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5 Ways to Ace Your Next Interview

Written by: Jamie Malinak, Senior Director at Norfolk Public Schools
Published on: Sep 24, 2018

5 Ways to Ace Your Next Interview

Congrats! You’ve landed an interview at a school where everyone wants to teach. Now it’s time to figure out how to ace the interview, how to set yourself apart from the other candidates, and how to share all of the ideas that you have to make learning fun for your students.

How do you do it? Where do you begin??

As a director in a large school system with years of interviewing under my belt, I have some solid advice for you.

1. Do some research on the school.

  • Learn facts about their demographics, their instructional focus or vision, their mascot, etc.  Use these nuggets of wisdom as part of the answers to their questions. You will impress the people around the table because you cared to learn about them.


  • Depending on the nature of the teaching position, there may be questions specific to the subject matter. Often times, the job description can hold clues to what a school is looking for in an employee. It’s obvious when a candidate hasn’t read it. Arm yourself with this knowledge, and speak to it!

3. Be yourself (and smile)!

  • Teaching is a calling. It’s an art form. You were made for this. Let them see that person. You can be professional and still show your passion and creativity. Robotic interviews won’t land you the coveted job.

4. Practice your answers.

  • Search the internet for frequent interview questions. Grab a mirror. Practice your answers until they roll off your tongue and sound natural. Make the answers not too long and not too short. Find the sweet spot!

5. Have a question ready to ask THEM.

  • Interviews always end with the dreaded, “ Do you have any questions?” Have one ready. Don’t ask about next steps – they will tell you that before you leave. Make it a thoughtful question that is really another way for them to be impressed by you. Something like, “I really want to make a difference for children. How do teachers at your school make the biggest impact on students?”

You were made to be a teacher. Make sure they know it, too.


Jamie is an education professional with  20 years experience. She has worked as a classroom teacher, as a director for a large urban district, and as a specialist with a state education department. This wide array of experience gives her a unique perspective to share with current and future educators. 

The opinions expressed in the blog are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, TopSchoolJobs, or any of its publications.