Most of us do not realize how important the role of elementary teachers is in our society. Elementary teachers are the one who can influence the children in time when 90% of their formulas of thinking and habits are built. Elementary teachers can be great role models and help the young generation to gain right values and find healthy attitudes towards their own life as well as towards the others. If you want to get this job, you can expect quite a specific interview, also because of this. You will need to deal with several typical interview questions, there will be also specific, job related questions, as well as questions about your motivation to do the job.
Teacher – Job or a mission?
An excellent applicant for a job of elementary teacher should take it as a mission of life. It’s not only an 8 to 3 job where you go every day, like most people do… It should be something more, at least for you, and interviewers should see it on you and in you. Only if you present yourself as someone who really cares for the healthy development of children he leads, someone who understands the importance of this role, they will choose you in an interview. In any other case, you will be screened out.
The competition for jobs of elementary teachers is not as high as for many other jobs, such as manager, customer assistant or sales representative for example. However, survey conducted in the US shows that four people are interviewed for every single job opening of elementary teacher (in average). Four candidates, one job opening. That is a simple math. Can you be the one of four and get this job? Surely, you can be the chosen one. But you need to present yourself as someone who cares for this important mission and you need to give good answers to all elementary teacher interview questions. Let’s have a look at the questions.
Questions they typically use in an interview
- Why do you want to become an elementary teacher?
- What do you want to accomplish being an elementary teacher?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- What do you think are the key characteristics of a good elementary teacher?
- Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? How would you solve these problems? What approaches would you take in your education, in order to deal with that?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you approach the students of the first class, on the first day at school? What would you say?
- What teaching methods do you prefer and why?
- Do you think that all the students should be treated equally, or there should be an individual approach to every student, in accordance to his abilities and background?
- How would you improve the overall study environment in your class?
- Imagine a situation when a father of one of your students complains about something which is untrue. How would you react? What would you do?
- What is your opinion about information technology at elementary school?
- What is your opinion about foreign language education at elementary school?
- How would you handle the conflicts between students?
- What do you consider as the toughest aspect of this job?
- What are your hobbies?
- What games would you play with your students and why would you choose these games and not other one?
- How would you win a heart of your students?
- When are you able to start?
- Do you have any questions?
Many questions, little feedback
As you can see, you can expect a healthy mix of personal, situational and technical interview questions. On the other hand, interviewers at schools are typically not HR professionals. They ask questions and sometimes do not know why they ask a question. Many interviewers come to websites like this one, download the list of question you have just read and use it in their interview. That is the reality. But what does it mean for you, being a job seeker?
It means that personal preferences play a huge role on decision making in this interview. Said in other words, if the interviewer (often a vice principal or principal at school) likes you as a person, he will choose you. It is that simple, it is that difficult.
Become a friend with an interviewer
Actually it creates a new dimension for your interview preparation practice. I suggest you to research about the school, especially about their achievements and simply learn something positive about an institution. Then in an interview, you can compliment it and show some recognition to the interviewer. You can become friends, as these people are pretty proud on their institutions and like to be recognized for it. I do not say this is the case at all the elementary schools. I do not say it is correct and good. I wish people at schools were better in recruitment. However, it is how it is and we need to accept that and prepare for an interview according to it. With our website, we believe you can do it. We wish you good luck in your job interview!