Teacher Job Interviews

This file was created by Max Darby in August 2009

This file outlines key areas of preparation for Art Teachers to consider when being interviewed for a new position in a new school or your existing school. The information could also be of value for other career interviews for which Art Teachers might present. There may be other aspects of preparation that teachers could include and these can be included.

Some teachers have very few concerns about being interviewed for a new position and sometimes actually enjoy the experience. Others find personal interviews extremely challenging. If you are one of those you are not alone. One of the challenges is that they feel uncomfortable ‘promoting themselves’ when common society standards encourage us not to boast. They also find it uncomfortable being in situations that they think might be threatening. Of course, the other major reason why some teachers have difficulties with being interviewed is that they realize the outcome is usually extremely important for them.  Keep in mind that a job interview requires you to promote yourself. You can’t expect anyone else to do it for you. This is one time you should feel no guilt talking about the things you can do and have achieved.

There is additional valuable information in other files on this website that needs to be accessed when applying for a position in a school. Three of these are –

–    Preparing a Resume or Curriculum Vitae

–    Writing a Job Application

–    Job Application Checklist.

These three files work in tandem with this file to provide ultimate assistance for Art Teachers.

The following points are designed to make the task of handling a job interview easy with less stress and to outline aspects that need to be considered before and during the interview.

Preparing for the Interview

1. Accept that interviews are not a natural process that occurs regularly and, therefore, need to be handled seriously

2. Careful preparation is necessary and will encourage you to be more relaxed and more confident. Some of that preparation is concerned with preparing your mind for the interview and part of it is

to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities and conditions of the new position

3. Prepare a Resume or Curriculum Vitae of your past experiences and the skills and capacities that you have developed. Some of the information sought by a school will be provided in this way.

4. Obtain a job description for the position so that you know exactly what the interviewers will be seeking to find out

5. Make a list of the key points listed in the Job Description

6. Match your personal experiences, skills and capacities against the list of key points made from the Job Description

7. Identify some examples (at least two) of each of the key points from your prepared list. These can be used to demonstrate your capacity in each of the areas.

8. If there are some key points in which you have had no experience refer to similar experiences you’ve had and emphasize your capacity to learn quickly (again an example or two would be useful)

9. Rehearse talking to each key point using examples of your own experiences. Practice helps you to improve your ability to articulate your experience and your value to the school. You might get other

people to help by asking you questions

10. Research the nature of other similar positions in other schools, for example, in your existing school

11. Try to find out about the school that is giving you the interview. You need to try to find out about its organizational and structural features so that you can speak knowledgeably about the

requirements of the position. This might even include dress codes, teaching expectations, co-curricular, sport and school-based initiatives (eg Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, etc)

12. Try to find out about the school’s past academic performances and its strengths

13. If possible, visit the school in advance of the interview. This can be arranged by contacting the school or someone you may know who already works there. If not, then the school’s website should

be visited.

14. Prepare a file of all relevant information to take with you to the interview. This should be contained in a new or clean folder. It should include a copy of the position advertisement, the job

description, your prepared list of the key points and the experiences you’ve had that match these requirements, and any information you can discover about the school

15. File the information in the file in an order that will allow you to find it if needed.

Being prepared in this way will help to improve your own confidence and demonstrate your high level of organizational skills to the interviewers.

During the Interview

16. Dress appropriately for a formal interview relative to the kind of position advertised

17. Arrive well in advance of the scheduled time for the interview. It is far better to sit in your car for 30 minutes than to be stressed because you’re worried you might be late.

18. Take a few deep breaths and enter the interview room confidently and introduce yourself

19. Be prepared to promote yourself. That is why you are there.

20. Make sure you are comfortable when you sit down and lay out your file opened up in front of you on the table (if there is one). Include a pen in case you need to record information provided to you

21. If you require reading glasses have them opened on the table and ready to use

22. Speak with strength and confidence about yourself. Don’t expect anyone else there to do it for you.

23. Answer questions clearly and concisely without talking too long. If more information is required the interviewers will ask

24. If you do not understand a question or need more information ask for clarification

25. Make sure you look at each of the interviewers at some time and look them in the eye as you talk

26. Take you time during the interview. A frequent problem with interviews is that the person being interviewed sometimes talks too quickly demonstrating their nerves and discomfort

27. Listen carefully and take time to consider the implications of each question. Take a breath and think about what you are being asked and what information you can best draw upon to answer the


28. There are times when no single answer is appropriate. State that and quickly outline the various responses. The interviewers might follow up on points that interest them. You might say, for

example, that in this situation I’d do this and in another situation I’d do that. This provides evidence of your breadth of experience and your capacity to not rush to a quick conclusion that might not

be correct, and you ability to see the complexities of the question

29. You could be asked about any future directions you’d like to go in the future if awarded the position, or how you could contribute to the betterment of the faculty or school. You need to know

about the school and the faculty to be able to answer such a question effectively and convincingly

30. Prepare a question or two to ask of the interviewers at the end of the interview. You will usually be asked whether you have any questions of your own. If your questions have all been answered

you might ask for further clarification of something that arose during the interview. You might simply say “Can you tell me a little more about ….”

31. When the interview is ended thank the interviewers for giving you the opportunity to meet them and to answer their questions.

32. Inform the interviewers that you will answer any further questions that might arise after you’ve left via phone or email should any arise

33. Carefully pack your thing and leave as confidently as you entered.

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