Ace the Teacher Interview: What to Expect and How to Succeed

Diego Merino, Recruitment Manager at the Avenues School in NYC, gives advice to teachers on how to prepare for questions and topics that come up in the teacher interview process.

Ace the Teacher Interview: What to Expect and How to Succeed

Presenter: Diego Merino, Senior Recruitment Manager, Avenues: the World School

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Know Thyself

Fit and values

  • What do you most value in education, as an educator?
  • In what school environment do you thrive?
  • What supports do you need?


  • Talents, skills, & knowledge best aligned with the job. Be prepared with specific examples for each.
  • What makes you flow?
  • How do you help students learn & grow?


  • Authenticity is critically important.
  • Self-reflection required.
  • Examples should be specific.

Show Results


  • What did you accomplish & why does it matter?
  • How is the school/classroom/student different because of you?

On resume

  • Describe the accomplishment; quantify when possible.

In cover letter

  • Explain 2-3 accomplishments highly relevant to the specific role.

In interview

  • Use 'PAR' framework (see below).

Problem – Action - Result ('PAR') Framework


  • Describe the situation.


  • What action you took, and why.
  • Use this to illuminate your thought process.


  • Describe the impact of your action: what changed, why it’s significant, and how you know.

... and practice!

  • Practice with a peer and structure your thoughts.

No Experience, No Problem

Prior teaching experience

  • Use examples primarily from your teaching.

No prior teaching experience

  • Use examples from paid positions (best), and internships, volunteering, academic work.
  • If the example is not teaching-related, be explicit about how it applies to the role and question being asked.

School Fit

Mission, values, and culture

  • What does the school believe?

Do research

  • Website, job description, online reviews, professors, other teachers, etc.

Interview the interviewers

  • Have thoughtful questions ready to help assess fit: current challenges, near-term direction, professional development, teacher support.

Other Tips

Cultivate mentors (who will tell you the truth) (advice on workplace issues)

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