As you already know, I work during the day as a substitute teacher. That’s not because I haven’t tried to get a full-time teaching position. In fact, I’ve been stalking the local school districts’ websites for a year now. I apply whenever I get the chance and I have had many teacher interviews. Now that it’s almost summer, it’s time for schools to start looking at next year and doing some hiring. It’s officially teacher interviews season.
I’ve interviewed for a teaching position in six different counties/cities in the past year. So, I’ve come to realize that each school/district does hiring their own way. I’ve also learned that each interview has some key similarities to them.
Teacher Interviews: The Differences
- The number of people in the interview. The county that I student taught in has just the principal at teacher interviews. Other districts have the principal along with other staff (such as a parent, a teacher in the subject area, assistant principal, or the director of an area in the county) take a round-robin approach with questions. Most places require a second interview with either the HR person and/or superintendent. Another county’s HR person calls in people for interviews with them directly. This particular interview took place with the human resources person, the person over special education, and the elementary education person. It consisted of an oral interview and a surprise written interview. Like I said, they are all a little different.
- Location of the interview. I’ve had several interviews take place at the actual school of the position. One time I even got a formal tour of the school. Other places have interviews at the school board’s offices.
- The type of person they are looking for. This seems pretty obvious, but I figure it’s worth mentioning. Every school has its own environment and every principal is different. I’ve had some awkward interviews wherein I left being ok not teaching there because it didn’t seem that the faculty got along very well. So, while they may want someone who knows what they are doing, you have to have the personality to fit in at that certain school. It’s hard to remember after so many interviews, but I try to keep in mind that I haven’t feel like many of the schools were a good fit for me (or vice versa).
Teacher Interviews: The Similarities
- They want to know about you. Virtually every interview starts out by asking me to tell them about myself and my experience as it relates to the position. By this point, I’ve got a pretty standard response that I tailor to the position.
- They want you to have experience. This one is the most frustrating thing for me. All of the principals want someone with experience. However, it’s difficult to get experience without a job.
- Time. You can generally expect the teacher interviews to take place during the regular school hours. I’ve never had one outside of those regular hours. I’ve had some in the morning and some in the afternoon, but nothing before 9 am or after 2:30 pm.
So, there you have it. The differences and similarities that I’ve noticed in my many teacher interviews. Have you ever interviewed for a teaching position? How did it go?