How to Ace Your Next Teaching Interview

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 / Leave a Comment
Whether you're a new Spanish teacher looking for your first teaching job, a mom returning to the classroom after staying home with your kids, or a veteran teacher looking for a new position, these tips and prep questions will help ace your next teaching interview.


What to Wear: 
Dressy teacher clothes that look neat and professional or a nice suit.  If it's cold, a dressy jacket on top.
What to Bring:
* Teaching portfolio
* Copy of your transcripts, resume, and cover letter
* Water for before and after in case your mouth gets dry
* Hairbrush and extra makeup
* Cell phone and number of the place where you'll be interviewing (in case you get lost)

When to Arrive:  
Plan to get there at least 15-30 minutes early for your interview.  That gives you extra time if you get lost, hit traffic, or have trouble parking or finding the right office.


                                                                             30 Practice Interview Questions:

But first, here are a few tips for answering:

* Keep in mind what your interviewers would most like to hear when you're answering.

* It's okay to pause for a second if they ask you a tricky question.  You can say, "Hmm . . . that's an interesting question", and think for a few seconds before answering.

* Be yourself.  Let your natural personality shine through, in a professional way, of course.

Be prepared to answer any of these in English or in the target language.  Once you feel you are prepared, have a friend ask you the interview prep questions so that you get practice saying them out loud.
Your Background:

1. Talk about a highlight from your resume.

2. What is your educational philosophy?

3. Why have you decided to come back to teaching after being out of the classroom for several years? 

4. What did you do while you weren't teaching to stay current with the language and new teaching methodology?

5. What are your strengths as a teacher?  

6. What are your weaknesses as a teacher and how do you compensate for them?  

Your Classroom:

1. Tell us what your classroom looks and feel like.

2. Describe a typical day in your class.

Key Language Skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Culture):

1. What percentage of the target language do you think should be spoken in class?  Explain your answer.

2. How do you show your students that you are passionate about teaching your language?

3. How important do you think it is to teach culture? How do you do this in your class?

4. How do you cover the key language learning components of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and culture in your classes?
Behavior Issues:

1. What would you do if a student is misbehaving in class and disrupting other students?

2. What would you do if you just did what you described in the previous question and the student continues to act out?

3. Tell us about a difficult behavioral situation in your class and how you dealt with it.

Professional Development:

1. Name a professional development book that you have read recently. What impact did it have on your teaching?

2. What professional development courses have you completed recently and what did you learn?

Ability to Reflect on Your Teaching:

1. Which person has had the greatest impact on your teaching and why?

2. Talk about one way that your teaching has changed.

3. If they asked you to teach a sample class . . . .  Reflect on the class you taught.  Did the students meet your learning standards and are there any adjustments you would have made?

Dealing with Parents:

1. How do you establish a strong rapport with parents?

2. Talk about a difficult situation with a parent and how you handled it.

Opinion Questions:

1. Tell us your opinion about this statement:  "It's important for teachers to collaborate with other teachers."  Explain your answer.

2. Explain your feelings regarding this statement:  I"n order for a student to learn, the student must like the teacher."

3. Are you familiar with the saying, "Failure is not an option"?  Discuss your interpretation of this quote.
Technology:

1. Do you use social media in your classroom?  If so, how?

2. Describe how you use technology in your classroom?

Your Personality:
1. Describe your teaching style.

2. Talk about a time when you disregarded or disobeyed what a supervisor told you to do and why. (Be very careful how you answer this one.  If you do say that you disobeyed a supervisor, make sure it was for a very good reason.)

3. What would other teachers in your department say about you and your teaching style?

Concluding Questions:

1. Why are you the strongest candidate for this position?

2. Why do you want to teach at our school?  (Make sure that you've researched the school and its language program online and have something specific to say about their program).

3. Is there anything else we should know about you? (Think of another way that you are an amazing teacher and throw this into the interview - sell yourself!).

4. Do you have any questions for us?  (Always have a question - I like to ask some of the following: "What is your department's language philosophy?", "What is your department working on right now?", or "What do you feel are your departments' strengths?")

Phew!  I know, right?  That's a lot of questions and a lot to prepare, but trust me, it will be worth it when you get that sweet Spanish teaching job.

Follow this series on how to get an amazing teaching job with the next post, "How to Write an Amazing Thank You Note after an Interview" on my blog, worldlanguagecafe.com.  You might also like Catharyn Crane's previous post on "Resumé Do's and Don't's".

Have any tricky interview questions that you'd like to see added to this post?  Let me know in the comments below.

Best of luck with your future job interviews!



                         

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