50 Great Questions for Teacher Interviews
Whether you need to fill a teaching position or whether you're applying for one, it's worth exploring common questions asked during interviews. Here are 50 questions that help draw out applicants' knowledge, experience, and more.
The interview is an opportunity to get to know an applicant in ways that can't be gleaned from a resume. While an applicant addresses a mix of questions about background, teaching experience, and the "ideal" classroom, the interviewer learns about his or her enthusiasm for teaching and dedication to the profession. For those interviewing for a teaching position, use these questions as guidelines to prepare. See key interview questions below. (Tailor these to the level of the candidate.)
- What is your educational background? (Or I see you went to [insert school name here]. What was the most rewarding part of attending that university?)
- What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
- What do you want to be doing in five years?
- List five adjectives that describe yourself.
- What is one of your weaknesses, and how are you working to improve it?
- What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
- To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
- What activities might you coach or advise as a member of the teaching staff?
- When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?
- Why do you want to teach at the ____ level?
- What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?
- What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
- What is your least favorite subject, and how do you overcome your indifference toward it to teach it well?
- What do you like most about teaching as a career?
- What is your least favorite aspect of teaching?
- What is your philosophy of education?
- What role do standards play in your classroom?
- Describe your teaching style.
- How do you organize your classroom?
- How do you structure your time to manage all of the duties associated with teaching?
- What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?
- What do you think is the greatest challenge facing students today?
- What is the most difficult aspect of teaching today?
- What are the qualities of an excellent teacher?
- Describe the "worst" lesson you have taught. What did you learn from it?
- What is your approach to classroom management?
- What role have parents played in your classroom?
- How do you motivate your students to become active learners in your classroom? (Or: How do you encourage class participation?)
- Tell us about a troubling student you have taught and how you helped him or her.
- Describe your best professional development experience.
- Describe your ideal lesson.
- Describe your planning process for a major project or unit.
- Explain your experience with [insert teaching strategy here].
- What plans do you have for the integration of technology in your own classroom?
- What experience have you had with team-teaching? What is your opinion of it?
- How have and will you address your students' different learning styles?
- How do the assignments you give offer students the opportunity to express their creativity and individuality?
- How do you modify your teaching to reach students who are struggling to perform at grade level?
- How do you provide support for students with exceptional ability?
- What would you tell your incoming class in a "back-to-school" letter at the start of a new school year?
- How would you deal with a student who regularly missed school or your class?
- If most of the students in your class failed an assignment, test, or project, how would you respond?
- What would your students say they had learned after spending a year in your class? (Or: What do you want students to remember about your class?)
- How would you establish and maintain good communication with the parents of your students?
- What steps would you follow to deal with a student who displays consistent behavioral problems in your classroom?
- Under what circumstances would you refer a child to the administrator's office?
- What could a visitor to your class expect to see?
- What do you hope to learn from your mentor?
- How would you take advantage of resources within the community to enhance your teaching?
- Why should you be hired for this position?
An Interviewer's Handbook
This handbook features a list of 100 interview questions and shares some suggestions about what interviewing practices to implement and common mistakes to avoid.
Make the most of teacher interviews with these tips!
Tailor your questions to the applicant's level of experience. Good questions for new teachers might include:
- What is a strength of the teacher training program at ____ (university or college)?
- How have your former teachers influenced your teaching?
- Describe the positives and negatives of your student-teaching experience.
- What do you most look forward to in establishing your own classroom?
Be prepared with questions that address specific issues related to the subject matter and grade level the position involves.
Always give applicants the chance to ask their own questions at the end of the interview.
Applying for a Teaching Job in a Tight Market
Experts Harry and Rosemary Wong share advice for preparing for an interview, distinguishing yourself from other candidates, questions to ask, and more.
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