Red Flags in a Teacher Interview


The process of finding the right teachers to work in any kind of educational institution is a solemn, serious and lengthy one. School administrators are typically already thinking about the next year of hiring right as the new school year begins. Schools even require teachers to inform them of their intentions up to a year in advance of their contract expiring when it comes to either signing a new one or moving on. Many are now starting to use an online recruitment services for teacher hires to help things along.

A key part of the hiring process is the interview. Smart and experienced recruiters tend to know about the most common red flags that should label a potential candidate as unsuitable or at least questionable for a role. Below are some examples of those red flags:

Red Flag 1: The Teacher is Late for the Scheduled Interview

Being late is a red flag for any job interview, but should be regarded as especially negative for candidate teachers. A school runs on a strict timetable, and when teachers break with that schedule for any reason, the results can be disastrous. If the candidate can’t even be bothered to ensure a timely arrival for the interview, what are the chances that they will be reliable when it comes to being on time every morning for an entire academic year?

Furthermore, schools should also not accept excuses like heavy traffic or bad weather. Responsible teachers anticipate these problems and make arrangements accordingly because, as we mentioned, the schedule happens with or without them there. Therefore, they simply have to be on time. It’s even worse if the teacher is late for an online interview!

Red Flag 2: The Teacher is Dressed Overly Casual for the Interview

Teachers don’t exactly have to dress in three-piece suits, but they should take pride in their appearance, and show up for work looking professional. Overly casual attire is suggestive of a poor attitude from the teacher, as well as a lack of effort. Teachers who think that it doesn’t or shouldn’t matter what they dress like also reflect an attitude that demonstrates a basic lack of responsibility and personal pride.

Students look up to their teachers, and that’s why it’s right to expect teachers to lead by example and dress appropriately for work.

Red Flag 3: The Teacher Talks Negatively About Their Previous Post

This is an important red flag. Teachers who spend their interview talking negatively about their current or previous post are ones to avoid. In a few years, that teacher might well be speaking negatively about your own school to another principal or recruiter. More importantly, it reflects a combative attitude and lack of objectivity and good judgment. Why would a principal of a new school want to hear how much you hate your current department head? Candidates who are more constructive and positive about their experiences so far will find more success.

Red Flag 4: They Are Mostly Interested in Knowing About Pay and Holidays

This simply shows that a candidate teacher has no sense of perspective or priorities when it comes to their job. A good candidate will ask questions about the classes, the students, the curriculum, how the team operates and collaborates, and so on. When a teacher is only interested in knowing about salary and holidays, it shows that they are likely in the job for the wrong reasons.

Red Flag 5: They Have No Concrete Ideas

A common interview question might ask teachers to talk about what they would do differently from their current way of working, or what changes they might bring to this new institution. Those teachers who can’t offer any concrete ideas, or who dodge the questions claiming that they will only know once they get started are teachers to avoid. They have little imagination and creativity.