Behavioural Interview preparation for teachers is key to landing your dream job. By taking time to prepare for your interview you’ll increase your chances of impressing the interviewer and securing a job. As teachers, you’d expect your students to prepare for a test, so why wouldn’t you put similar effort into your interview preparation? Make a list of past experiences which highlight your competencies and skills. Read the job description carefully and be ready to talk about how your experiences have prepared you for the role.
Your CV gets you the interview, but it’s the interview that gets you the job.
Most schools and administrators use a Behavioural Interview even if they don’t expressly say so.
In its simplest form, Behavioural Interview questions are designed to illicit responses that summarize your past behaviour because it is the best indicator of what your future behaviour will be when faced with a similar situation or task. If you can demonstrate you have been a dedicated and effective teacher in the past, then the odds are that you will continue to demonstrate the same effective behaviours in the future and continue to be a great teacher. In an interview setting, that’s like providing evidence or proof of your strong teaching practice.
This acronym will help you with your interview preparation, ensuring you tell a concise story that clearly answers the question asked. It articulates what your specific approach to the Situation or Task in question was, what Action(s) you took and what the final Result was.
Form your responses based on the following…
Situation: Summarize the situation you found yourself in: Be specific. What were you teaching? When was it? Where were you? Why were you in this situation?
Task: Describe the task you undertook. Be specific. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Action: Describe the action or steps you took to address the Situation or Task in question.
Result: Outline the result of your action: How did it meet the needs of the situation or task? If the final outcome wasn’t positive, then focus on what you learned as a result and how you would approach the same situation differently in the future. This is an opportunity to demonstrate professional growth.
Many interviewers will pose a Behavioural Interview question in the form of ‘Tell me about a time when you…’ For example: ‘Tell me about a time when had to deal with a difficult class or student , how did you manage their behaviour?‘. This is a clear sign that they want you to call on a specific example from your past, tell them a little about the situation, what actions you took to curb or control the behaviour and what the outcome was – hopefully an improvement to the students’ behaviour and in their marks as well.
Even if they don’t ask the question in a leading manner but rather ask something like ‘How do you manage class behaviour?’ You can still respond with a behavioural style answer by giving specific examples from your past. Use your past behaviour to illustrate the great habits you incorporate into your teaching each and every day. Discuss what you did in a specific instance, how you did it and what the outcome was. If you’ve dealt with a situation or task successfully in the past, then odds are you can do it again in the future.
Give specific examples: ‘Last semester while teaching a class of year 8’s English I had a situation like that and I addressed it by …’
Don’t talk in generalities: ‘I always do that’ or ‘I never have trouble with cases like that’ are statements anyone can make. A strong educator will be able to call upon experiences from their past. They should be able to discuss how they addressed and overcame specific scenarios.
Practice your responses: As part of your interview preparation you need to prepare responses for Common Teacher Interview Questions you are likely to hear when interviewing for a teaching position.
Learn from every interview you do: Take time to reflect on your interviews. What did you do well? What would you like to do differently next time? Write down the questions you were asked as you’ll likely face a similar question again. Unsuccessful interviews can be great learning opportunities and can be leveraged to help you succeed and land the job in your next meeting.
Good luck with your next interview. I hope these tips on Behavioural Interview Preparation help you land a great new teaching job.
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