What questions will they ask you? How to make a good impression on the hiring committee? What decides the winner at the end?
Simply, how to prepare for this challenging experience and walk away with a coveted job contract for an elementary teacher? We will try to answer this question on our website that specializes only in elementary teacher interviews.
Written by Glen Hughins, Consultant at Educational Recruitment Agency Meridian and a Professional Interview Coach.
What questions will they ask you?
(Clicking a question will direct you to a new page, where we analyze and answer that particular question.)
- Why do you want to become an elementary teacher? (Why did you choose career in teaching? Why did you decide to study teaching?)
- What do you want to accomplish on this position? (What will make you happy with your daily job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years time? (How long do you want to work here as a teacher? What are your career plans for the future?)
- What characterize a good teacher from your point of view?
- Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? (How would you address the challenges we face at schools right now?)
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? (What makes you a good teacher?)
- How would you approach the students of the first class, on their first day at school? (What would you say? How would you prepare for this day?)
- What teaching methods do you prefer, and why do you prefer them? (Your best and worst experience with various teaching methods?)
- Do you think that we should treat all students equally, or we should approach every student individually, taking into account their individual abilities and predispositions to study?
- How would you improve the study environment in your class?
- Imagine that a father of a students complained about something which was untrue. How would you react? (What would you do? Did you experience the situation before?)
- What is your opinion on information technology at elementary school? (Should students use computers? Should teachers use computers?)
- What is your opinion about foreign language subjects at the elementary?
- How would you handle the conflict between students? (Have you ever solved a conflict? Have you ever had a conflict with your students before?)
- What do you consider the toughest aspect of this job? (Is there anything you hate about teaching?)
- What are your hobbies? (What do you like to do in your free time?)
- What games would you play with your students, and why would you choose those games, and not other one?
- How would you win the hearts of your students?
- When can you start working here?
- Do you have any questions?
Building relationships in the interview
As you can see, they will try to assess your skills and readiness for the job with personal, situational, behavioral, and technical questions. On the other hand, people sitting in hiring committees at schools do not excel in HR. It just isn’t their main field of expertise…. Personal preferences will play a rolein your interview (how important they are depends on the particular hiring committee).
Said in other words, if they like you as a person, you will have a better chances than the other candidates who also meet the basic criteria for the job, and present at least decent answers to their questions.
How can you build relationship in an interview?
Pre-interview research will help you a lot. Try to learn something about the goals, visions, and achievements of the educational institution. Try to identify something which they should be proud of. Then you can talk about it in an interview, showing recognition and respect to the people sitting in the hiring committee. That’s a great first step to build some relationship with the people, in the course of your interview.
Demonstrate your teaching skills in a mocked lesson
Mock lessons are very popular in the interviews at elementary schools. Interviewers will give you a simple subject to teach–such as basic mathematics, or even just writing letters of the alphabet. They ask you to show how you’d teach the lesson, and they will observe the way you explain things, and approach the students. You should always accept to mock the lesson–if you did otherwise, complaining about lack of preparation or anything else, they would not hire you.
Try to be yourself when mocking the lesson, show positive attitude, and teach as you would normally teach in a classroom. The key is to show that you can work systematically, prepare for the lessons, and enjoy teaching.
Specialized guide for your preparation
Success or failure in this interview depends on many factors. Your ability to sell your skills in an interview, your answers to the questions they ask you, the impression you make on the people sitting in the hiring committee, the mock lesson, the quality of other job candidates who compete with you for the job.
If you’d like to learn the winning interview strategies, and brilliant answers to twenty five most common interview questions for elementary teachers, consider having a look at my eBook, Elementary Teacher Interview Guide. Step by step, we will address all issues and challenges of an interview. At the end of the book you will feel confident, get rid of your interview stress, and be ready to ace your elementary teacher interview.
To your success,
Your Personal Job Interview Coach