Beware The 300 Teacher Interview Question Trap
Here’s a question via email from our new EDU Edge friend Amanda, a senior at the University of Rochester in New York
“I’ve Googled ‘Teacher Interview Questions’ and there are all these sites that have hundreds of questions … Really? I feel very overwhelmed when I think of trying to prepare for hundreds of questions. Help!”
Amanda – we know exactly what you are feeling. Personally, we remember vividly being an undergrad going to our College Career Center and getting a photocopied list of dozens and dozens of questions only to find that, in an actual interview, they didn’t ask any of the questions we had prepared for or “thought” they would ask. In a perfect world, some little elf would hand deliver each of us the list of questions the interview team was going to ask the night before the interview so that we would be prepared …but that is not likely to happen.
Here’s the deal. In The Insider’s Guide to the Teacher Interview (a publication of The EDU Edge) you will find hundreds and hundreds of questions that have been asked in interviews around the country . To be honest Amanda, we’ve never counted them before until you sent us the email, but we have over 300 questions listed ourselves. But, unlike those in your Google search, we know from personal experience that having a list of 300 questions in your hand is basically USELESS because the actual interview team that you encounter during the interview is only going to have time for around 6-10 questions. Even worse, are those Google searches who claim that they know the “Top Questions” asked in teacher interviews. We do not give a great deal of weight to this because while there are certainly trends and questions that are asked more often than others, no one can predict the answers YOU will encounter in YOUR specific interview, for YOUR specific job, in YOUR specific school.
YOU and YOUR interview is what matters most to us … we want to help YOU succeed! Consequently, The EDU Edge has gathered questions asked by interview teams all over the country. After studying literally thousands of questions, we have been able to identify commonalities and patterns that have allowed us to divide them into twelve domains. Each of these domains is addressed by what we have called an “Umbrella’ Question” that we feel covers the domain. We believe and have seen from experience helping aspiring teachers just like you that if you write out, prepare, and practice for these 12 Umbrella Questions, you will be able to use them as a springboard for other answers to similar questions in the domain. We feel very confident that by mastering responses to these twelve umbrella questions, you will have responses ready for any question an interview committee might throw at you.
Please understand … our “Umbrella Questions” are not the “Top Twelve” questions that are asked during teaching interviews. They are the twelve questions that, when practiced, will best prepare you for any question that may be thrown at you during the interview. We not only believe, we know from personal experience helping aspiring teachers just like you, that practicing and preparing for these twelve questions will give you the edge in the interview (see Chapter 8 – Interview Questions: The EDU EDGE ‘Umbrella Approach’).
Good luck to you Amanda! Good luck to all of you following the EDU Edge. Please come back and let us know how you make out so we can all learn together.
Yours in a Partnership in Learning,
The EDU Edge