How to Get the Job You Want
Interviewing for a new job can be a stressful process, but a little bit of preparation will go a long way toward easing your anxiety. Here are a few tips for a successful job interview, whether you’re new to the field or a veteran educator.
Research the school.
Impress your interviewer by being well versed in the issues that affect the school’s population. School and district websites, current and past parents and employees, web searches, and public databases such as the Texas Public Schools Explorer and SchoolDigger.com are all good sources of information. You can also research the school on the TEA website, via the Texas Academic Performance Report (2012 onward) or the Academic Excellence Indicator System (2011 and earlier).
Don’t forget your copies.
Even if you’ve already sent your cover letter, résumé, and references electronically, it’s a good idea to have several printed copies on hand for the interview. If you’re a seasoned educator, bring copies of your last appraisal as well.
Prepare an interactive notebook that includes samples of your work—projects, tests, quizzes, anchor charts, assignments, lesson plans, and syllabi.
Be ready with the answers.
Prepare answers for common interview questions, and illustrate with personal examples when you can. Some common interview topics include:
- Classroom management
- STAAR and the use of benchmark data to drive lessons
- Collaborative efforts (as part of a team or professional learning community)
- Literacy strategies
- Technology integration
Show off your skills.
Bring an example of a successful lesson you have taught and be prepared to present that lesson. Be sure to choose a lesson that works well independently of other classroom activities.
Don’t volunteer for something you aren’t interested in. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but volunteering for something you don’t actually want to do will affect how well you do your job and how happy you are at the school.
Don’t get hung up on a particular position.
Keep an open mind during your interview. If the school is a good fit for you, consider broadening your expectations. For example, if you spend too much time talking about how you want to teach English III, but there’s only an English I position open, you might miss out on a good opportunity.
Good luck on your interview and in the coming school year!
For more in depth job search tips, see ATPE’s Professional Learning Portal class, “Getting Yourself in Shape to Shape Minds,” hosted by administrator Karen McCoskey.