The Teacher Interview!
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Some Sample Questions and Answers!

Why should we hire you. What will you do for our district?

I could be wrong, but I think that's your cue to start tooting your own horn - list all your best qualities. I'm
creative, dynamic, flexible. I like to solve problems, etc. I will bring a fresh perspective (if new) or I will bring
tons of experience (if experienced) etc.

Posted by Eilene on 2/10/02

FROM: Barbara Gruber
Eilene is right. Toot your horn about your strengths.......let them know they can count on you to have a well-managed
classroom where children learn the skills they need. Since research shows, and common sense tells us, that there's a
correlation between the teacher's level of enthusiasm and how much children learn........I'd let them know you are an
energized, enthusiastic teacher.

Make a list of key phrases that are positive statements about specific strengths you have. Even if you are NOT asked that
question, be sure to weave those phrases into your replies to other questions.
Good luck!

How would I answer a question about handling behavior?

This is a very unspecific question. So I would start out with your class wide behavior management plan. Talk about the details of that. This is a general ed, position and I am sure that this is one of the most important answers you will give. They want to make sure you can manage a classroom and they are looking for your behavior management plan. Mine is a positive approach based on Teaching With Love and Logic (great book if you haven't read it). So I would start out with my approach first - explaining Teaching With Love and Logic. Then I would give examples of a system I have run in the past. You could check out this link to see my system and other teachers systems.


1 state your approach.

2 discuss behavior management plan Draw picture in the heads of the people interviewing you... What would your classroom look like? I wouldn't go into a specific child. They are probably looking to see if you can run a classroom smoothly!!!!

Colleen -

Why do you want to work for our district?

I went to school in Bethel Park and I am proud of the education I received. In elementary school, I had a teacher named Mrs. J. Carr who cared about me and was an excellent teacher. Mrs. J. Carr's way of teaching and caring for her students has always been in the back of my mind. Through school and my past professional experiences I tried to model myself off of Mrs. J. Carr and some of the other many wonderful teachers that I was lucky to have in Bethel Park School District. I want to give back to the community what it has given me... (This would be where I would make some corny line up about what being a BP graduate K-12 has done for me as a teacher) Ttalk about its reputation. Look online to find data about it's test scores and number of students that graduate...

Colleen -

How do you evaluate your own teaching performance?

I keep a reflective journal. I write in it at least once a week and reflect on a lesson I taught that week or something that happened in the class and how I handled it. I started this during student teaching and have done one both years I have taught. It's a great way for me to reflect on my successes and think about how I can improve my teaching. It also lifts me up when I reread it on days things have not
gone well.

How do you implement an equal opportunities policy in your class?

Not sure how I would handle it, but I would probably say that I would give both boys and girls opportunities to have different class jobs, choose partners different ways, and have a say in how the class is run as a whole. I like to tell my kids that our class is a community where we all get a say on things.

How do you integrate your class with the school as a whole?

One thing I have done is to pair up my younger students with older buddies. They get together a few times a month for an academic activity or art project. Also our school has a lot of whole school activities so of course we participate in those.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of working in a
school of this type? . Why this job?

There really isn't an easy answer. Your best bet is to find out more about the school for which are you interviewing. Check out the website (if they have one). Try to talk to other teachers/parents from the school. Call the front office and ask if you can get info on the school (handbook, etc.). Just riding by the school can provide some info (maybe the school motto is posted, maybe a sign promoting an
upcoming event is posted). When you enter the school for the interview, be very aware of what is around you -- things hanging on the wall, etc. Then, use this info to structure your answer. Administrators love to see that you have done your homework (so to speak) and that you have taken the time and energy to know what their particular school is about. Even something as simple as explaining how a school's motto fits into your philosophy can do a lot.

One of the schools I used to teach at had their motto on a banner that hung over the front door, "Educating Everyone Takes Everyone." I used that during my interview to explain how I felt that teaching was a team effort which needed the cooperation of all the teachers, families, administrators, etc.

Good luck- JenC

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General Tips


I just had mine! It wasn't so bad...first of all, buy a nice suit. Second of all, research the school-- find out their
philosophy, goals, reading programs, etc., at least as much as possible (using the web, handbooks, etc.) And get a good
night's sleep the night before. Also, don't drink a lot of caffeine first like I did, because I think I was a bit hyper :)

Posted by rw on 5/10/02

Here is some advice i can give you....
1. Bring your most current resume and have mutiple copies for each person to look at.
2. Also have mutiple copies of letters of rec you have.
3. Bring your portfolio and know it inside and out in case the want to look at it and ask you questions.
4. Prepare a short statement about yourself to start the interview with. Ex. where u went to school, majors, hobbies, if you are the oldest or youngest child. This just gives them a bit about you.
5. Lastly, GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ill keep my fingers crossed for you. I hope these tips help ya out! :-)


I just recently secured a teaching job and the interviews that I had to go through for that job were very similar. I prepared myself by researching the school on the internet to get some background information. I also talked to graduates of the school with whom I went to college. And, on the way to the interview, I interviewed myself. I asked myself questions that I thought they might ask and worked on
tweaking my answers until I was happy with them.As far as being interviewed by five people, don't worry. My experience with six people interviewing me was very positive. The principal guided the interview and asked the majority of the questions. The others, teachers and board members, observed and took notes. There was a point during the interview when they had the opportunity to ask questions too.Just remember: make sure to engage in eye contact with all present; think before you speak; and relax-you'll do fine.


To be on the safe side you should bring a couple of extra resumes just in case. Also, even though you haven't taken a portfolio class, you should try to put a portfolio together. You can get a book on how to put together a portfolio at any bookstore (including your university bookstore) or you can find sample portfolios online. Even if the interviewer doesn't look at your entire portfolio, you can use it as a
resource when asked various questions such as what was your favorite lesson, what is your classroom policy, what is your educational philosophy, what are some different types of teaching strategies you have used, etc. I did this on a recent interview and it worked as I was offered a contract. Good luck.



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The Job Fair


Take resumes, paper to take notes, and dress professionally. Visit as many booths as possible--I ended up being hired by a school I didn't even really want to apply to, but it turned out to be better than I expected. Have an open mind, and be ready to smile and listen. Good luck!

I got hired by one of my top choice districts as a result of going to a job fair so I highly recommend taking advantage of this by:

1) Dress very professionally as if you are going on an interview. I was shocked at the number of college students who went in jeans. Wear comfortable shoes to because the lines are long.

2) Bring tons of resumes and your portfolio. Be prepared if asked to show one highlight or share one thing that makes you special-they do not want to see the entire portfolio.

3) Be prepared to answer interview questions. Some districts just take a resume, others do a screening interview to decide if you will be on a list for a real interview. (My district did this along with three other interviews I got as a result of the fair)

4) In advance find out what districts or schools will be there, make a list by priority of who you want to see and do research on them so you can ask relevant questions about them.

5) Get business cards from anyone you talk to and send thank you letters to follow up after the job fair-it makes you stand out from others who don't.

Best of luck-it is going to be a very competitive year (at least where I am in Illinois) to get hired, but going to a job fair is a great way to start the process! Let us know what happens!

Helpful Links On This Topic

Interviewing Tips and Strategies
Click on the state graphic to go to that state's main state education pages. Click on the typed name of the state underneath the graphic to locate specific information about their certification requirements in that state.
What Principals Are Looking For asked experts - elementary-school principals - to share their best advice on how to shine in your next interview.
How to Give a Great Interview: Teachers Tell All
In this exclusive interview, teachers who've been there in both private and public settings, and most important, landed the job, share their interviewing secrets.
State Certification Process
To help you prepare for your own state certification, check out our collection of Web and general certification office information for each state in our nation.
Stellar Letters of Recommendation
To help determine what ingredients are essential in a shining letter of recommendation, talked to both principals and teachers
Applying for and Interviewing for Teaching Positions - This is an archive of an online discussion between job seekers and some administrators. Lots of questions answered and ideas discussed

Shine with Teaching Heart CDROMs - Every new teachers dream come true!!!

Sample Interview Questions

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