We can divide the job interviews in many ways: Technical and non-technical; initial, screening, second, final; phone and face to face; group and panel, etc.
When we talk about teaching interviews, or even educational interviews in general, we can find all of these forms present. Many times a board consisting of school principal, assistant principal, external recruiter and a school psychologist will interview you for a job. In other cases, however, it will be only you and the principal, or even a specialized HR person from the school in the boiler room.
The basics stay the same
However, you should not over-complicate your preparation for the interview. Certainly, each form has some specifics, and if you’d like to we can prepare you for it with our interview coaching services, but nevertheless it is just that-a form.
They will always look for the same things within you, doesn’t matter which method they use trying to identify them. What’s more, educational interview, or basically any interviews led at schools, have some specifics in common. Knowing them will help you to prepare better for the meeting.
Led by educational pros, not HR pros
According to the following source, your teaching interview will be led by non-professionals interviewers. They will know a lot about education, teaching, and problems the school faces, but little about how to recruit people for the job. Is it an advantage, or a disadvantage? That depends on how you prepare for the interview…..
Personal preferences matter a lot at schools
Since they don’t understand psychometry or personality tests, and typically don’t even have an interview template, school principals or their assistants often trust in their gut feeling.
If it is a pleasure to talk with you, if you share their opinions on education, if they don’t see the competitor in you, they may very well hire you.
Of course, you’ll still need to meet the basic requirements in terms of minimum education and experience (if they set such requirements).
An exemplary lesson
Some schools, however, apply a rather stressful interview technique. They will give you a topic (from your field of expertise) and let you to explain it to ‘the pupils’. In this case the interviewers themselves play the students. They watch the way you explain things, ask questions, ans simply make the topic easy to understand.
In some rare cases they may eventually throw you directly into the water and take you to an actual classroom, to replace the teacher for one hour. Needless to say, practicing such an exemplary lesson before you travel to your interview is a great advice….
Little room for negotiation
Another feature that distinguishes teaching interviews from the rest is an inability to negotiate a better starting salary. Most schools use salary tables, and as a new teacher you’ll simply get what’s given to everyone else at the institution. It doesn’t matter that you are the best teacher in the world–you just get what any other new teacher will.
Having said that, we suggest you to completely avoid talking about salary in your first interview. They won’t give you more anyway, so there’s no need to gamble–if you talk about money, the interviewers may easily get the feeling that money are the only thing you care about. And that’s not a good label for a teaching job candidate.
Education and references matter a lot
In contrary to many other job openings, your University diploma and references can make huge difference in getting a teaching job. People in the sector know each other, and if “Johnny” recommended you, they’re going to follow up on that. Don’t underestimate your preparation, practice, and bring a lot of documents with you. Those are few simple tips that can help you getting a teaching job!