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Teacher job interview soft skill: Collaboration.

Another question that teachers are often asked in interviews is "Tell me about a time that you collaborated with others?"

In their latest report, LinkedIn (2020) identifies "50% of great collaborators also tend to be top performers. When a role requires teamwork, strong collaboration skills make a big difference".

During this pandemic, teachers all over the world have proved themselves to be AMAZING collaborators.

We have come together to share resources, support each other, figure out how Zoom works (lol I am still trying!!) and give the best to our students.

Every. Single. Teacher. now has a story about collaboration they can share in their next job interview.

Five questions you might be asked include:

  1. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle interactions with that person?

  2. Tell me about a time when you were communicating with someone and they did not understand you. What did you do?

  3. Tell me about one of your favourite experiences working with a team and the contributions you made?

  4. Describe the best lead teacher or head of department you’ve worked with. What part of their management style appealed to you?

  5. Can you share an experience where your teaching dramatically shifted direction at the last minute? What did you do?

I am POSITIVE that you could think of multiple examples where you are able to demonstrate your ability to COLLABORATE.

If you are unsure what schools are looking for, LinkedIn (2020) notes to consider the following:

  • "A willingness to try to see things from the other person’s perspective by identifying the cause of the tension and finding ways to improve the relationship.

  • Patience. Great collaborators take the time to make sure they’re being understood and can adjust their style to align with others.

  • Energy and motivation via teamwork. A healthy mix of “I” and “we” statements to communicate both individual and team contributions.

  • An understanding of their own working style and what kind of personalities they work best with.

  • Focus on keeping the team aligned and comfort with tapping coworkers for additional help when a project demands it."

Of course, as an educator who is living through a pandemic, I am sure you can think of even more examples specific to your experience in the online AND offline classroom.

The key to answering this question in a way that reflects positively on yourself is to use the STAR behavioural interviewing technique - Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Situation - Set the scene, tell the interviewer where you are and what is happening. Be descriptive (though not overly), make sure that you use clear language where they can picture it in their mind.

Task - What were you responsible for? What were you required to do?

Action - What did you do?

Result - What was the outcome? (Make sure you frame this in a positive way).

Write down your story about what happened, being clear about each of the STAR stages.

Read through it and tighten up the language.

Read it aloud to the mirror.

Read it to your partner (or dog, or cat, or fish).

Read it to the mirror again.

Read it to your phone and record yourself (I know this feels weird but trust me).

WATCH the video back and assess yourself.

What can you do better?

Can you be more animated?

Does it sound natural?

Do you have any annoying habits? (I used to say umm a lot!)

Write down 5 things you can improve.

Practice a couple more times.

Record yourself AGAIN.

I know this seems like a lot, for just ONE question that you might be asked.


This is also practice for every other question also that you will be asked.

NO-ONE is an expert answering questions in job interviews the first time, the second time, the third time, even the 10th time!

UNLESS you practice, practice, practice, you will not get better at answering interview questions!

IF you are job hunting, you should be practicing interview questions for at least 30 mins EVERY day.

Let me explain why...

If you are trying to get 6-pack-abs you can't expect to do some crunches once or twice a week and think that it is going to happen.

You have to exercise EVERY DAY!

PLUS you can't just do the same exercise every day!

You have to change it up!

It is the same with interview prep.

If you want to be amazing, you have to do a little bit EVERY DAY.

I bought a skipping rope (weighted) about 6 weeks ago.

The first week I was SO UNCO-ORDINATED!

I haven't skipped since I was in elementary (primary) school.

I could not skip with two feet and could not skip more than 3 or 4 in a row.

I felt the same way that I did when I was 10 years old.

Stupid. Because I wasn't very good.

I could have just chucked the rope in the corner and ignored it.

But I didn't.

I thought, you know what? I CAN improve.

So I kept going.

It took me about a week to skip with two feet.

But I could only do about 5 in a row.

My face was beet red and I thought I was going to pass out.

Every. Single. Day. I skipped for 30 mins.

Day by day, I got better.

Today, after 6 weeks of skipping for 30 mins EVERY day, I can SPEED skip with two feet and do fifty without stopping!

In 30 mins I can EASILY skip 500 times.

I'm a skipping machine!

My point is - you are not going to be AMAZING at answering job interview questions if you only practice two or three times.

Sure, you will get better.

But you won't be amazing.

If you REALLY want to ace your next job interview, you NEED to practice daily!

This could mean the difference in landing your dream job at your next school!

Practicing daily will give you confidence.

You will be self-assured.

You will believe 100% in the story you are telling.

You will believe 1000% that YOU are the best teacher for that school!

And if you don't get the job, you will be 1000% better prepared for your next job interview.

What have you got to lose?


Hope this information is valuable to you.

Tetap sehat! (stay healthy in Bahasa Indonesia)!


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