How do you make yourself stand out in the crowd of applicants for elementary teaching jobs? Often the interview is the time in which you have the best opportunity to outshine the competition. Here are four elementary teacher job interview tips to help you make the best possible impression in this short window of time.
Four Tips to Successful Job Interviews for Elementary Teachers
1. Preparation: Though it may not seem like part of the actual elementary teacher job interview tips, this step is one of the most important things you can do to put your resume at the top of the pile. Thoroughly research the school for which you will be interviewing.
Understand the educational philosophy, general demographics, environment, and areas of focus for these two entities. Use your resume to showcase your strengths with regard to the areas of interest for the school. You want to demonstrate that you will be a good fit for their team of teachers. Make sure that your cover letter is not generic but targeted specifically to the particular school. Compile a portfolio of your best lessons to bring to the interview.
2. First Impressions: Dress for success is at the top of the elementary teacher job interview tips. For men, a conservative suit and tie with white, long-sleeved shirt is best. For women, the best option is a dark suit with neutral hose and moderate shoes. Neat grooming, including nails and hair are appropriate. Avoid showing tattoos or body piercings.
Limit make-up, jewelry, and cologne/perfume while at the interview. Always dress modestly with regard to necklines and skirt lengths. When you arrive, smile and shake hands firmly. Make eye contact and offer a comment about it being a pleasure to meet with the interviewer. After pleasantries is also a good time to offer your cover letter, resume, and portfolio to the interviewer.
Interview Questions and Answers for Elementary Teacher
3. Question and Answer: This is the meat and potatoes of the elementary teacher job interview tips. Prepare for questions about your strengths and weaknesses. It’s great to refer to specific lessons in your portfolio when asked about methods of teaching that you have used.
Be honest but also enthusiastic about learning new things if you are asked about a concept that you have not yet encountered. It’s okay to ask for clarification on a question in a respectful, confident, and pleasant way. Think about what you have learned from past teaching experiences and how those (good and bad) have made you a better teacher.
Have solid answers ready about your philosophy of education, classroom management techniques, differentiated instruction, and how well you work with a team.
4. Finishing Well: How you leave a job interview is very important as well in the elementary job interview tips. At the end of an interview, the interviewer will typically ask if you have any questions.
Have one inquiry ready so that he or she is assured of your interest in the position. When it is time to leave, shake hands firmly again, making eye contact. Thank them for their time and consideration pleasantly. Following these elementary teacher job interview tips will help ensure a positive impression on the interviewer.