What to Bring to a Teacher Interview: 7 Items to Prepare

Brandi Glass
November 15, 20225 min read
Teacher in front of class

Congratulations on landing a teacher interview! Becoming a teacher in a new environment is an exciting experience that opens the door to several opportunities. Now that you have a time and date, it’s time to prepare by knowing what to bring to a teacher interview.

Although you may assume your resume contains enough information, that is not the case in this scenario. Since you are applying to become a teacher, you need some items to present to the potential employer that sets you apart from other applicants.

This article covers the basics of what to bring to a teacher interview. Whether this is your first interview or you have experience, the details make all the difference when it’s time to decide which applicant is the best fit.

Resume and Teacher’s Statement

Potential employers want to understand your areas of expertise and your skills. With a national teaching shortage and mass quitting, these employers are worried about the future of their schools. One of the best ways to get a foot in the door is by showing them your competence and readiness for the job.

Your resume gives the employer an overview of your skills, qualifications, and employment history. Because each is unique, the information gives the employer more insight into your personality and how you plan to educate your students after acceptance. However, it doesn’t give them a full glimpse into your personality and the kind of teacher you are to students. That’s where your teacher’s statement comes in.

Teaching Dossier

Your teaching dossier, or portfolio, is a set of materials that combines elements from several sources and indicates your competence. Many teachers use these dossiers to demonstrate how effective their strategies are with students. Moreover, compiling this portfolio allows you to identify your strengths and professionally present them to a potential employer.

Many employers ask applicants to compile a teaching dossier and present it during the interview. If the job description or recruiter does not mention it, it is safe to bring it with you as an essential asset during your meeting. However, some explicitly say not to get one, so make sure you read the description carefully before spending time and effort.

References

One of the best ways to shine at an interview is to bring a list of references. Better yet, sending them along with your resume before you set a meeting date allows the employer to read what makes you a great teacher before you step into the office. This positive backdrop may work in your favor as they have a positive image of your personality and work ethic before meeting you.

If you don’t have references compiled, you can ask for them from multiple sources. Examples include the professors who worked with you, parents, administrators, faculty members, and other stakeholders who can vouch for you to an employer. Remember to ask your references if they are OK with a potential employer contacting them and respect their wishes if they only want to write one.

Awards and Accolades

Some teachers are experts at what they do – and it shows. These teachers receive recognition from their places of employment. If you fall within this category, now is the time to flaunt your professional achievements. If you have certificates and documented evidence of these accolades and awards, bring them with you to the interview.

As you mention your mission and achievements, present these documents as proof that you have what it takes to teach in an award-winning manner. You don’t have to show them to the employer as soon as you start the interview. However, the inevitable “tell me about yourself” question will pop up, and that’s when you have the opportunity to shine.

Professional Certifications and Licenses

You must have the proper licenses and certifications to work as a teacher. Depending on your field, you may need particular credentials that an employer needs before hiring you. If you are unsure whether you should bring the original certificates or send copies online, ask the recruiter beforehand.

The more certifications and licenses you bring and can verify to an employer, the stronger the chances are that you will land the position you want. At the same time, if you don’t have these documents, ensure you are transparent about that fact from the beginning. Some employers require additional certificates you may not have, and you will waste your time at the interview if they are mandatory.

Lesson Plans and Student Work

Besides your qualifications and personality, a potential employer wants to see what kind of work you do and how you create your lesson plans. Bring some with you to the interview and prepare for any questions the employer might ask about the material.

Although the employer may not ask you to bring them to the interview, they are a pleasant surprise and act as a guide when you want to explain your pace and methodology. You can even ask a peer or fellow teacher for their opinion on your lesson plans before you take them with you.

Test Results

Test results are the equivalent of putting your “money where your mouth is” when it comes to your performance as a teacher. No matter how many certifications and recommendations you have, administrators worry about student performance and their official test scores.

When you bring examples of high-performing students and test scores to a potential employer, you tell them you have the skills to teach students well. Although test scores are not always demonstrative of students understanding their lessons, consistently performing well is directly connected to your method as a teacher.

A Slide Presentation

If the interview is at a school that you have always wanted to work in, putting in that extra effort brings excellent results. One way to do so is to prepare a brief presentation on a slide program like PowerPoint or Keynote. The presentation should be concise but have enough information to show the employer your goals and give a glimpse into your personality.

Many people underestimate the value and power of a presentation for a job interview. Employers rarely expect you to have one ready, and most are happy to see what it entails and what you have prepared. Try not to overdo it and make it overly long. You can also hire a designer to create one for you for a relatively low fee but with a professional flair.

Don’t Get Discouraged

If you don’t feel the interview went well, do not let yourself sink into despair or get discouraged. Use it as a learning experience to improve on your following interview. In the meantime, work on creating a more substantial portfolio and resume that helps you get results. Update them constantly and prepare more references and materials to present during your next opportunity.

Rocket Resume is your one-stop destination for creating a professional teaching resume in minutes. By answering a few questions, choosing a format, and seeking the template you want, you won’t have to worry about getting the document through the Applicant Tracking System.

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