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Interview Tips for an Early Childhood Educator
Early-childhood educators work in settings such as private preschools, public elementary schools and daycare facilities. Hiring managers interviewing for teaching positions look for candidates who are educated, skilled and have good interpersonal communication skills. They also look for individuals who have a calm demeanor and exhibit patience and understanding.
Create a Detailed Resume
Create a resume that highlights not only your teaching credentials and previous work history, but the most significant contributions you have made in previous educational positions. Use quantifiable examples where possible to show how your instructional method and initiative translated to marked improvement in student progress and test scores. If you implemented innovative new programs in previous roles, include a description of these as well.
Prepare for Behavioral Interviewing
Behavioral interviewing strategies surmise that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. Interviewers may ask you to provide examples of times in which you had to deal with an irate parent, a student with significant learning challenges or an administration that was not supportive of your teaching methodology. Prepare responses that demonstrate your ability to problem solve with parents, create individualized learning plans for students and to successfully overcome adversity in the workplace.
Much of your interview will likely revolve around your personal teaching philosophy. Be prepared to discuss your classroom management style and how you evaluate student progress and create individualized approaches. You might be asked to share why you became a teacher and what keeps you interested in the profession. Be upbeat and positive in your responses. If you have experience with special-needs students or working with paraprofessionals, detail your co-teaching approach and describe the ways in which you facilitate integration.
Know the Environment
Learn as much as you can about the corporate culture of the school for which you are interviewing. Investigate teaching styles, student-to-teacher ratios, areas of specialty, demographics and performance records. Much of this information can be found through your local school district. Talk with colleagues who teach in the school to learn more about the relationship between educators and administrators.
Other Interview Tips
Arrive on time for your interview, dressed in appropriate business attire. Make eye contact with each interviewer during your meeting and respond fully to each query. Ask questions about setting goals and objectives and about the evaluation process that will be used to assess your performance. Following your interview, send a letter of thanks to your interviewers and reemphasize your interest in the position.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.
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