Going for a teaching interview


A certificate is a written proof of the knowledge and skills you have acquired, tested through examinations. Sometimes there are discrepancies between the grades in certificates and the actual knowledge and skills that people have. This is perhaps because, as they say, examination is not a true test of knowledge, among other factors. To overcome the challenge posed by this problem, employers conduct interview so as not to employ quacks. Interview is a living demonstration of the knowledge and skills you have acquired, and which your certificate testifies to.

This living demonstration continues every second and minute in the course of carrying out your work when eventually employed, and your suitability based on exhibited knowledge and skill is being assessed and evaluated every now and then. However, the employer wants to limit the risk of employing a quack and seeking for a replacement in the nearest future. He thus seeks a quick and immediate living demonstration of the knowledge and skills required of the particular job. This he/she achieves through the interview.


Although interview for different jobs have their peculiarities, there are some basic things that are expected from job applicants at all interviews. This chapter will prepare you to meet these universal expectations. There are some


You cannot be late for an interview. Apart from the fact that that may keep you interviewer waiting and thus a sign of disrespect and disregard for your interviewer, no one wants an employee who has no respect for time. It means when employed, you will not give the complete hours required to the job, and also, things will not be done at the proper time.

Past Work Experiences

The past work experiences that should appear in your resume should be the ones that reflect using some of the skills that are required of the job you have applied for.

Document, Pen and Paper

Take at least a copy of your each of your credentials along as you go for the interview, even if have submitted one before. Ensure you take a pen and a plain paper you can write on with you.


Your resume should be tailored to the kind of place you have applied to work, and their goals. The work experiences should be presented in a way which reflects that you have used some of the skills that the job you are applying for requires.

Speak About Yourself

When asked to speak about yourself, you are not expected to give an auto- biography. You are to speak about yourself with respect to the firm and the job you are applying for. Talk about you qualifications, experiences, and other things about you, which have bearing with the firm and the job you have applied for.

Capacity to Learn

During interview, make the interviewers know that you have the capacity to learn. Every new employee has a lot of things to learn in a new work place. Even old staff members learn every time as they continue to work and as new things unfold. The interviewers need to be certain that the person being employed will in no distant time, learn whatever deficiency is left in him or her, and adapt to any peculiarity in his/her new job. Do not be exertive and dogmatic as you are being interviewed..

Dedicate that Day

When you are going for an interview, just set your mind that you are giving that whole day to that course because you do not know how long the interview may take. It may even begin late. This is to avoid a situation where you will be doing things in a hurry because you want to be in another place at a particular time or a situation where you will keep checking you time over and over again. While the former may make you do things incorrectly, the later may piss your interviewers off as it indicates that you the job is not a priority to you and as such you may not put in your best when employed. Also it shows you are impatient.


In as much as you want to impress your interviewers about yourself, do that in all sincerity. No one would want to work with a dishonest person or entrust things to a dishonest person. Whatever thing it is that may stand against you, cleverly put it sincerely in such a way that it will make such truth to have justification.


No one is at his/her best when tensed or afraid. Employers want confident people so that their best can be put to work. Be calm and confident in the course of the interview. While you are not there to be amused, a little laughter at amusing moments cannot be frowned at. Even a little sense of humor from you may not be bad.


It is common saying that you are addressed the way you are dressed. You are going for a teaching interview, so present yourself as a teacher. One of the fundamental principles in the teaching profession, even to the tertiary level is that ‘teachers are role models’. This holds true more in elementary, middle and high school, and should always be brought to the fore at all times in discharging your duties as a teacher.

Although you are not a teacher yet, dress like one when going for the interview. Be formal in your appearance. For the males, be a perfect gentleman. Though it does not necessarily have to be a suite, you should not appear in jeans. Be on a plain trouser, which must not be sagged. Do not wear round neck. Wear a button-down shirt, well tucked in the trousers -long sleeves shirts are the ideal for any interviews. Avoid designers outfit; you are not a musician. Never wear a face cap. Do not forget to knot your tie, whether bow or the other. Then put on a good pair of shoes, which must not be snickers, canvases or boots.

For females, avoid jeans, and leggings. If you are putting on trousers, it has to be suite trousers. If you are not putting on a gown, then tuck your shirt in the trouser or skirt. Knotting a tie is optional in ladies’ attires. Never wear flip- flops. It has to be a pair of shoes or sandals. Never wear sneakers or canvases. On no account should you wear over short clothes. The skirt or gown must not be above your knees. Your clothes must not be revealing, too tight on you, or skimpy. The teacher is a role model and is an ambassador of morality. Besides, no school administrator wants a teacher whose physique or dressing will be the center of attraction during lessons, instead of the content of the lesson. Avoid excessive make-ups. The use of jewelries should be moderate.

It could happen that you get an impromptu call to appear for an interview at a time that you are not properly dressed and when you are not at home that you can change up. You find yourself in a dilemma between choosing to appear in casuals for an interview on time, and to appear properly dressed but late for an interview. The proper thing to do is to make the school know your situation.


The whole exercise of the typical interview of a teacher, as it is with other professionals, ends in an oral interview with the interviewing team, including the administrator of the school. This comes if he/she has succeeded in the previous stages. It is here that the remuneration is negotiated and personal questions asked. Be conscious of the following as you go through this stage.


Manners are about how we interact with people. We are social beings and necessarily interact with other people, even in work places. The way we interact with other staff determines how well we can work as colleagues towards realization of school goals, and the way we interact with clients determines the school’s success in getting and retaining patronage. So prove you have good manners. As you enter the office, keep good manners. This begins with not sitting until you are asked to sit. Until then, just go and stand in front of the desk of the boss. The arrangement and setting you will meet as you enter the office will certainly make you know the boss, in case there are more than one person to attend to you. Be polite, show respect, and do not speak while an interviewer is speaking.

Why You Left Former Employer

You are likely to be asked why you left your former employer, or if you are currently working, why you are seeking another job. Cleverly give answer to this question in an honest way as possible, but do not give any impression that will make your interviewers to doubt your dedication, loyalty, commitment, accountability or reliability if eventually employed.


Instead of just telling you what they intend to pay, interviewers most times prefer to ask how much you want to be paid. While it is advisable that you throw the question back to them, some would insist you give your price first. You will be in a pretty good position to have a romance with the management on the issue of remuneration, when you have a prior idea of how much they pay people of your kind and qualification. Even if they give you their price first, a prior knowledge of how they pay their teachers will help you to have a better negotiation with them.

Confidence Again

Again, confidence appears here. Be confident as you interact with your interviewers and meander your way through their sometimes over-requiring questions. Do not be scared to look at them in the face from time to time. But do not undermine politeness.

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