How to Answer the Question Tell Me About Yourself
So you are preparing for your teacher interview, and you know that the first question is going to be…”So, tell me a little bit about yourself.” Or- “So, how do you end up here today, and why do you want to work at this school?” This is a fantastic opportunity to start your interview off strong and share some helpful pieces of information about yourself.
To answer the question “Tell me a about yourself” here is the format you should use:
Talk about yourself now, talk about yourself in the past, and then add in a small piece of information about something you are hoping to achieve in the future. Past + Present + Future
Sure! My name is Jessica, and I am just finished up my 5th year teaching third grade at an elementary school in ABC ISD. At my school, I had the privilege of creating a school-wide positive behavior initiative, but my favorite part was building such amazing relationships with my students and their families. I am looking to continue growing as an educator which is why I am so excited about this opportunity to teach at Willow Creek Elementary School.
Yes! Let me start off by saying that I am SO excited to be here interviewing today. So I am graduating from The University of Texas at Austin this May, where I am studying Special Education. I have had the amazing opportunities to student teach in a 1st-grade classroom, a 3rd-grade classroom, as an interventionist for K-5, and in a self-contained K-2 classroom. I grew up in this area, I actually went to Soyer Elementary School down the street, and I am really excited to begin my career in Willow Creek ISD. Outside of work, I love working with animals, so I volunteer at the local vet once a week. Overall, I am really passionate about education, and can’t wait to begin my teaching career!
Keep it Positive and Professional
When you are answering this interview question, it is important to keep things positive and professional. Don’t focus on how much you dislike your old school, or really negative things that may have happened in your life thus far. Instead, focus on who you are today, why you are passionate about education, and where you are hoping to end up in the future.
Don’t Get Too Personal
When you are asked to talk about yourself, it might feel like an open door to share about your entire life. Here is the unspoken part, though. You actually shouldn’t share too much. You can definitely be vulnerable, share an experience that touched you, and things like that. However, you need to be aware that this is your first impression moment. Opening up too much, sharing about irrelevant personal topics, or talking about things that are going to make your interviewers pity you…not the best first impression to make.
Focus on the Job You Are Applying For
Even though you have several life experiences up until this point, again, remember the unspoken rules. The answer to this infamous teacher interview question need to be focused and concise. You don’t necessarily need to share about your trip to Europe, your childhood dog, your backpacking trip to Asia, your best friend’s sister… all unless it directly relates to why you are passionate about education and/or why you are there interviewing for that job today.
Connect With Your Audience
You can use this opportunity to share a *very short* story with the people who are interviewing you about why you are passionate about education, or something that shows who you are as a person. You can also share tidbits about why you choose this particular district to work in (maybe you grew up nearby, or have a friend that works there). Remember that an interview is strategic, so think about what you are going to share in order to connect with your audience.
As with all interviews, it is crucial that you prepare the answers to your questions beforehand. You don’t want to sound scripted, or like a robot, but you do want to have an idea of what you are going to say. Practice saying the answer to your interview question out loud 3-5 times to have an idea of what you are going to say, without sounding too memorized.
Overall, when you are answering this teacher interview question remember: 1) Present + Past + Future 2) Keep it focused, professional, and concise and 3) Make a connection with your audience without oversharing