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Preparation is Key: Substitute Teacher Interview Tips

Interviewing can be a stressful experience for even the most seasoned professionals. Everyone wants to put their best foot forward during an interview, but it can be difficult if you're not sure what to expect. Substitute teaching interviews can present their own unique challenges, as schools are looking for someone who can hit the ground running without a great deal of guidance or instruction. Preparation is key to alleviating some of the stress and anxiety associated with the interviewing process. Below we will discuss some substitute teacher interview tips and strategies to help you land your desired job:

Do your research. Before your interview, visit the school's website and learn about them. Thoroughly research the school's mission, philosophy, and any information you can find about their procedures and curriculum.

Practice your answers. Familiarize yourself with the most commonly asked teaching and substitute teaching interview questions. Then take some time to consider how you'd answer each question. After you've comprised your answers, rehearse them with a partner or in front of a mirror. 

Prepare questions. While doing your research, write down a few thoughtful questions that come to mind about the school. Having questions prepared in advance shows the interviewer that you were proactive and did your research prior to the interview.

Organize and update your resume. Make sure your resume is neat and cohesive-- and contains all of your experience working with children. This can include volunteer activities as well, like teaching a Sunday school class. Bring a paper copy of your resume to the interview.

Prepare a portfolio. If you have previous teaching experience, consider bringing examples of worksheets, lessons, and games that you have created for students. If possible, bring examples from various grade levels.

Dress for success. You want to be viewed as a professional candidate, and thus, you need to dress the part. Consider wearing a business suit or a pair of slacks with a nice blouse.

Make a good first impression. Be on time to your interview. If possible, arrive 10 minutes early and wait patiently. Introduce yourself to the office staff while smiling and making eye contact with everyone you meet.

Be likeable. Don't underestimate the importance of likeability! Remember to smile, be a good listener, and show that you're actively engaged in the interview process.

Follow up. A thank you note or email can go a long way. Thank your interviewer for taking the time to meet with you and express your enthusiasm for working with the school. However, be sure to proofread before hitting send!

Tell us: have you successfully landed a substitute teaching position? What tips helped you ace your interview?

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