 miles across country, from a conservative area to a liberal area, and since I am a social studies teacher, I was plagued constantly by the inevitable “and what do you coach” question. Since I am as far from athletic as you can possibly get short of paraplegia, my answer to that question seemed to consistently and repeatedly doom me to the “we like you, but” response to an interview. But I did get a job, although it wasn’t as soon as I would have liked, and I got the perfect job….eventually.

Don’t despair if you don’t yet have a job and you are beginning to panic. Several of my close teacher friends weren’t hired until after school had already started. Is it ideal? No, but many districts and schools, for whatever reason, end up having to hire teachers after school starts. Most of the time it is a budget issue that gets worked out at the last minute, clearing the way for them to hire you.

So what can you do to expedite the situation?

1. Keep checking the online job postings. By this time, you probably have an idea of the district (or two or three) that appeal to you the most.

2. Be open to applying for a job that wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice. For example, teaching junior high instead of high school or part time instead of a full time position. Getting your foot in the door will make a difference down the road. One of my friends accepted a position as a junior high math teacher, and then the next year when a high school teacher retired, was moved up into the high school into the position that he had originally wanted.

3. Seriously consider substitute teaching. Many teachers have gotten positions because they got to know the administration, faculty, and students in a particular school or district by subbing – giving them a leg-up in the interview process. In some cases, subbing can be ideal for a first year teacher. There is generally no grading to do and little to no planning. You can work as much or as little as you want, and a good sub will most likely be employed every single school day. Believe me, teachers long for good subs they can trust.

Finally, and above all, do not get discouraged. Not getting a job doesn’t mean you aren’t a good teacher – you just haven’t found quite the right school yet. Good luck!