Are you on the hunt for a new music teacher position? Some interview questions will focus on your instrumental competencies, whereas others will try to ascertain your willingness to adapt to the hiring company.
Most job specifications don’t require the applicant to be tech-savvy, but in this era of technology, it is recommended for all individuals to maintain a knowledgeable balance between their instrument, and the technology that serves to enhance it.
Here is a list of possible questions and how you can answer them:
1. Tell Me About Yourself
This open-ended question holds a very strong power in it. Thanks to its lack of direction, you can guide the conversation in your favor with this simple question. When asked about yourself, it is advisable to give your interviewer a brief overview about you, and your family.
From there, you can take the conversation towards your interests and aspirations, revealing to your interviewer a hint of who you are. And lastly, always talk about what attracted you to this line of work and why you’d like to become a music teacher.
2. What Are Your Qualifications Related to The Job?
If you have taught elsewhere, you can discuss your previous teaching methodologies, and how you have helped influence children into pursuing a career in the music industry. If this is your first time applying as a music teacher, you can inform the interviewer(s) about your personal experiences with music.
3. Why Do You Want This Job?
Think for a second. Why do you want this job? How does it help you? The answer lies within your purpose. When replying to this, it is best to refer to the Simon Sinek model (Start with Why).
Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker who introduced a concept of always setting a sales pitch (in this case, an interview) start with why you want to achieve your goal instead of explaining what your goal is.
4. How Do You Plan on Integrating Technology With Manual Practice?
Answer this question step by step. First and foremost, decide the manual-to-technology ratio for practice. It can be 50%-50%, 70%-30% etc. Secondly, uniquely present your concepts, tying them to the benefit derived.
When integrating technology with music, it is helpful to have technology as a silent guide for the student. You, as the teacher, should teach your student how to use and apply music technologies available, into their manual practices. For beginners, technology comes in handy in terms of tuning chords, changing pitches, and learning how to harmonize.
Lastly, allow your students to be as creative as possible. Encourage them to experiment with their instrument, and keep at it.
5. How Familiar Are You with Music Software?
List down all of the software you know or have previously used. This comes in handy when trying to gauge how quickly you can adapt to music software; and you can be shortlisted for possessing such skills.
6. How Did You Solve A Conflict with Your Boss/Professor?
When asked about situations of conflict, it is important to understand that the interviewer here is trying to figure out how you react to negative stimuli. If you ever had a conflict with your boss, it is best to address it. How an instructor reacts in times of distress is of utmost importance and affects the learning process as well.
Focus on the behavioral aspect; as in how you handled it using a collaborative approach. This portion focuses on your soft skills.
7. Who Are Your Influences?
A song, an artist, or a composition that resonates with you, must have inspired you to pursue your current profession; talk about it. Understanding the depth of your passion can be critical for some interviewers – especially those that are aiming for their students to pursue music professionally.
For example: If you are fond of Electronic music, you can mention a particular artist and their album such as, “Daft Punk’s album ‘Homework’ inspired me to become a musician.” Remember to further elaborate why this album inspired you.
8. If offered a position, how do you see your involvement in the music program?
Describe your classroom approach; how you prefer to integrate your students into the learning process. You may be a big believer in one-on-one teaching, or in mass teaching – whatever you talk about make sure to relate it to your future attribution to the music program.
To give a great first impression, look through the institution’s website before going for the interview, and focus on their mission and objectives. By adding such details into your answers, you can increase your chances for a follow up call.