The key to getting the perfect teaching job is impressing during the teacher interview. You must be confident. If you’re not sure of what questions they are likely to ask and if you don’t have the answers at the tip of your tongue, you are likely to come across nervous and unprepared. With the competition for teaching jobs at an all time high, you can be rewarded nicely by reviewing as many interview questions as possible and coming up with truthful and unique answers.
Here’s a list of 20 questions you might see in your next teaching interview. Read through them and think about how you would answer each one. I have provided tips for a few.
1) Tell us about yourself.
Tip: Keep this education related unless instructed otherwise.
2) What are your strengths?
Tip: In other words, “what makes you an asset to our district?”. Think of the answer this way and answer accordingly. Is it your classroom management skills? Experience? Abililty to integrate technology? These are the strengths I would focus on.
3) What are your weaknesses?
Tip: This can be a tricky question. I would try to be as honest as possible here and do not use any traditional responses like “I’m a perfectionist”. The person interviewing has heard them all. They’re asking this question for a reason.
My suggestion would be to reflect back on your student teaching and think about what you struggled with the most. Was it time management? You could say something like “My biggest challenge while student teaching was fitting in all the activities I had planned for the students. I was constantly tweaking and rehearsing my lessons and I now always look for ways to prioritize what is most important”. The trick here is to pick a weakness that all new teachers have and explain how you are working to turn it into one of your strengths.
4) What can you tell us about our school district?
Tip: You should do as much research on the school district as possible before the interview. Specifically look for information on test scores and where they rank state-wide in different subjects. Check both the school’s website and the state’s education website for information.
5) Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Tip: "So I can have the summer's off" is not the correct answer. :-)
Possible answers here would include wanting make a difference in the community, wanting to inspire others, love of children and learning, etc. Perhaps you had a teacher that inspired you to teach. If so, discuss that teacher and what they did to make you choose this path in life.
More Questions to Consider:
6) What is your classroom management style?
7) Tell us about your past teaching experiences.
8) What would you do if a student told you to “@#$% off”?
9) How do you deal with a student that refuses to complete any homework?
10) Explain the pros and cons of “teaching to the test”.
11) When I walk by your classroom on a typical day, what can I expect to see?
12) How will you incorporate cooperative learning into your classroom?
13) What would you do if you taught a lesson that 60% of the class understood and 40% were lost?
14) How would you handle an extremely gifted student?
15) What is differentiated instruction and will you implement it?
16) How will you incorporate technology into your lessons?
17) Do you have rules for your classroom? What are they?
18) Explain how you can assess a student’s higher order thinking skills.
19) Describe the perfect classroom environment.
20) How do you describe a successful principal?
Get more interview questions, tips, and advice.
Sidney Landers is a high school teacher, interview coach, mentor, and advisor to new teachers.