When they ask you what’s your favorite teaching method, or how do you want to gain trust of the students, it is relatively easy to answer the question. It is easy, because they specify exactly what they want to hear from you, what you should talk about. With “Tell me about yourself” question, or “Please introduce yourself” the story is quite different. They do not ask you to talk about your education, teaching experience, hobbies, family, secret addictions, or whatever. The choice is yours, and you can (and have to) pick some area of your life to talk about. But what do they really want to hear from you? And what should you focus on? We will try to find the answers together.
Let’s start directly with 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to come up with some variety on the list, to help you choose the best self introduction in your teacher job interview. Answers fitting for different levels of education and experience, for teachers who are just starting out, as well as for seasoned professionals. I also included a couple of unconventional answers, just to give you some food for thought and perhaps an idea that you can actually make an impression saying something not many people would dare to say in the interviews. Do not forget to read also my notes below the answers, for additional hints and explanations.
7 sample answers to “Tell me about yourself” question in an interview for a teaching job
- Well, I’m Marry, 24 years old, fresh from college, and extremely excited about finally interviewing for my first real teaching job. I love being around children, and feel a big responsibility as someone who’s supposed to be not only a skilled teacher, but also a good role model for their pupils. My favorite subjects to teach are reading and writing, but I do not particularly dislike teaching any subject–they are all important after all. In my free time I enjoy handicrafts, and having a discussion with like-minded people about anything related to elementary teaching.
- My name’s Aaron, I’m 31, and I’ve been teaching at XYZ school for five years already. I have passion for teaching and for trying to have an individual approach to each child, with a goal of achieving the best possible progress with everyone. There have been some changes in my life lately, however. I will get married soon, my fiancee is a professional singer in the Opera and because of her work I have to move to this city. That’s the reason why I am applying for a job with you, hoping to benefit from my existing teaching experience, and bring some value onboard your school. Would you like me to elaborate on my education, hobbies, or on anything else?
* Do not forget to read also: Teacher interview – where do you see yourself in five years?
- I’m Krystal, 23, native speaker, and I’ve always dreamed of teaching English abroad. I am interested in many things, including traveling, history, literature, and arts. I’ve always wanted to have a job with a meaningful purpose, and teaching English the underprivileged children here in South-East Asia will allow me to do so, while realizing my passion for traveling and getting to know new people and cultures. I would characterize myself as responsible, passionate about teaching and life, and still a bit idealistic about life–which isn’t a bad quality to have after all…
- My name is Michael, and I’ve been a history teacher for over two decades. It seems like a long time–and it indeed is, but I still enjoy my time in the classroom, trying to teach the important lessons of history to my pupils. With my divorce going on and everything related to it, however, I am looking for a new place of work, and I am extremely excited about the vacancy at your school. I’ve always liked this place, the leadership and management of the school. What you try to do here with the children resonates with my values, and with the way I would characterize great education. It would be wonderful to teach here. In my free time I enjoy easy hikes in the nature, or working in a garden. It is important for me to balance the time I spend teaching with healthy relaxing activities, such as hiking or gardening. Would you like to know anything more about my education or teaching experience?
- I’m just another university graduate, eager to get his first teaching job. I have passion for innovative teaching methods, such as learning by playing or reversal of roles in the classroom, and it is the main reason why I decided to apply for a job with your private school. People say that I am a great listener and communicator in general, and it is easy for me to win the hearts of children. But I honestly believe that I still have to improve on many things, if I am to become a great teacher one day. I am eager to give it my best though, and your school is an ideal place to follow my dreams.
- If I should characterize myself with three words only, I would pick enthusiasm, drive, and commitment. And that’s true about both my personal life and teaching. I am committed to my roles of wife, mother, and teacher, and try my 100% in every interaction with fellow human beings. If you are interested in some details and numbers, I can tell you that I’ve graduated from Teaching in 2012 and have been teaching ever since, and I have been married since 2013 and have one daughter with my husband. Please tell me if you’d like me to elaborate on any aspect of my professional life.
- Let me start with a super quick bio. I was born in 1987, graduated from Teaching in 2011, and currently teach at ABC secondary school, with a specialization in Math and Physics. As you can see on my resume, it is my second teaching job. I’m an avid reader and enjoy spending time with friends and family. I decided to apply for a job with you because I would like to start teaching at high school. I have progressively realized it is a better match to my personality and teaching methods than secondary school. Anyway, I do not want to brag about my skills or experience at this point. But I hope to have a chance to convince you that it makes sense to hire me….
* Another tough question: Teacher interview – What are your weaknesses?
Share something from both your teaching and personal life in your self introduction
“Tell me about yourself” is typically the first question you will get in your teaching interview. It is an icebreaker question, but at the same time they ask it with a purpose. And the purpose is to get some basic grasp of who you are, your communication skills, and personality.
That’s why it is always good to share something from your personal life with the interviewers. Whether you are married and have kids, one or two hobbies you enjoy in your spare time, and so on. Show them that you have some life outside of work, and are ready to talk in a friendly and genuine manner in the interviews. If you manage to make such an impression with your answer, you are up and running for a good result in your teaching interview.
Turn the attention from you to them
At the end of the day, everyone cares mostly for their own good. And while they are interested in you as a person, what matters for them more is how their school can benefit from your skills, education, experience, and personality. That’s why you should always try to connect your past and present with their future.
Instead of just saying that you’ve been teaching this and that here and there, explain them how their school and students can benefit from your experience, teaching methods, attitude, or anything else. The secret of successful interviewing is to always talk about the employer–and what you can do for them, even when you are seemingly talking about yourself…
* May also help you succeed: How to dress for an interview? 4 things to consider when choosing clothes to wear.
Do not forget on enthusiasm and non-verbal communication
Talking about your passion for teaching and helping children is one thing, looking and sounding as someone who’s really passionate another. Remember that the words you say form just a small part of the message you are sending over, to the other side of the table. And in order to have any credibility in the eyes of the interviewers, your verbal and non-verbal communication has to correspond.
Try to talk with enthusiasm in your voice while introducing yourself to the hiring committee. Show positive gesticulation and non-verbal language in general. You should look pumped for the opportunity of interviewing for this very job with this very school–because that’s exactly the place where you want to work. If you manage to do so, you will be just a step away from a new employment agreement…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! But it isn’t the only tricky question you will face in your interview for a job of a teacher. Check also sample answers to the following questions:
- Why do you want to be a teacher?
- Teacher interview: what are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years as a teacher?
- Can you tell us more about your teaching experience?