How to Make Yourself Stand Out in an Interview for a Teaching Position

Interviewing for a new teaching position is always stressful. But good preparation is key to a successful interview experience. As you prepare yourself, focus on your experience as a teacher, even if your only time in the classroom is as a student teacher. School interview panels want to hear plenty of evidence that you have been already been successful at solving tough problems and coming up with creative ways to help kids.

Be Prepared

Nothing impresses an interview team so much as a candidate who has done his homework. Research the school you’re applying to – you can do this online but even better, try to talk to a current member of staff to get a good feeling for the school’s philosophy and practices. Show off this knowledge at your interview, detailing how your own vision fits with that of the school and what you could bring to the team that is already there.

Good Portfolio

Bring a well-prepared teaching portfolio to the interview, even if this has not been asked for specifically. Include your resume and a copy of your qualifications such as your teaching certificate. Your portfolio should also contain sample lesson plans and copies of student work from previous positions. You can show this to the panel when asked, but you can also use it as an example of your previous experiences when answering questions.

Continuing Education

School boards like to employ teachers who are also students. They want to know that you are interested in keeping up with the latest in educational theory, and that you want to continue to improve your qualifications. Highlight any recent training you have had, and focus on your desire to enroll in new courses in the future – for instance gaining your master's degree in your subject field.

Answer the Tough Questions

Remember, you will be asked about some awkward scenarios. For instance, you may be asked how you would deal with a parent complaining about her child’s treatment. The panel will likely ask about whether you would feel comfortable giving a student a failing grade or how you would deal with a highly disruptive student. You will be asked how well you can manage differentiated instruction, with students of several different ability levels in the same classroom. Think through all these scenarios and have your answers at the ready, with substantive detail to back them up.