20 Teacher Interview Questions (With Example Answers)
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Interviewing is an important part of the hiring process. For teachers, a job interview can be an opportunity to impress schools and employers with unique experiences, skills and qualifications. If you're getting ready to interview for a teaching position, it's important to prepare in advance so that you can make a positive impression. In this article, we explore common teacher interview questions with examples and tips to help you get ready to succeed in your interview.
What are the most common interview questions for teachers?
Some of the most common interview questions to expect during a teaching interview include general questions about your background and situational, behavioural and in-depth questions regarding your role and performance as a teacher. Common questions for teacher interviews may also encompass topics related to your experience in specific subjects, using certain instructional techniques and engaging students. Your classroom management skills are also important to showcase during an interview, so it's important to prepare for questions that assess your capabilities in this area, too.
5 common teacher interview questions and answers
Use the following examples of some common teacher interview questions and responses to help you prepare for your upcoming interview:
1. Tell me about yourself.
This question is common in interviews for different types of jobs, including teaching. This question allows the interviewer to get to know you and evaluate how your personality and personal values connect with the educational institution. Use your answer to describe two or three qualities that showcase your ambition and passion as an educator.
Example: "I'm extremely passionate about building connections with students from diverse backgrounds, as I believe every child should have equal opportunity to explore through active learning. I'm also dedicated to literacy and helping my community improve reading skills and literacy rates to better prepare people for learning and succeeding. I'm an avid reader, so I've always been excited to share my knowledge and get others excited about literacy and language learning."
2. What is your teaching philosophy?
Employers want to know that candidates' values regarding teaching methods and approaches match with their institutions' missions and learning outcomes. Your answer to this question can help the interviewer evaluate how you perceive your role as an educator, address the needs of your students and support successful academic progress. Consider giving examples of how you apply your philosophy in the classroom and any methodologies you use when engaging students.
Example: "My core philosophy is to provide guidance to all students with whom I work. I strive to incorporate diverse learning activities that combine cognitive skills, critical thinking and kinaesthetic applications. I believe that it's crucial to connect with each individual and create an inclusive learning environment where I can address all diverse learning styles."
3. What do you know about our school?
The interviewer may ask a question like this one to gain insight into how much research you've done prior to your interview. This question also helps interviewers evaluate candidates' initiatives to learn independently. In your answer, describe what you learned through your research and how you plan to support the school's mission.
Example: "From my previous research, I understand your school focuses on language instruction. In my previous experience, I worked with diverse learners from different backgrounds where I implemented language building activities and approaches to vocabulary development. I'm excited to contribute my unique experience working with language instruction to help your school support students' achievement."
4. How do you evaluate successful lessons?
The interviewer may ask a question like this one to understand how you measure success and make improvements to your instructional approaches. In your answer, give some examples of the metrics you use to define the success of your students and the effectiveness of your lessons, activities and assessments.
Example: "When I plan lessons, I model my activities from the curriculum requirements and school standards. To ensure students achieve the appropriate gains in these standards, I create weekly informal assessments that evaluate students' understanding of core concepts I present in class. At the end of each term, I create a cumulative assessment to evaluate student comprehension of the core topics we cover in class instruction up to that point. Using this data, I can improve my instructional methods and approaches to supporting individual learning styles."
5. Why should we appoint you to the teaching position?
This is another common question you might expect, as the interviewer is likely to evaluate how your unique skills and expertise fulfil the job requirements. Give examples of your strengths and qualifications and how you plan to use these traits to enhance the instructional quality of their school.
Example: "As you can see from my teaching application, I have over 10 years of experience working as a language instructor. I plan to apply my communication techniques, instructional methods and unique assessment approaches to better support student learning and academic achievements. I also feel that my fluency in multiple languages can be a benefit to enhancing instructional outcomes at your school."
Additional interview questions for teachers
In addition to common interview questions for teachers, you can expect the interviewer to address a range of topics regarding your background, previous performance and capabilities as an instructor. Use the additional examples below to prepare for your interview:
General questions can give hiring managers an idea of your personality, personal interests and goals. These questions showcase your fit for their school culture and how your skills can contribute to the academic environment. Here are several examples of general interview questions:
What is one of your greatest accomplishments?
What interests you outside of the teaching profession?
Why are you interested in this position?
What steps do you take to improve?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Questions about teaching experience
The interviewer is also likely to ask questions that give them insight into your past performance and success as an instructor. Use the following examples to get a better idea of what to expect during your interview:
What subjects are you qualified to teach?
Why did you choose a career in education?
What are your approaches to classroom management?
Do you have additional credentials or certifications?
How do you stay aware of current events in education?
Role-specific questions focus on the in-depth aspects of the teaching job, such as specific examples of your instructional methods, classroom management techniques and ability to motivate and engage students. The following questions include additional topics the hiring manager may address during your interview:
How do you develop student assessments?
What approaches do you take to help a student who is struggling academically?
How do you maintain communication with students' families?
How do you ensure the safety of your students while on campus?
What strategies do you use to address diverse learning styles?
Related: How To Prepare for an Interview
Tips to prepare for a teaching interview
Before your interview, it's important to prepare your responses, job application documents and attire to increase your chances of success and making a positive impression on the employer. Consider the following tips to help you get ready for your interview:
Research the school
Learn about the school, what type of curriculum it requires instructors to teach and how faculty incorporate teaching values. Take a look at the school's website if there is one to gain insight into the school activities, extracurricular clubs and resources available to students. Plan how to answer interview questions that ask what you know about the school so you can better showcase your initiative and motivation to support the institution's mission.
Understand the requirements
Review the requirements of the teaching role so you have a solid understanding of what the school expects of you. Use the job requirements to prepare interview responses that showcase your relevant skills and qualifications. It's also important to discuss any aspects of the requirements you may be missing so interviewers are aware of your experience and willingness to learn and take on new challenges.
Apply the STAR method
Review the STAR interview response technique and practice your answers following this method. For instance, give examples of situations you performed in, your role or tasks in the situation, the approaches you took to achieve results and the results that occurred because of your actions. The STAR method is suitable for practising your responses to common behavioural and situational questions that give interviewers insight into your performance as a teacher.
Many job interviews provide opportunities for candidates to ask questions at the end of the meeting. Consider making a list of relevant questions to ask your school interviewer at the end of your interview. For example, questions about the institution's mission, employer expectations, salary requirements, student populations and in-depth specifics of the position can help you better understand what to expect as a faculty member.
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