When preparing to interview for substitute teachers, human resources professionals must be organized in order to process numerous candidates with efficiency. While interviewing protocols and panels vary from district to district, interviews are typically conducted one-on-one by a member of the HR staff. And they always take a lot of time.
When required on an ongoing basis, substitute teacher interviews may strain district resources and jam up the ability to seamlessly cover absences. With help from an education staffing company who takes care of the most important questions for you, there may be a more effective way to build a quality substitute teacher pool.
A Typical Interview for a Substitute Teacher Candidate
Interviews are a good way to supplement the information obtained from an applicant’s resume and transcript. Some questions are common, including discussing past work experience and educational attainment. Others may seek to ascertain a candidate’s perceived strengths and weaknesses. And still others are aimed at gauging an applicant’s attitude and experience with classroom instruction and behavior management.
Particularly informative questions address personal and professional interests, as these can identify candidates with a passion for education and for working with young people. These questions are also helpful for uncovering useful skills such as playing the piano, coaching student sports, or speaking sign language. These proficiencies may make a candidate particularly well-suited for specific job assignments.
A face-to-face interview also gives the employer an opportunity to observe and interact with the applicant. The candidate’s demeanor and ability to communicate effectively will be discernible. When the applicant is given a chance to ask questions, the interviewer can learn even more about their interests and expectations.
Teacher Interview Questions You Never Have to Ask Again
Unfortunately, in-depth interviews are time intensive for district staff. With the relative shortage of substitute teacher candidates forcing many school districts to recruit and interview all year long, many are choosing to delegate the time-consuming task to a company that specializes in educational staffing. With this important decision made, there are five questions you will never have to ask again:
- Does the candidate possess the necessary credentials? An education-exclusive talent agency is adept at recruiting candidates with diverse certifications and skills. They will work to understand individual districts’ needs, then strive to meet those specifications. As an added benefit, an agency will keep track and notify staff when credentials are set to expire, so that timely renewals prevent gaps in availability.
- Has the substitute teacher passed all required background checks and medical screening tests? Once substitute teacher candidates are identified, a dedicated team of detail-oriented processors, knowledgeable of district and state requirements, expedites the paperwork to ensure that background checks are completed and reported quickly. If TB screens or drug testing is mandated, these reports are filed as well.
- Is the candidate adequately trained? An agency that specializes in substitute teacher staffing will have interactive training and orientation for new hires down to a science. It will include an introduction to district policies and procedures, as well as classroom management strategies and instructional techniques. And since an agency’s reputation is only as good as the educators it produces, the best educational staffing companies will take pride in preparing classroom-ready professionals.
- How will the candidate address the needs of diverse learners in the classroom? Here again, the answer lies in the comprehensive training provided by a substitute staffing agency. A substitute with knowledge of child development and training in the various learning styles will modify instructional techniques to meet the needs of all.
- Have I left any stones unturned in my recruiting efforts? Experts in educational staffing utilize wide-reaching recruitment strategies to ensure that all avenues have been exhausted and only the top candidates are considered.
Beyond Teacher Interview Questions: Other Benefits of Partnering with an Education Management Company
Besides relieving you of the interviewing, hiring, and upfront training processes, an education management company can provide ongoing relief from the multitude of other tasks and soft costs involved in maintaining your own pool of substitute teachers. Through an integrated approach to absence management, human resources operations, and payroll systems, an education staffing company can take over all of the functions that keep your substitute pool operating efficiently.
When building and supporting a professional community for substitute teachers, staffing agencies have the resources to provide standardized training along with ongoing opportunities to add advanced instructional and classroom management skills. From the initial interview questions, to nurturing substitutes with professional recognition and incentives, to providing data reports that meet your needs, a staffing agency can assume full responsibility for managing absences in your district.
With a dedicated local team backed by national resources, an education-exclusive staffing agency like ESS can provide solutions for your substitute staffing issues. Contact ESS for recruitment and training customized to your preferences, as well as ongoing management that provides significant administrative relief.
Phil has been supporting school districts across the country for more than 12 years. He works hands-on with districts implementing customized solutions to improve their substitute teacher and support staff programs. When he’s not increasing districts’ fill rates, Phil can be found swinging his clubs on a golf course.