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Employment - Hiring Teachers

3 Tips For Successful Interviewing


Two young school teachers

Two young school teachers

Nick White/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Learn to interview.

It takes practice like any other skill. When I was in my 20’s, I was a pretty dreadful interviewer. And I didn't interview well either. Why? Because I didn't have a clue about what to ask. 30 years later I interview constantly and have learned to do it fairly efficiently. So let me share a few tricks of the trade with you as I know they will help you deal with a far more important process: hiring teachers to whom you can entrust the most precious commodity in the world: young people.

I interview fairly regularly. Here are some tricks of the trade which work for me.

Make the first cut.

Somebody has to scan resumes and approve the start of the interview process by selecting those applicants who have the experience and credentials which you require. Reject applications which don't meet your requirements unless the applicant personally recommended by a member of staff. In that case a courtesy interview is appropriate.

First Interview

The first interview is the time to ask lots of questions and get answers which help you assess a candidate's suitability.

Ask tough questions like:

    Why does she want to work for you?
    What are her expectations?
    How hard is she willing to work?
    Is your school just a stop on the way or a career destination for her?
    Is she really serious about being a good teacher?

Assess her characteristics and skills.

    Is she quick on her feet?
    How technologically adept is she?
    Can she handle different learning styles?
    Is she flexible?
    Set in her ways?
    Ask to see a lesson plan?

The Second Interview
Schedule the candidate for a second interview or reject him. Involve a senior teacher or other staff member in the second interview. If the applicant passes muster, make an offer verbally and in writing. Always make the offer subject to a thorough background check and drug testing.

You have a lot at stake.
The young people who will be in that teacher’s care need the best possible person. You simply cannot afford to hire the wrong people to teach children.

Institution Accreditation - This site is part of the Department of Education and very useful for doing a preliminary check of applicants' credentials.

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