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Interviewing for a Teaching Position

Author(s): Tracy Volz, PhD

Know Your Objectives

In preparation for an interview, make a list of your short- and long-term personal and professional goals. A school administrator will be interested in determining whether you envision teaching as a long-term career, or if you view it as more of an experiment, something to pay the bills while you investigate other options. Moreover, the interviewer may want to know what you hope to achieve at the school, in the classroom and outside of it, as a sponsor of school activities, leader of teacher professional development programs, etc.

Once you have produced your list of professional goals, create a table of key factors that will influence your job satisfaction. To get started, consider the following questions.

  • Do the school’s mission, values and curriculum match your own vision and objectives?
  • Can you achieve your goals at that school?
  • Are there professional development opportunities?
  • Can you advance to a leadership position?
  • Can you assume other roles in the school, such as club sponsor, school or district committee member, team leader, or teacher mentor.
  • Does the school have sufficient resources for you to do your work (e.g., equipment, lab space, administrative support)?
  • Will your colleagues contribute positively to your teaching experience and growth as an educator?

The answers to these questions will be especially useful if you interview at several schools and want to make comparisons to determine which school would be the best fit for you.

Finally, stay aware of current events, as they can be used to generate small talk at the outset of an interview. Demonstrating knowledge of current events also suggests that you value being informed of local, national and global issues, which is one of the implicit goals of most educational institutions.