7 Dos in Teaching Interviews


Primary Teaching Interview

You have landed an interview for your dream teaching job and I’m sure you are both nervous and excited! We often consider the faux pas of interviews etiquette, but what about the positive things you can do to help you stand out? Here are some tips I give my clients that will help you in your interview.

First Impressions count!

Do greet each member of the interview panel and make sure to make eye contact with each member of the panel. Your interviewers are teaching professionals and they were in your shoes once. A warm and professional initial greeting will help set the tone for your interview.

Tell stories!

You may be trying to contain your nerves in an interview and this may lead you to want to give short answers to questions asked but have you considered how responding in a descriptive way might allow you to regale your interviewers with stories about your teaching experience while also letting them see your personality? An interview is also a conversation, use this conversation to show your passion for teaching by drawing on how a certain teaching experience affected you. What did you learn? How would you handle a situation differently now in light of your deepening understanding and experience.

Practice using the answers by using the STAR technique

Situation: Describe a time when you were faced with an issue that required action. For example, perhaps you were working on a group project, or you had a conflict with a coworker.

Task: Next, describe your responsibility in that situation. Perhaps you had to help your group complete a project within a tight deadline or resolve a conflict with a coworker.

Action: You then describe how you completed the task or endeavoured to meet the challenge. Focus on what you did, rather than what your team, boss, or coworker did.

Result: What was the result of your actions? What aspects of your personality, skill-set or leadership techniques did you engage to bring the situation to a successful resolution? Maybe you didn’t manage to make it to the desired result…what would you do differently now and how has this experience changed you?

Practice your answers out loud

It really can help your confidence if you practice your answers out loud. Here you can gauge your tone and your comfort in answering questions. Practicing will also make you feel much more prepared for the real thing.

Mock interview practice

Doing mock interviews with friends or a professional will help you to be more at ease. An interview is not a normal, everyday occurrence and it is best to prepare.

Relax and show them a little of your personality

You are not being called to interview because the interviewers want to grill you. You should take comfort in the fact that you have already stood out to them. Give the interviewers an insight into who you are as a person. Relax, you’ve got this!

Try not to waffle

I have told you so far to relax, show your experience through the use of storytelling rather than short answers. Everything in moderation though! Try not to waffle on though as this will not look great and you may lose your audience. A 90 second response will normally do the trick unless you are asked to elaborate on a particular situation.

I am here should you need help with any aspect of the interview preparation or process. Get in touch at hello@orladempseycoaching.ie or find out more here.



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