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Stop and think before you answer this question.  The interviewers really don’t want to hear your life story or the names of all your 20 cats.  Rather what they are listening for is how well you will fit into the school, work with your colleagues, and relate to your students.

Talk about yourself and 1-2 life experience, but ALWAYS tie it back to how it will help you in teaching. 

For example:

“I would describe myself as adventurous and outgoing.  Last year I traveled throughout Southeast Asia, traveling to four countries.  I love learning about new cultures and meeting new people.  This is one of the reasons I want to teach at {insert school name}.  It has amazing diversity.  I would take this same enthusiam and apply it to learning more about my students and their backgrounds.”

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we-need-youWe need you!  Try your hand at answering any of the teacher interview questionsWe will then post your answer by linking it to the teacher interview question you choose.

Everyday hundreds of pre-service teachers and other job seekers visit Road to Teaching’s Teacher Interview Question page – the largest collection of teacher interview questions on the web.  This is a free resource, maintained by a teacher.  So, with your help we could turn this to the web’s largest collection of teacher interview questions with ANSWERS!

Feel free to email your question and answer to eric [at] roadtoteaching [dot] com.  Alternatively, you can simply leave a comment to this post or comment on the teacher interview question page.  We will extract your Q&A and make the link.

Please help us expand the usefulness of Road to Teaching.

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 http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/behavioral.htm

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

Resources

http://hubpages.com/hub/masterthephoneinterview

A little over a month ago this website/blog was launched with the intention of helping student teachers. Immediately, student teachers responded they needed teacher interview questions. I made a page dedicated to teacher interview questions. Starting with just 50 interview questions, I made the call for more interview questions. Teachers, administrators, and university professionals responded, helping grow the number of questions to nearly 200! Thousands of students teachers have viewed these questions, helping them better prepare for their interviews.

Special thanks to everyone that contributed. It’s been amazing to see the response. We are still lacking teacher interview questions in the following areas: math, ELL, language arts, German, French, and middle-school. Please post a comment or email me at eric@road2teaching.com with additional questions. I will post them immediately. Thanks again for helping grow this resource.

Resource Links

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

List of Teacher Interview Questions

I remember waiting anxiously for that call – the final step in the interview process, notifying of whether you have received the job. The notification usually comes in the form of a phone call, but sometimes it may be a letter. Before you receive that phone call, there are helpful steps you should take to prepare yourself.

Let us first examine the worst scenario. Assume the principal phones you to inform you that you will not be filling the teaching position. While this is a crushing blow, take control of the conversation and learn from it. First, be extremely professional and courteous—you never know when another position may materialize at the same school. Thank the principal for their time, and ask what specifically you could improve on in the interview or on your resume for next time. Many times the principal will be frank and give you fantastic, constructive advice. Remember to listen, and, most importantly, be receptive to what the principal is saying. It is not to your advantage to be defensive. As in the teaching process, you can take this advice, revise your approach a little, and confidently prepare for your next interview.

In the optimistic scenario, let us assume that you land your dream teaching job. Typically, the principal phones you, requesting your references. Take this request as an extremely positive sign. Understand, though, that many principals cannot offer you the job until your reference check is complete. Therefore, it is important to have your references, with primary and alternate contact numbers, with you at all times because you simply do not know when the principal will call. Finally, thank the principal for giving you this opportunity and then, after the phone call, go celebrate—you have earned it!

Good luck!

Resource Links

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

List of Teacher Interview Questions

Once your interview is complete, differentiate yourself further by sending out thank-you notes to all the interviewers on that same day. Bring a stack of thank-you notes and several postage stamps with you to your interview. Then, find a place where you feel comfortable to write the thank-you notes, whether that place is your car or a nearby coffee shop. Refer back to the notes you took during the interview and make every effort to personalize each thank-you note. Mention something that will help your interviewer remember you among all the other interviewers. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Address an issue that arose during your interview, especially when the topic favors your qualifications. For instance, your ELL endorsement was discussed as an asset due to the rising number of ELL students in the school.
  2. Overcome objections by responding to an interviewer’s major concern in detail that was not possible during the interview.
  3. Highlight your skills or experiences that qualify you as a strong candidate and will differentiate you from other candidates.

Now relax, all you have to do is drop off the thank-you notes in the mail and wait for the all-important phone call.

Resource Links

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

List of Teacher Interview Questions

1. What strategies would you use to help struggling readers in the Language Arts classroom?

2. What strategies will you use to teach grammar?

3. Give us an example of a unit designed to teach the elements of fiction?

4. Describe a unit you designed for the classroom and focus on the process of designing the unit from beginning to end.

5. How will you incorporate culturally diverse literature in your class?

A relatively simple, but highly effective way to close an interview is to ask for the teaching job. In the business world, the most significant factor that contributes to substandard performance in sales is not closing the sale, or in other words, not asking for the sale. The same principle applies to interviewing. In essence, you are selling yourself, your skills, and experience. Towards the end of the interview, briefly restate your desire to teach in the target school and outline 2-3 reasons why you are a qualified candidate. Finally, don’t forget to thank the interviewers for their time. Good luck!

Resource Links

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

List of Teacher Interview Questions

It’s not surprising that the most popular posts on my blog deal with teacher interviews. It’s that time of the season where aspiring teachers are working diligently to find job openings, land interviews, prepare for the interviews, and, most importantly, perform well. Hundreds of visitors have been visiting the teacher interview page and many teachers are posting or emailing me additional questions to add. Just another example how well the teachers community supports each other!

In the spirit of the hiring season, I am going to devote my blog this week to providing helpful advice (some from my book) regarding teacher interviews.

Slow Down and Take Control of the Teacher Interview

I have been on several interviews that I felt just flew-by and I ask myself, “What just happened?” What I realized was I wasn’t present in the interviews, feeling almost passive in the whole experience. I learned some tricks to regain control. The first step in taking back control, and not “just passing through” the interview process, is to slow down. Pay attention to your breathing, take deep, controlled breaths before going into the room where the interview will take place. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This technique will relax you, steady your heart rate, and put you in a better state of mind for your interview.

Bring your research notes with your skill sets and how they match with the needs of the school and review them just before you go in to the interview. This will serve as a quick reminder of some points that you should address.

When you go into the interview, and after you greet everyone, ask if you can take some notes during the interview. Quickly jot down the names and positions of the interviewers. This will be critical information for writing thank-you notes after the interview. During the interview, write down any important points made. Likewise, make notes when something you said may have caused confusion or was construed differently than your original intent. You can clarify these points later in your thank-you notes. By applying these simple acts, you become a more active participant in the process and less of a bystander.

Resource Links

Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

List of Teacher Interview Questions