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Teacher Interview Questions
(what will they ask you?)

What to Expect

Interviews are your chance to prove to your potential employer that you are the right person for the job.  Unfortunately, it is all too easy to miss the mark when trying to convey your value while answering THEIR questions. Even if you have extensive interview experience, teacher interviews can be a whole different ball game.

To help you ace the interview, we have compiled a list of common interview questions that you will likely see. We separated them into three categories; Introduction, Personal Questions, Pedagogy Questions, and Professional Responsibility Questions.

Continue scrolling or jump to specific portions of the article with the links below:

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The Introduction

Personal Questions

Pedagogy Questions

19

“How would you use student-data to drive curriculum planning and classroom instruction?”

  • PURPOSE: How will you use student test scores and other diagnostic assessments to alter or adjust classroom curriculum and teaching?
  • TIPS: Students take assessments for a reason- so that the results can influence future teaching. If students are performing poorly in an area, that area needs to be re-taught in a different manner.
  • PREPARATION: Find out what common assessments the school or district uses and understand how those results can be interpreted to adjust curriculum and teaching.

20

“If most of the students in your class failed an assignment, test, or project, how would you respond?”

  • PURPOSE: This question is meant to give you the chance to show how well you can adapt a lesson plan when what you thought would work just simply didn’t. How well can you adjust your plan to fit the classroom’s needs?
  • TIPS: When it comes to this question, don’t be shy or timid. Step into this question with boldness, giving clear experiences that have and will affect your role on a teaching staff. Be specific, and connect how that experience or perspective will benefit your role on staff.
  • TIPS & PREPARATION: Find and provide specific examples that show how well you can adapt. Is there a time that this has happened? Share how you responded and adapted.

21

“How would you handle a student who is earning an “A” in your class?”

  • PURPOSE: If a student is earning an “A” in your class, is it because the material is too easy, the student is being challenged and performing well, or is the student smart and the material is easy for the student? Each situation requires a different response.

22

“How will you adapt your teaching to meet the needs of a gifted student?”

  • PURPOSE: It takes special attention and awareness to meet the needs of a gifted student. Use this question to show how you will adapt the gifted student’s curriculum and expectations to ensure he is progressing and not growing bored by not being challenged.
  • TIPS & PREPARATION: Understand how to create appropriately challenging assignments and assessments. Also, understand how to best meet the needs of gifted students.

23

“How do you make sure you meet the needs of a student with an IEP?”

  • PURPOSE: Students with special needs may need to be given an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). Describe how you will ensure that the child’s needs are being met, with the child’s success as the goal.
  • TIPS: Familiarize yourself with an IEP and the appropriate response to designing instruction. An IEP is a legally binding document, so fully understanding the implications of an IEP is necessary for a career in teaching.  Learn more about an IEP here.

24

“What type of classroom management philosophy will you implement?”

  • PURPOSE: Inevitably, there will be the need for discipline in your classroom. Describe how you use positive reinforcement and how you would handle consequences for inappropriate behavior. Show how you would be able to handle discipline issues on your own and not have to send students to the principal on a regular basis.
  • TIPS: In addition to explaining your discipline philosophy, try to include some research as to how effective those discipline tactics are.
  • PREPARATION: See if there’s been any research done as to how effective each discipline tactic is. Use the Classroom Management Strategies links below.

25

“Can you give an example of a successful behavior management strategy that you have used in the past?”

  • PURPOSE: This will give you the chance to show more than your theoretical philosophy on discipline, but rather to show a personal example that proves your philosophy of discipline as effective.
  • TIPS: Provide specific details about your success. Who was the behavioral issue (no real names), what was the cause of the behavior problem (ADD/ADHD, boredom, rebelliousness, etc.), what strategy did you use and why. How did this strategy work?
  • PREPARATION: Think through successful behavior management strategies you have implemented.

GENERAL TIP: People remember specific stories better than generalizations. Make sure to provide vivid details in your responses and tell stories that address the question. This will make your answers stand out and allow the interviewer to better remember you.

26

“What would you do if your classroom management was not succeeding?”

  • PURPOSE: This is a question about how you can adapt in the classroom. If your original classroom management strategy failed, what would you do next? How many strategies do you know/can you use?
  • TIPS & PREPARATION: Know a variety of classroom management strategies and in what context they are best used.

27

“Describe your use of technology in the classroom.”

  • PURPOSE: Technology is one of the major components of modern life, so inevitably it will play a major role in the classroom. Technology can have a major impact on a student’s success in the classroom, so this question is to show the extent to which you allow technology to benefit your classroom.
  • TIPS: Along with the benefits of technology in the classroom, give examples of how you will prevent the misuse of it. Show that you will allow technology to not be a distraction but helper in your classroom, one that is not central to the classroom but beneficial.
  • PREPARATION: Use the resources below that show how you can use technology to benefit your classroom.

28

“If I walked into your best classroom lesson, what would I observe?”

  • PURPOSE: This question is to understand what you think is an ideal teaching lesson. What activities, technologies, and preparation does the lesson entail? How do students respond to the lesson and how do you nurture excitement in the activity? Where is your priority as a teacher? All these aspects are going to be gauged by your answer.
  • TIPS: The lesson must be realistic (no weeklong field trips to New Zealand or teaching Lord of the Rings), but it should be the best lesson you can imagine. Your best classroom lesson will only happen when you employ specific strategies.
  • PREPARATION: Create an ideal lesson that incorporates the best teaching strategies you know. To see some helpful strategies, read the 9 Ways to Make a Great Lesson article below.

29

“If I were to walk in on your worst classroom lesson, what would I observe?”

  • PURPOSE: How honest are you in your assessment of your own teaching abilities and how well do you understand what can go wrong during a lesson?
  • TIPS & PREPARATION: Be honest and think of a lesson gone terribly wrong. You can use real-life examples, always good, but make sure you identify areas you learned from your mistakes. All teachers will make mistakes and have a bad lesson, but a good teacher will learn from those mistakes.

Helpful Links

Professional Responsibility Questions

37

“Can you provide an example of how you worked well in a team-teaching setting?”

  • PURPOSE: How will you fit into the culture and team-teaching atmosphere of the school?
  • TIPS & PREPARATION: Be honest about past experiences and how you resolved conflict. Also, give specific examples of ways you compromised and reached out to teachers to avoid potential conflicts.

38

“Can you provide an example of how you did not work well in a team-teaching setting?”

  • PURPOSE: How honest are you in your assessment of your own personal communications skills and how well do you understand what can go wrong in a team-teaching environment?
  • TIPS & PREPARATION: Be honest and think of personal conflicts you have encountered. You can use real-life examples, always good, but make sure you identify areas you learned from your mistakes. All teachers will have conflict with co-workers and principals, but a good teacher will learn from those conflicts.

Additional Resources

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