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7 Interview Tips for Teaching Positions

Lyndsay Olsen  |  July 06, 2021
I’m a talent acquisition consultant at National Heritage Academies (NHA), a Michigan-based charter school management company that operates over 90+ schools in nine states, serving over 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. So, I know some of the struggles teachers and education students go through when they’re looking for a teaching job.

If you’re in the job market, you may have questions about interviewing for a teaching position. Here are some tips to help you have an interview that will set you apart:
  1. Think logistics.
Think about how far of a drive your interview is so you can plan ahead and give yourself enough time to get there without feeling rushed. At NHA, talent acquisition consultants prepare candidates for interviews. We call candidates once the interview is set to talk through logistics, how many people to expect to be interviewed by, where to park, how to enter the building with our security systems, who to ask for when you get there, and anything else that might cause anxiety before an interview. Getting these things sorted out so you can be ready when you leave for your interview will help reduce some of the stress you may feel the day of.
  1. Do your research and prepare questions to ask. 
It helps to be familiar with a school before you go into an interview. Make sure you do your research on the school you’re applying to. Poke around their website and get acquainted with it. They may have special programs, work with certain community organizations, exciting events, or other things you could talk about in the interview.
Take time to prepare questions to ask leadership in your interview. Part of doing your research is to come up with more specific or tailored questions for the school, leadership team, and job.
  1. Think about questions ahead of time.
They may ask you about classroom management strategies, building relationships with students and parents, planning engaging lessons, differentiation, using data, how you work as a team, and how you take feedback.
At NHA, we recommend behavioral-based interview questions. A great way to prepare for interviews is to practice with the SAR method, which stands for situation, action, and result. Use this to make sure you’re explaining relevant situations and examples.

For example, if you were asked to tell the interviewer about a time you interacted with a difficult student, you could start by giving them some context to the scenario (situation), sharing what you did at that time (action), and what happened after (result). If the initial result wasn’t a good outcome, you could share what you did after that, like being open to new ideas and learning from coworkers.

Interviewers want to see the whole process when they ask questions like this. People often forget to conclude with the result of their example because they get so caught up in the details of explaining their situation and actions.
  1. Answer the question they ask.
It can be easy to get off topic, so before you answer, think about what they’re asking. Being prepared when you walk into an interview is important, but don’t try to answer a behavior-based question with test scores. Don’t try to force one answer to fit a question that wasn’t asked.
  1. A new grad tip on experience.
As a new grad, you’re going to rely on your field placements, student teaching, and any other experience you have working with kids (like camp counseling, tutoring, etc.). Use what you can to make your answers relevant. Using student teaching experience is not a bad thing, especially if that is your only relevant experience.
  1. Should you send a follow-up email?
Follow up emails are up to your discretion. If you choose to send one, address it to all the people in the interview. You can mention something you learned about the school that you are excited about or something else that came up during your time together. It’s not needed, though.

At NHA, talent acquisition consultants call candidates within a couple days of being interviewed to see how it went. We follow up to see if it was a good experience for the interviewee. We like to get feedback and give updates on offer timelines and why or why not you were selected for the position. We may even present an offer on a follow-up call. 
  1. Reflect.
Interviewing is a skill that you can continue working on over time. At NHA, we give feedback to candidates after they go through an interview. Take feedback and learn and grow from it!
If you’re interested in working at an NHA school, view our open positions here.

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