Most of the people (and parents especially) do not realize the importance of the role of elementary teachers. Teachers are second role models (after parents) for every single child. They can lead the young generation to right values and healthy attitudes towards their own life as well as the others. But bad teacher can easily lead them astray too!
Because of this, your job interview will be quite difficult and sophisticated. You will need to deal with specific, job related questions, as well as questions about your motivation to do the job. But before we analyze each question, you should understand the main principle. Without understanding it, it would be impossible to get this job. Let’s have a look at it right now.
Teacher – Job or a mission?
An excellent teacher should take his job as a mission. It’s not only a job where you have to go every day to make money… It is something more, or at least it should be. Recruiters must see it in this way, otherwise you will be screened out.
You know, the competition for elementary teacher jobs is not as high as for some other positions, such as manager, customer assistant or sales representative. However, survey conducted in the US showed that at least six people are interviewed for every single elementary teacher job opening. Can you be the one of six and land this job? Well, you will need to present yourself as someone who understand the importance of this job and you will need to give good answers to all their questions. Are you ready?
Questions they typically use in an interview
- Why do you want to become an elementary teacher?
- What do you want to accomplish on this position?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- What do you think are the key characteristics of a good teacher?
- Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? How would you solve these problems?
- 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 that father of one of your students complained 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?
Professional interviewers, or not?
As you can see, you can expect a healthy mix of personal, situational and job related interview questions. On the other hand, recruiters at schools are not HR professionals, at least most of the time. Principals (or vice principals) are typically smart and educated professionals, but HR isn’t their expertise… You know, many of them visit our websites, download the list of questions and use it in their job interviews. But what does it all mean for you as a job seeker?
Well, it means that personal preferences play an important role in this interview too! Said in other words, if they like you as a person, you chances to succeed will be much better.
Build relationships in an interviewer
You should research about the school, especially about their achievements. Try to learn something positive about them. You can use this information to show some recognition to the interviewing panel. That will help you to create the right atmosphere in the room. As you already know, personal preferences play an important role in an interview. It would be a bad mistake to underestimate it…
P.S. Once you read other articles on this website, do not forget to have a look at our Elementary Teacher Interview Guide from Glen Hughins, where you will find multiple brilliant answers to all interview questions presented on this website (and other questions too), as well as winning interview strategies. And much much more… Thank you!