An overview of what to bring to a teacher interview
Ensuring you're prepared for an interview is a daunting task. This is especially true careers like education, where job seekers are often tasked with bringing plenty of skills and materials to an interview. In addition to standard interview practice and preparation, those looking for a teaching position should also plan on bringing a few other things along with them. Here is a comprehensive overview of what to bring to a teacher interview.
What to bring to a teacher interview
Be sure to bring everything you need to a teacher interview. Staying organized and being prepared will go a long way in impressing interviewers. Here’s a quick overview of what to bring to a teacher interview.
Even though your resume was likely submitted as part of your application, it’s always a good idea to bring a few copies of your resume along with you. This highlights preparation skills and can be a lifesaver if none of the interviewees brought copies of their own. You should bring at least one copy for each of the interviewers as well as one for yourself to reference during the interview. Job seekers can ask directly at the start of the interview if anyone needs copies of their resume. This will show your potential employer that you’re prepared and it’s a great first impression to leave at the start of an interview.
Cover letter and references
It doesn’t hurt to bring along a couple of copies of the cover letter you submitted with your application in case interviewers not involved in the selection process would like to read more about your skills, goals, and experiences. In addition to copies of your cover letter, be sure to have a list of contactable references at the ready so they can be provided at the end of the interview. A written letter of reference can also be a smart play.
Documents and certifications
Listing items and accomplishments in your resume is one thing, but it’s also important to be able to back those up if needed. Bring copies of degrees, transcripts, and any other certifications you hold so you can provide them immediately if asked. Instead of having to say you’ll deliver them shortly after the interview, you can further demonstrate your preparedness by giving them copies instantly. Unlike asking if anyone needs a resume copy, there’s no need to ask if they need copies of these. Simply keep them with you in case they’re requested.
List of professional training and certifications
Along with important documents like your diploma, transcripts, resume, and references, job seekers heading into a teacher interview will want to bring a list of completed training courses and other certificates they’ve earned. Teachers moving from one school district to another may want to list various training and in-service days completed in their previous positions. These in-service days are a great addition to a candidate’s skill set, and help ensure employers a candidate can successfully complete the teaching position‘s unique and cumbersome demands.
A Teacher’s Portfolio
Similar to how a graphic designer would bring a portfolio of work that demonstrates their range, accomplishments, and skill, a teacher should a teacher’s portfolio with them as well. A resume, cover letter, and list of other accomplishments will only get a candidate so far. Potential employers will also want to see sample lesson plans and other more tangible, work-focused items.
What to Bring in a Teacher's Portfolio to a Teaching Interview
Sometimes referred to as teaching artifacts, your teacher’s portfolio will serve as a guide to potential employers of your skills, capabilities, plans, and accomplishments. This portfolio should be brought to your teacher interview in addition to the documents and items listed above. Here is a quick overview of what should be included in your teaching portfolio.
Teachers are responsible for creating lesson plans that provide a guide for students to follow to achieve specific learning objectives by the end of the term. For example, a learning objective may require students to be able to solve algebra equations with two variables. The lesson plan illustrates how the teacher would reach that goal through a set of intermediate steps. Teachers should bring a few examples of completed lesson plans that demonstrate their ability to successfully show student learning.
Some teacher interviews may involve a mock classroom environment where the candidate must demonstrate a part of a lesson plan in person. In these cases, the candidate must have the resources they need to conduct a mock lesson.
State test grading results
There are a lot of ways to demonstrate your abilities as a teacher. One way to tie the successes and skills outlined in a resume and cover letter is to bring results for statewide standardized tests. Showing high marks on state tests is attractive to schools as it can mean you can help raise their test scores or meet already high benchmarks. If you also brought along your lesson plans, you can better illustrate how your lesson planning helped deliver those results.
In some cases, bringing student work to a teaching interview can also be a beneficial asset to candidates. A few examples of students work can show that the lesson plan’s proof of concept was a success. Being able to show improvement over the time they were your student can also make a good impression on potential employers.
Potential employers may indicate that you should not bring a teacher’s portfolio. In these cases, do not bring them to a teacher interview. If you’re keeping most of this work digitally, which can be good to help demonstrate technical know-how, ensure you have a way to access it without needing Wi-Fi or a cellular signal. The last thing a candidate wants is to leave their best work out of the interview process due to technical issues or lack of cell signal.
Other things to bring to a teacher interview
The bulk of your preparation and things to bring is documented above, but to ensure you’re completely ready for a teacher interview, there are a few other items candidates can bring with them to help improve their odds.
It’s no secret that plenty of talking will happen over the course of an interview. Keeping some water available is a great way to ensure you’re ready for lots of talking. If you feel you need water and happen to forget, don’t hesitate to ask for some if anyone asks if you need anything. It may even give you an opportunity to tour the building and build a relationship with the interviewer before the interview begins.
While proper dental hygiene is a given, especially so on the day of an interview, taking a breath mint or two before the interview can help boost your confidence when meeting a lot of people. The last thing you need to worry about is if your breath smells good or not. Let the mints handle that so you can focus on presenting yourself as an ideal candidate.
Comb or brush
A short ride in the car can make a mess of our hair. Running a comb or brush through your hair before heading into an interview can help freshen your overall look and help you seem more professional.
A list of questions
There will be a lot of things you need to focus on during an interview. Ensuring you’re presenting yourself as a good fit for the employer’s mission statement, delivering explanations about experiences and lesson plans, and other critical interview skills should be at the forefront of your preparation for a teacher interview. To ease some of your load during standard interview prep, create a list of questions you want to ask and bring that with you. This ensures you’ll ask everything you wanted to without forgetting anything.
Preparing for a teaching interview is a difficult task. Run through this list of items to make sure you have everything you need well ahead of time when you begin searching for a new job in the teaching field. Attention to little details and good organization will go a long way toward ensuring your success in the interview process.