Five Interview Tips for Teachers

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After many years of hard work gathering the knowledge and skills necessary to be a great teacher, the last thing you want to do is make an easily avoidable mistake in the interview that could cost you your job. If you are properly prepared, you will be able to impress your interviewer and embark on a successful career in teaching. After sending out piles of applications, cover letters and resumes, prepare for your interview by using these tips:

1. Dress to impress
Although the teaching profession may allow for more casual wear on a day-to-day basis, you should dress professionally for your interview. It's recommended that women wear slacks or a dress suit and closed-toe shoes; men should always wear a business suit. Although you can feel free to express your creativity with a few flashes of color or accessories, the best way to immediately project how seriously you take the job is by dressing professionally.

2. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
Before heading into the interview, research common questions that you are likely to be asked and carefully evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. The better you know yourself and the skills you have to offer, the more easily you'll be able to bring attention to them come interview time.

3. Prepare a teaching portfolio
Although your interviewer may not ask to see your teaching portfolio, you should come prepared with one nonetheless and use it for reference as you talk about your teaching experience. Your portfolio should include a copy of your teaching certificate, samples of student work and lesson plans, and anything else you feel demonstrates your qualifications.

4. Do your research
In addition to preparing answers to common interview questions, you should also thoroughly research the school and district in which you will be interviewing. Browse their websites to develop an understanding of their mission and goals, and use that information to demonstrate your interest throughout the interview.

5. Pay attention
This may sound like a no-brainer, but being alert and attentive so you can ensure that you are actually answering the questions that were asked of you can make a world of difference. Stay in the moment, and try to project true enthusiasm for teaching as you formulate your answers to the interviewer's questions.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit our website at www.wgu.edu.

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