Interviews for dance teacher job can be nerve wracking and a bit tricky whether for school job, dance studio or for dance auditions. Dancers community is huge but whenever we want to find a dance job it sort of always comes from a dance friend rather than an online advertisement because it’s easier to work with like-minded people. Despite that comfort of knowing your employer or the judges, it’s important to know how to highlight your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses beside making an impressive resume. Here are 10 most basic questions that you will be asked in an interview and how you should answer them.
Q1. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
This is a basic question that asks for a small introduction of you as a dancer and dance teacher.
TIP NO.1 Do not mention about your education unless asked. There are lots of dancers who may not have a very strong educational background but are amazing teachers and have an ability to connect very well with students of all age group.
TIP NO. 2 Always start by mentioning about your dance training because people will hire you much more quickly when they know that being a trained dance teacher you will help students grow and therefore give quality dance education/training.
Q2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DANCING?
This is a very relatable question to the one asked above that shows that your employer is interested in knowing about your personal interest in the dancing field along with dance experience.
TIP NO. 1 Do not mention personal details about your childhood even though that’s how most of us start dancing. The interviewer wants to get a general review about your dancing background. So you can mention about your first dance ideal who inspired you to start dancing. This is also a very good way to find a common connect with the judges if you are being interviewed during dance auditions.
TIP NO. 2 The interviewer is not looking for a specific number of years you have been dancing so even if you say “ ... approximately 10 years on your own and 5 years in training and teaching dance…”, is an acceptable answer. You should, definitely, mention where and with whom you got your dance training because the interviewer loves to know that you have got a solid dance background.
TIP NO. 3 Even though there is no particular dance style that’s required in school job, you can only teach students what you already know. This is a perfect time to let them know about your dance forte and what all you can teach to particular age group.
Q3. HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE IN TEACHING AND MANAGING STUDENTS?
If this question is asked from a principal of a school then the answer will be very different than when the same question is asked from a dance studio owner.
TIP NO. 1 When replying to a school principal, the purpose is to know if you are capable of managing a huge group of students and this will also help the principal decide if they want to hire you for a long term or an audition is required before giving you the job. Your personality and how you have dressed up for the interview matters a lot in winning the trust of the employer because making a good first impression is really important.
Dance teachers who are already teaching in a school know that teaching in a school is 80% about managing students and only 20% is about dance and choreography. As a dance teacher in a school, you will be given students who are forced to take up dance activity because there was no other option. These are the students who may be disturbing other students in your class. Managing a class requires an ability to strictly discipline difficult students and creating a choreography is much more easier compared to this.
TIP NO. 2 If a dance studio owner asks this question then his/her purpose is to know if you are able to build a strong connection with the students so that the number of students grow. Retention of existing students and increasing number of students is the only reason for a private dance studio to run successfully.
The growth of the number of students depends on various factors that may or may not be in your control. However, this is a perfect time to inform your employer about your strengths. For example, after mentioning your experience in teaching, you can highlight the fact that you are able to take classes of all age groups. Or if you have participated and won any dance competition award, you can mention that so the dance studio owner can think about collaborating with you or giving you certain good projects that will help the promotion of studio.
Q4. WHAT ARE YOUR SALARY EXPECTATIONS?
Before even going for an interview, you should always do a fact check about the kind of dance company or school you are applying for. The location, brand value, number of students you will be teaching and how many hours you will be working plus traveling are some of the important factors that should be considered when deciding about the fees. If it’s a higher secondary public school, then they should definitely pay you minimum of rs 25000 and above. Below this amount, i.e. rs 15000 onwards is a good amount to get paid by a preschool. The salary expectations from a dance studio depends on the number of students and number of hours working there. This may vary for different dance studios. If you are too confused or not sure about the amount you are asked to receive then you can always ask for few days to consider and make sure to inform them about your decision in 2 days.
The few tips mentioned here are helpful in considering your working ability for the company or school as well as build trust with your interviewer. The first meeting definitely should provide a good starting point where both the employer as well as the employee benefits because both are working towards a common goal - growth of the students.