INTERVIEWING TEACHER CANDIDATES
One of the most important job responsibilities of the principals is to hire the best teaching candidates available. Remember, the candidate is also looking you over so it is important to ask thoughtful, insightful questions that get to the heart of the matter and reflect the values you wish to emphasize. The candidate may decide to select your school over others based on his or her feelings about the quality of the interview. The following are some helpful questions (this is not an exhaustive list) and ideas that might yield important information about teacher candidates. These questions can also help the teacher candidates to be prepared for the interview in a school of their choice.
- In your opinion, how do children learn best?
- What do you remember about your best teacher?
- What would a visitor to your classroom hear, see, and experience?
- If I were to speak to a friend who knows you well, what might the friend say to describe you?
- When not in school, what do you enjoy doing?
- What are your greatest professional strengths? Or After reading your recommendations, I’m curious about what you think a supervisor would say about your teaching?
- If you could return to school or work with an expert mentor, what would you like to study? How would you like to grow?
- Why, in your opinion, do some children have an easier time learning than others?
- What are your beliefs about classroom management?
- How should the “high flyer” student be taught? The student having difficulty?
- How do you go about differentiating instruction?
- How do you feel about professional development?
- What other career would you pursue if you were not teaching?
- If you could choose your No. 1 ideal position in our school, what would it be? What would your second choice be? Why?
- What new ideas and teaching strategies do you think you can bring to this school?
- What excites you about education?
- Why should we hire you over other candidates?
- It’s important that you don’t leave this interview thinking, “I wish I had mentioned that!” So, is there anything that you would like to tell me or that I should know about that we have not already discussed?
A helpful addition to an interview may be to request that a classroom photo album be brought (if available) to the interview by the candidate. Looking at the faces of the students or the walls of the classroom can tell much about the candidate. Many systems also show a video lesson and ask teacher to analyze it. A teacher portfolio (writing samples are especially helpful) or video of a lesson is invaluable.
Remember, general questions can be asked in any interview, but for a quality interview principals must add some insightful questions in their list of questions. This will help in identifying effective teacher candidate for the school and also give the appreciable picture of the principal’s interviewing skill.