15 interview questions for teachers

Interviews are exciting. Stressful, but exciting. Whether you are interviewing for your first teaching position, heading back into the classroom after time away, or looking for a new challenge in a different district or grade level, preparing for your interview is key. By having a clear idea of how you might respond to some of the most common teacher interview questions before you get in front of your future principal, you’re far more likely to appear professional and feel confident. We’ve compiled a list of not only the questions you’d have most likely been asked before COVID-19, but also some of the new questions school districts have added to their interview repertoires. Spend a bit of time thinking about how you’d answer each of the questions below, and you’ll be ready to nail that interview!

Prepare thoughtful questions

If youre looking for a position as a teacher, there are many career paths you might consider. Here are 10 teaching jobs to explore:

General teaching interview questions

These questions help an interviewer understand your personality, interest in the position and background:

Skills fit

Employers will likely first ensure you’ve got the basic skills and certifications to meet their needs. Depending on the opening, they may also be looking for teachers with specific specialties or technical skills such as bilingual teaching experience.

What are hiring managers looking for when interviewing teachers?

No matter the specific role or workplace, hiring managers look for common themes in qualified teaching applicants:

  • Teaching skills: Unsurprisingly, how you work with students on a group and individual level is crucial. “Do they know how to have an effective classroom where all kids are learning and engaged?” says Dan Swartz, Managing Director at Resolve Talent Consulting, LLC, a firm that specializes in education recruitment.
  • Data proficiency: In today’s modern school system, data is also incredibly important, Swartz says. He wants to know: “Have you been able to master or are you proficient at the use of data?” So whenever possible, give examples of how you used data to guide you. For example, have you gleaned insights from individual test scores or overall class performance metrics?
  • Subject matter expertise: Candidates have to show that they’re adequately knowledgeable about the content area they’re looking to teach, whether it’s history or science. “[A lot] of times there are state standards,” Swartz says. So when it makes sense, try incorporating “how much you know about the standards or how much you can use the standards for your instruction,” he says.
  • Teamwork: Being a team player when it comes to working with other teachers, administrators, aides, and staff means you’ll help not only students but also the entire school thrive.
  • Organization and accountability: Candidates who are on top of deadlines and can meet classroom goals will go far. “As an administrator, I need to know that I’m going to be able to get lesson plans from you,” says Rob Sheppard, an ESL teacher who started his own online English school, Ginseng English.
  • Commitment to students: If there’s one thing that can’t be taught, it’s care for students—so interviewers want to know you have it. “The rest of the stuff, educators can teach.” Swartz says. “They can teach you content, they can teach you how to be a more effective teacher delivering your lessons, but they can’t teach the belief in students.”
  • Keep these themes in mind as you prepare for your teaching interview and look for opportunities to communicate them whenever possible—especially in response to these common questions.

    Need some tips for writing your teaching resume? Find a full guide here.

    Why did you decide to become a teacher?

    It seems trite and like a softball question, but don’t let that fool you. Most administrators are looking for something more than, “I’ve just always loved kids.” If you don’t have a substantive answer, then why are you even applying? Schools want to know you are dedicated to enriching the lives of students. Answer honestly and with anecdotes or examples that paint a clear picture of the journey that you took to become a teacher.

    FAQ

    What are the 10 most common teacher interview questions and answers?

    Questions to Ask in a Teacher Interview
    • What would my goals be for the first year?
    • What’s the average classroom size?
    • What’s the school’s culture like?
    • Do you have an active PTA?
    • What are the other teachers like?
    • How is the interaction between the school and the parents?

    What are 10 good interview questions?

    Bonus teacher interview questions
    • Why are you interested in teaching at this school?
    • What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
    • How do you use technology in the classroom?
    • What would you do if a student is in danger of failing your class?
    • What adjectives would you use to describe your presence in the classroom?

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