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Teacher interview questions

You need to nail your interview to get a great new job. Preparing for common teacher interview questions will give you time to come up with some great answers that show your skill, experience, and personality. You can even do a mock interview with a friend or family member to get some practice. Here are some of the most common interview questions for teachers.

1. Why did you decide to pursue a career in education?

This is a very common first question in a teaching interview, and it’s not one you should overlook. Your answer can be very telling – it indicates a lot about your personality and background. A great way to nail this question is by talking about the moment that inspired you to become a teacher and how that continues to inspire your journey.

2. How will you manage your classroom?

Schools want to know that you can run a structured, productive classroom. Don’t be afraid to go into detail about management strategies you have used in the past and why they were effective. To go above and beyond with this question, research the school’s policies on discipline, and discuss how you will incorporate them into your classroom.

3. How will you interact with parents?

Parents are an important part of any child’s education, and teachers need to be able to communicate with them effectively. Schools want teachers that can keep parents involved throughout the year, not just when something goes wrong at school or during mandatory conferences.

When answering this question, you should share specific examples of how you plan to incorporate parents into your classroom and even share anecdotes of how you’ve interacted with parents in the past.

4. How will you address social-emotional learning in your classroom?

Social-emotional learning is just as important as academic learning for developing well-rounded students. Before your interview, research whether the school has specific social-emotional learning standards that you must adhere to, and discuss them when this question arises.

It would be best if you had strategies prepared to address social-emotional learning for kids of all backgrounds, whether introverted or extroverted.

5. Can you sponsor any activities or clubs?

While this is not necessarily essential for getting a teaching job, it might give you an edge over some of the other candidates. If you’ve been a coach or sponsored a club in the past, talk about your experience and why you enjoyed it. If you haven’t worked with any after-school activities before, it may be worth it to take some time to think about what activities you could sponsor.

If you played sports in the past, you might get some fulfillment from coaching. If you aren’t athletic, think about the clubs you were part of in high school, and if you have any knowledge or support, you could pass it on to kids at your new job. Virtually any hobby you might have could be turned into a club, whether it’s reading, science, politics, crafting, or something else. Students can benefit from this extra enrichment, a great way to show interviewers that you are dedicated.

6. Why do you want to teach at this school specifically?

You might find yourself doing several interviews in a short period when you’re job hunting. It would be best to research each school individually before going to the interview. Find out everything you can about them, from the policies they promote in their classroom to the subjects they excel at and how their students make a difference in the world. If you know anyone who already works there, talk to them to get some first-hand insight into the school. Once you’ve gathered all your information, you can talk about why you will be a good fit and what intrigues you about their specific programs.

Your interviewer is motivated to hire someone who wants to be there, not someone who happens to need a job. Showing the interviewer that you’ve done your homework will go a long way toward getting the job.

7. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?

This question is a great opportunity to discuss some of your favorite teaching experiences. Whether you’ve been a teacher for several years or are just coming out of student teaching, chances are you’ve had many wonderful accomplishments, so don’t be shy if you’re asked this question. Describe your accomplishment, why it was important, and what you learned.

Your answer to this question not only says a lot about your experience as a teacher but also about your confidence in your skills.

8. How will you connect to the real world in your classroom?

A great lesson helps students do well on a test and gives them the knowledge they can take outside school. If you’re asked this question, give concrete examples of how you will make these connections to the real world in the classroom.

There are so many different ways to do this, so don’t be afraid to get creative. You can tie your lessons in with things the students are already interested in, take them on field trips, bring in guest speakers, or find ways to connect lessons to their future careers. Not only does this show that you are a thoughtful teacher, but it also shows that you care about your students’ successes beyond the classroom.

9. What are three words others might use to describe you?

This question can seem simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. It’s important to strike a balance between being honest and showing yourself off in a positive light.

A good way to come up with an answer to this question is to think of three of your strengths and turn them into adjectives. You can also ask a friend or former co-worker before an interview how they would describe you – they might have some interesting insight you might not have thought of that you can bring to the interview.

10. How will you check student progress?

The best teachers cannot only put together an incredible lesson, but they can also check to make sure students are following along and use appropriate strategies to check their progress. If you are asked this question, discuss how you assess various types of student work, like tests, homework, group projects, and in-class activities. You should ensure that you’re checking for academic progress and social and emotional progress.

This is also a great opportunity to bring up ways that you support struggling students and effectively communicate with them about their work in your class. You should also discuss how you ensure students follow along and understand during a lesson and what you do if you sense confusion or distraction.

11. How will you engage students who are distracted or reluctant to learn?

Kids are faced with so many distractions these days, and unfortunately, teachers often compete with cell phones for their attention. It’s very important to have strategies to engage kids who aren’t motivated at school. You might want to share a unique lesson that can grab students’ attention or even share an anecdote about how you’ve motivated a student in the past.

This is also a good opportunity to talk about how you build relationships with students and make them feel valued at school. It may also help to talk about how you stay on top of the things that are distracting students and how you assess their attention levels in the classroom.

12. How will you handle students with IEPs or disabilities?

As a teacher, you will face students with a wide range of ability levels. You must know how to effectively teach these students and account for their needs without disrupting the classroom flow. Before your interview, research the school’s IEP system and how disabled students are integrated into classrooms.

Are they pulled out for some sections, or do they have a helper with them in class, for example?

Talk about how you can cater your curriculum to all ability levels. It’s also important to ensure you know how to talk about special needs students appropriately, with the right vocabulary, so make this part of your research. Finally, if you have worked with special needs students in the past, this is the perfect time to highlight this experience. Since schools are concerted to cater to learners of all ability levels, your experience with special needs students could set you apart and help you get the job.

13. How will you engage advanced students?

Just as it’s important to ensure that special needs and IEP students are supported in your classroom, you must also ensure that advanced students are appropriately challenged. Schools want to see that you can encourage and support advanced students and keep them from getting bored at school. Talk about how you can make your curriculum more challenging or how you can help kids with extracurricular ventures like spelling bees or science fairs.

If you are applying for a high school teaching job, you can also discuss how you will support these kids as they prepare for college.

14. What’s your teaching philosophy or mission statement?

This is another key question that often comes up in a teacher interview, and it’s worth it to take some time beforehand to come up with a stellar response. Your answer shows your interviewer a lot about how and why you teach, and it’s the perfect place to show how passionate you are about teaching.

Be sure to indicate what you think is important as a teacher and how you incorporate it into your lessons to make a difference in your students’ lives.

15. How will you use technology in your classroom?

Technology is a hot topic in education, and schools are looking for teachers who can use the latest technology effectively. Mentioning specific types of educational technology and specific ways you can use them in lessons shows interviewers that you not only are up on the latest technology but know how to integrate it into your existing curriculum.

It also may help to mention how you deal with new technology and why you’re excited about it.

16. Do you have any questions for us?

Most interviews will end with the interviewer flipping the script and asking you if you have any questions. Don’t brush this off – now is the perfect time to get any clarification or dive deeper into the school’s policies and culture.

Teacher interview questions and answers

All of the questions do apply to those below:

  • Teacher interview questions and answers
  • Elementary teacher interview questions
  • Middle school teacher interview questions
  • Special education interview questions
  • Substitute teacher interview questions
  • Common teacher interview questions
  • Preschool teacher interview questions
  • Math teacher interview questions
  • Music teacher interview questions
  • Primary teacher interview questions

Asking intelligent questions will show your interviewer that you are truly motivated and invested in the job. You don’t need to go overboard, but it may help to come up with some question ideas ahead of time if you’re worried about drawing a blank during the interview.

There you go, a round-up of the top teaching interview questions. To ensure your success, revise teacher interview questions and answers thoroughly before the big day.