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How to Prepare (& What to Bring) to Your Teacher Interview

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Show Notes:

Many of you are in the final stretch for the school year, while others have graduated and are on the job search. So today, we're going to be talking about what I recommend you bring to your elementary teaching interviews. I'm also going to give you some great tips for how you can best prepare so that you can walk into that interview feeling confident and ready. 

I try to sprinkle in these types of episodes throughout the school year because I know a lot of you are interviewing at different times. The job hunt can be especially stressful in the spring and summer time.

When it comes to interviewing for teaching positions, I know it's hard to know how to prepare and what you should actually bring with you to your interview. There’s so many details to think about, both big and small. For example, I’ve recently been asked if it’s okay to bring a purse into your interview. In case you’re wondering - yes, you can absolutely bring a purse! You’ll need something to put your personal items in like your car keys and phone. Just make sure that your phone is on silent! 🀫

I remember when I first started interviewing for positions and realizing how many teachers were competing for the same position that I was. Talk about intimidating. 

In my case, I had just come back from spending several years overseas where I've done some teaching, but I'd been on quite an adventure for a few years. I felt like maybe I was at a disadvantage, because my experience was so different from so many other teachers.

Similarly, some of you are coming to teaching after being away for a while. Maybe you had a baby and you raised your child, and now you're coming back to teaching. Or maybe you did a little side trip and did something else for a little while and now you're coming back to teaching. 

I say this because if you’re coming to interviews and wondering if maybe you don’t have the right kind of experience, or you’re doubting yourself because you took a different path to getting to teaching, I just want to encourage you. I think you’re going to realize that you can discover what’s unique about yourself to set yourself up to shine because of your experiences.

No matter how you came to teaching, you’re going to gain more confidence when you begin to believe that you are a valuable asset to a school’s staff. I know that at least for me, one of the biggest challenges to interviewing well was having the confidence to feel like I was going to make a genuine contribution to the school. 

By the way, if you’re feeling a bit down about the interview process because you haven’t gotten a position offered right away, please know that very often it has very little to do with you! There are just so many moving parts when it comes to hiring for specific positions. Even when it feels like you might be the absolute perfect person for a position, you just never know what's happening behind the scenes that might interfere with you getting that position. 

Most importantly, hear me when I say this - please don't settle for a position that doesn't feel right if you don't have to. Pay attention to your gut and to your intuition, and if something feels off, do not say yes. It's essential that you find the perfect teaching home for you. Too many teachers have a horrible few years because they just didn't pay attention to the things that were warning signs and red flags for them. Don’t be afraid to wait until the right position is offered to you.

Also, if you want more help with landing that dream position, be sure to check out my bundle of interview resources inside my Teaching Interviews Resource Library:

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • Common reasons why you may not have gotten the teaching position you wanted, and why you shouldn’t let it get you down.    
  • Why I encourage you to email the principal before your interview and what you should ask in this email.
  • How you can set yourself up for feeling super prepared for your interview and mindset tips for calming your nerves.                           
  • What I recommend you bring to your teacher interview, and the “why” behind these items.
  • Specific questions to ask during your interview that will show you are dedicated and that will help you decide if the school is a good fit for you. 

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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Get the 24 Questions Teachers Get Asked Most During Interviews & Tips & Strategies for How to Answer Them