Just because you are good in the classroom does not mean you are good at interviewing. There is a big difference between having a basic, elementary education and being an all-out professional. When it comes to teaching interviews the old adage applies: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
How to Prepare for a College Teaching Interview
The most important thing you can do is to prepare responses for the most common teacher interview questions. This requires preparation and practice. You will be nervous enough without being caught off guard by a question you are not ready to answer.
Nerves are to be expected, but failure to prepare for your nervousness is preparing to fail. The problem with nervous habits is that they are habits. Habits are difficult to change. However, in preparation for a teaching interview, you may want to follow these steps:
- Identify Your Nervous Habits – This may be difficult for you. It is normal to feel reluctant when it comes to asking others to identify your flaws. However, keep in mind that your family and friends are not going to tell you anything that they don’t already know, and they will do so in order to help you.
- Practice – Make mental notes of what you do. Perhaps you fiddle with your hair. Maybe “ah” is the first word out of you mouth every time you speak. Make yourself a mental note of this, and evaluate yourself when you are in a group. Practice your ability to curb that habit.
- Use an Interview Aid – Write a note to yourself at the top of your notebook or a pad of paper. It may read, “No AH’s!” This becomes you interview aid. The committee will be impressed that you came ready to take notes. They won’t be able to see what you wrote, but you will have a constant reminder right in front of you.
- Make Notes Before Your Speak – Don’t feel obligated to immediately respond to a question. Use the note pad to jot down key points and your thoughts. Your committee will actually be impressed, and you won’t fumble around for an answer while fiddling with your hair and repeatedly saying “ah.”
More Interviewing Help
Check out these books for more advice on how to prepare for your teaching interview.