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Spring is the season when schools are searching for new teachers to fill their open positions. This is a great time for newly-certified teachers to find a job, but competing against other great candidates in a job interview can be tough.

Here are five things you can do to feel confident going into a job interview and walk out knowing you are at the top of their list.

1. Practice and polish your answers

Glassdoor, a job and recruiting website, conducted a survey to determine the 50 questions that are most likely to be asked during a job interview. Preparing your answer for each of these questions will likely make you feel more confident going into the interview. Knowing your answers will also help you stay on-message throughout the interview so you can get across why you are the best choice for the job.

2. Know the school’s values

Every school and every community is different. Schools develop their mission and values to reflect what kind of environment and learning experience they want to provide while also addressing challenges students in that community may face. Research the school and its culture to find out if it is a good fit for you. During the interview, you can then discuss how you would live out the school’s values in the classroom.

3. Make a good first impression

Show up to any job interview on time and dressed professionally, just as you would in the classroom. The short time you spend in the interview serves as an example of how you would act on a daily basis as a teacher, so showcasing your best self is important.

4. Think of follow up questions

As the interview draws to a close, you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Come prepared with questions that show you are engaged in the interview process and are invested in this possible job. The interviewer will likely cover the basics, so ask questions such as, “what are the top qualities you want in your teachers,” or “what challenges are the students I will be working with currently facing and what are ways the schools is addressing them?'” These thoughtful questions show you care about the school¬†and your potential future students.

5. Know what makes you different

The passion, personality, and energy you bring to the school community is what ultimately makes you different from other candidates. During the job interview, talk about what reasons led to you becoming a teacher, why you feel education is important, and why you chose to teach the subject or grade level you want to work in. Providing your testimony and letting the interviewer get to know you will make the job interview feel more personal and you are more likely to be a memorable applicant.

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