Interviews are undoubtedly the scariest part of getting a job. Even more daunting is the thought of preparing for an interview when you don’t know what schools are looking for ahead of time. Sure, you can prepare with a generic list of teaching questions, but what about those unexpected, take-you-by-surprise kind of questions that leave you stunned and speechless? And what exactly are schools in Alaska looking for in teacher candidates?

Today, several school district administrators from across the state of Alaska are sharing their words of wisdom by answering three questions about how to interview well. Hopefully their answers will better prepare you for that make-or-break half hour that will decide the future of your teaching career!

QUESTION 1: What qualities do you look for in an applicant?
“Experience teaching, current with integrating technology into instruction, some idea of how to differentiate, understanding of assessment and how to use it, and an interest in living in Alaska.” -Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

“Bearing: Highly confident, inspires others, asserts presence.
Expression: Speaks clearly, concisely with confidence, ideas are well thought out.
Job Knowledge: Well-versed, able to contribute to the training of others, little training needed.
Motivation: Eager to secure this position and asks many questions.
Personality: Pleasing, charming individual.
Appearance: Well-groomed.” -Copper River School District

“Ideal candidates display enthusiasm and experience engaging students beyond the normal instructional day, with after school activities. [They] have a highly developed sense of what type of instruction is interesting and engaging for students… [They] can engage in the community life of a different culture [and] have an appreciation and respect of other cultures.” -Iditarod Area School District

QUESTION 2: What is the best way to prepare for an interview?
“Have a sense of who we are, know what our initiatives are, and are willing to accept an assignment that may not be your first choice.” -Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

“Have examples of teaching experiences. Be knowledgeable about Core Content, standards-based education in Alaska. Have experience teaching cross-curricular content and have skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.” -Copper River School District

“We provide lots of honest information about our district. Learn what it is like to live and work here, and what is important to us.” -Lower Kuskokwim School District

QUESTION 3: What can a candidate do to stand out?
“Be well-versed in what we are doing (show that he/she has taken time to prepare for the interview).” -Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

“Have the ability to work closely with colleagues and communicate well with students, staff, and parents. Maintain standards of student behavior needed to provide an orderly, productive classroom environment. Have successful experience teaching remedial coursework to students who experience difficulty mastering core academic courses. Have the ability to teach to high level thinking skills. Have the ability to provide a quality education in a rural environment. Show the ability to equip students for current and future success through performance excellence.” -Copper River School District

“Be yourself.” -Lower Kuskokwim School District

Good luck on your future job interview!

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