This article is written for teaching candidates and looks at the main teacher interview questions you may be asked.
Interviews are part of any job application. This is the stage when an employer evaluates you as a potential employee. You need to know how provide solid answers to interview questions. Preparation is the key. If you are applying for a position in education, you need to know the commonly asked teacher interview questions so you can prepare your best answers.
The top ten teacher interview questions:
1. Tell me about yourself.
You might want to give them your entire life story, with all the good and bad bits. This is the wrong approach. Be positive and focus on all the experiences that led you to teaching, and any unique experiences that relate to the teaching position you applied for. If you have more life experience than teaching experience, then talk about that.
Relate everything you mention to your strengths, responsibility and teamwork.
2. Where do you see yourself in five, ten & fifteen years?
Most teachers expect to stay in education most of their life. Although starting your own business after a few years might work in the business sector, it doesn’t work in your favor as an educator. Teachers may advance their career, or take positions in nearby or overseas schools, but they are less likely to job hop.
So, to answer this question, you should remain focused on growing professionally as an educator.
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a question you need to think about carefully. No one is perfect, so an interviewer will not believe you if you suggest you have no weaknesses. Instead, answer this question by being a little ambiguous about your weaknesses. Think of areas where you lack experience but would like to grow.
This is a great answer to a tricky question as it kind of turns the question around.
4. What made you decide to become a teacher?
Carefully think about how you will answer this question, as you need to give a personal reply. You need to be honest. Tell the story about the day you were inspired to become a teacher. Perhaps you can say that an old teacher inspired you. That teacher was fun, engaging and taught you a lot and you responded well. Or something like that.
5. What is your teaching philosophy?
Again, this is a question related to your personal insights, education and experience. This philosophy will reflect what you have personally experienced during your school days and at university. Although this question may not be asked, try to find a way to incorporate this subject in the conversation. For example, if the interviewer asks you about teaching methods, grab the opportunity to talk about your attitudes and beliefs.
6. How would you manage your class?
Before you reply to this one, be aware of the school district’s take on classroom discipline and management. Your answer will also depend on the grade level you are applying to teach. Your answer must reflect your teaching style, your experience, and it must comply with the policies of the school district.Your answer to this particular teacher interview question needs some research.
You could tell the interviewer that you set rules the class will agree to follow; you will take on board what other teachers say; you will act as mediator between students, and so on. Give examples that you have personally used or experienced.
7. How will you incorporate technology into your teaching?
We live in a technologically advanced world. Technology is used in almost everything, especially schools. Lecture notes on boards have been replaced with screen projectors and PowerPoint presentations.
As a teacher, you need to engage your students and one way to do this is by using gadgets to deliver your lessons. These forms of technology can make teaching easier and more effective. This is why schools are falling over themselves to use technology in classes. When you answer this teacher interview question you must be able to mention the technology you will use in class and how. Provide examples of when you were able to use these technologies in training, maybe.
8. What is your classroom management plan?
This is a teacher interview question that is tricky but not difficult. Avoid giving an answer that does not align with how they run their school.
This is a standard question that most teachers are prepared for. But if you aren’t, or don’t know how they approach classroom management, this could be a problem. Do your homework and find out their culture and values, and how they approach classroom management.
Be honest about your classroom management plan, but tailor it their values and approach to classroom management.
9. Tell me about the most stressful situation you had in your career and how you handled it?
When you answer this avoid complaining or creating a pity party! Teaching can be stressful so what they really want to know is: are you a stress risk? Administrators point to teachers who can’t manage relationships as the worst failing, and the second is not being able to deal with stress.
10. Why should we hire you?
Avoid a weak answer to this question, or one that sounds humble. You need to sell your talents. If you don’t, someone else will get your job.
This question is asked in most interviews. But many people don’t answer the question in a way that sells their strengths in terms of the school’s needs. This is your time to sell.
Write out a summary of your strengths and experience as they relate to what your potential employer values. Practice saying them so you can reel them off. You need to sell your talent but also give them what they need. Do your homework and tailor your ‘why should we hire you’ answer to their needs and how you will manage any risks they want to avoid.
These are the top ten teacher interview questions you should prepare answers for a couple of days before the interview. The questions are pretty standard so you should be able to nail them.