Career Advice Opinion

7 Musts for a Great Interview

By AAEE — July 05, 2017 3 min read
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Remember, all interviews are not created equal. This is especially true for a teaching interview. While there is no one way to say exactly how your interview will go, we’ve got some tips from top Human Resources personnel, Principals and teachers to help you ace your interview and stand out as a top candidate.

  1. Do Your Research

    • The more you know about the school or district you’re interviewing with, the more prepared you’ll be to answer specific questions. Additionally, you’ll be able to ask questions pertaining to the district/school/job. Familiarize yourself with Principal’s name, school calendar, and anything else that you may want to ask about to ensure that this teaching job is the right one for you.

2. Look Your Best

    • First impressions are important, and the way you dress for your interview says a lot about how seriously you take the interview. Dress professionally. You may feel inclined to dress as you would on the job, but this is an interview and the person or people interviewing will notice. For men, it’s better to be clean shaven. For women, no excessive jewelry or flashy clothing.

3. Portfolio & Resume

    • Your portfolio is an extension of your resume and cover letter. It serves three basic purposes: a collection of all important official documents (Transcripts, statement of eligibility, etc.), a collection of sample work (lesson plans, discipline management plans, etc.), and ongoing reflection and refinement of teaching expertise, sample documents and related material.
    • The portfolio can easily be put together in a 3-ring binder. Use tabs that can easily guide you to any section/document. Avoid using a large binder that includes very few documents. The portfolio should look simple and professional
    • Texas Teachers offers a resume review service, at no additional charge to Interns, where you can send in your resume and get advice on how to integrate your training hours and time in the classroom to highlight relevant experience.

4. Practice

    • Have a friend ask you a few questions, or ask them into a mirror, and practice your responses. This will help you work through any nervousness you may have. Here you can run through the best way to summarize your professional experience and really perfect your 15-second commercial.

5. Confidence

    • At the start of your interview you may have the opportunity to give your 15-second commercial. This is your chance to highlight your strengths and get the interviewer(s) interested to hear more.
    • Smile. Remember, this is the job you have trained for. Speak clearly and keep your answers concise.

6. Be Ready for Anything

    • Teacher interview processes can vary by district, or even by school. Interviewers have been known to pull in other professionals for a panel-type Q&A session, or have candidates run through classroom management scenarios and discuss their pedagogy in detail.
    • Principals are looking for teachers who have a passion for education and working with kids, but can also effectively manage a classroom including both celebrating successes as well as adversity. Be sure you are ready to discuss your discipline plans and give examples where you dealt with difficult situations successfully.
    • Organization is important and you may be asked details about your curriculum plans and lesson design. Be sure to include your delivery methods to include all learning styles and levels of learning readiness.

7. Have Questions

    • Typically, at the end of an interview, the employer gives you a chance to ask any questions that you may have. Take advantage of this opportunity. This will show genuine interest in the position. Make sure the questions are all related to the position or teaching.
    • Make sure to thank whoever is in the room for their time.
    • If, after the interview, you decide that this is the position you want, send a follow up email or phone call to let the Principal or district HR representative that you interviewed with know that you are interested in the job and feel it is a great fit for you.

Fallon Laughlin
Digital Marketing & Social Media Coordinator


The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.