We all know that going to a job interview can be very intimidating. Whether you're looking for work just to pay the bills, or actually trying to get your dream job, it's an emotionally trying time. Especially if you are a teacher. Teachers are put under lots of pressure in job interviews because they work with kids. As a teacher, I consider it my responsibility to help those in my field because I've been there already.

So for you, I have put together 7 successful strategies for passing your next teaching interview.

7. Make sure your answers are concise.

The administrator will ask you why you want to be a teacher.

Rather than saying, "Well sir, it is my personal and professional goal to touch the lives and minds of young learners by leading and inspiring them with knowledge to become self-aware, critical thinkers as well as productive citizens…"

Just say, "I want to touch young people."

6. Impress them with educational jargon.

The world of teaching is loaded with meaningless educational jargon.

The administrator may say something like this to you:

"Mr. Jansen, here in our school district we seek to ensure that our young learners are deeply instilled within the framework of the Constructivist Learning Model. This model requires dynamic interaction between teachers and students in an environment that facilitates scaffolding within daily lesson planning. This model must also encourage students to become metacognitive, strategic, and critical thinkers. In order to implement this model, we require that our teachers develop a curriculum mapping strategy in which state learning standards are ‘vertically' aligned with each daily learning objective…as specified in the curriculum planning process, of course."

Reply with the following:

"Yes, but sir, do the learning standards have to be ‘vertically' aligned. What if they are horizontal? Or diagonal? Or even upside down? Or what if they are inversely proportional to the learning objectives but they occasionally rotate in a counter-clockwise fashion based on the position of the moon?"

5. When they ask you to describe yourself…be philosophical and poetic.

The administrator will probably ask something like, "Mr., Jansen…can you tell me a little bit about yourself?"

Reply by saying the following:

"Well sir…to tell you the truth…

I am a vessel passing through a world that I will never fully comprehend…
A reality I'll never grasp…because I have a pre-determined end…

My memories are nothing but reconstructions of a haunted, fading dream…
Created by lying eyes…trying to catch the waters of an endless stream…

I am an irreversibly-dynamic enigma with a pre-packaged genetic code…
And I'm speeding through life in a temporary vehicle…
Going down a very dark and bumpy road."

4. Don't show them your professional teaching portfolio, show them photos of your personal life instead.

It's good to let administrators know that you are a decent guy both at work and at home. After all, a boring career portfolio says absolutely nothing about the real person. Show the administrator pictures of your home life so that he will know that you are a good, self-controlled individual and that your personal life is well-balanced.

Wes Jansen having beers in the driveway
Is it 10:30 in the morning? …Already?

Wes Jansen huh?

Wes Jansen papers
NOTICE OF COMPLAINT?? WHAT THE F%%#!! I hope nobody drives by while I'm peeing in my front yard.

Darth Vader

3. Explain precisely how you will use the educational theories and strategies you learned in college.

The administrator might ask you to describe how your university classes, projects, and experiences have prepared you for a real teaching position and how you will implement your educational training into real classroom practice.

Just kick back and say:

"I definitely covered lots of material while I was in the University. My professors talked about a whole bunch of stuff, and I had to read about lots and lots of things when I did my homework. And sometimes after class, I would talk to other classmates about all the things that our professors discussed in class. We definitely shared lots of ideas together. Yeah, I'll tell you…there were many nights when I had to stay up late trying to think about all the stuff we talked about in class. I had to think about lots and lots of the ideas from the textbooks as I was trying to do all of the things that my professors assigned for me to do. If employed by your school district, I'm sure that I will be able to talk about some of these things with my students so that we can all figure it out together."

2. Share your own experiences with standardized tests.

A big part of education, of course, is testing. The administrator will definitely ask how you plan to prepare students for standardized tests. At this point, it is absolutely pertinent that you demonstrate your knowledge of specific standardized tests and explain how you will prepare students to pass them based on your own experiences.

"Standardized tests…ah yes, I remember taking those. My favorite was the Iowa Basic Skills Test. I had to take that one in grade school. The only part I really liked about the Iowa Basic Skills Test was that the teacher gave us each a few M&M's at the beginning for energy. After I ate the M&M's, I pretty much lost interest in anything else. I didn't really even open up the test booklet or anything. I just took the green Scantron sheet and filled in the bubbles so that they would make neat little diagonal patterns. According to the State of Iowa, I'm completely retarded…hahaha…

…but I would tell my own students to never do that…of course."


1. Sound intelligent even if you don't know the answer.

Administrator: "Mr. Jansen. How will you meet the needs of a student with an IEP?"

Wesley: "An IEP…umm…"

Administrator: "Yes, an Individualized Education Plan. For students who have special learning needs…"

Wesley: "Oh…an IEP…ha ha ha…yes, of course. Well…I guess I would have to respond to that question by raising yet another question. Do any of us really understand what an IEP is? We discussed this issue many times in class. An IEP is such a flexible and constantly-changing document. From what I understand, IEPs can often leave educators lost and perplexed within a complicated labyrinth of interpretation.

What are IEPs? I mean, really? Have any conclusive studies actually revealed what they are yet? And if so, how do we really enforce them? And once we enforce them, how do we measure the results?

You see, sir, that's what I love about education…one important question always leads to another."