“I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession”
Over the past week, I have observed approximately 50 interviews where candidates have talked about their teaching experience in hopes of joining our district. Some have been people relatively new to the profession. Some are people who have left other careers to join our profession. Some are teaching veterans looking to move forward in their career.
With all candidates, I have noticed several behaviors and attitudes that help to make a person a strong candidate for a position. Below are some tips to help you during the interview process:
Research the district or position. After you are called for an interview, begin your research. Find out as much as you can about a position or school. Learn what types of programs are used in the district. Find an extracurricular area where you can add your experience or skills.
Tell a unique story or provide a different answer. While asking questions of all candidates, we often hear similar answers. Be the one to give a different answer or talk about an experience that was different than the norm. This is where Thinking Outside the Box can help you to stand out from the crowd.
Highlight your experience. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, talk about the experience that you do have. Use anecdotal information to answer a question, and talk about a time when you had to discipline a student, or the time that you had planned on a lesson integrating technology, but you had to revamp your plan when the technology didn’t work.
Demonstrate a willingness to learn. Show that you want to learn. Ask questions about specific programs or district goals. Learn about the mentoring program of the district and how professional development is offered to help teachers improve. Try to find out if the district uses PLCs to help promote teacher growth.
Bring your passion. While you don’t have to be overexcited or take the enthusiasm level to 11, show that you are passionate about being an educator. Explain why you love working with students. Tell a story about the light bulb coming on for a student after a week of learning about division. Talk about why you love walking into the classroom on a daily basis.
Every interview is an opportunity to show what makes you an awesome educator. Be true to yourself. Show off your personality. Demonstrate that you are a reflective practitioner. Share the experiences that have changed you as an educator, or inspired you to become a teacher in the first place.
After all, being a teacher is a very important job.