11 Questions you will be asked in a Teaching Job Interview

Teachers are, no doubt, one of the most important parts of our society. They are the ones who give a purpose of living to a child and a reason to serve society. Teachers make the best citizens of a nation by nurturing them with knowledge and ethics.

The teachers of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and the teachers are the bridge that connects a child with their success.

Knowledge and education are the pillars for all the things that can be accomplished in life. Teachers simplify the complex and ease the learning of a child at the early as well as advanced levels.

Importance of teachers in the society

Most of the skills and knowledge that a person has in his life are induced in them at an early age. When a person is in their childhood, they are hyperactive in terms of learning new things. A child has much more learning power than a fully grown adult. Thus, at this stage of vulnerability, they must be taught the right things and must be acted upon with love and care.

Teachers are the ultimate role models for the students. The fact that students come across many different types of teachers in their academic careers means that more likely than not, there will be a teacher that speaks to them. Not every teacher turns out to be the ideal one. Students feel comfortable with just a handful of them. A great teacher always has compassion for their students, an understanding of their personal as well as social life, and an appreciation for their academic goals and achievements.

Teachers never accept failure, and therefore, students are more likely to taste success. Teachers know when to push their students, when to let them figure out themselves, and when to rectify them. They never let the student give up at any point in life!

Teachers are a source of inspiration and motivation too. They inspire students to do well, work hard and never let their academic goals go off track.

Being a teacher is not an easy task. Many people apply for the post of teacher every year and only a few get selected for an interview. A few of them clear it and finally become a teacher.

How difficult is a teaching interview? We’ve got some common questions that are usually asked in teaching interviews.

Helpful tips for an interview

Here are some tips to excel in an interview:

  • Prepare for common interview questions that might be related to your job preference.
  • Bring a portfolio, materials that show achievements.
  • Dress professionally, more than how you would look at your work. This shows your seriousness towards the interview.
  • Be a good listener. The more listen and interact, the more chances you have to qualify.
  • Maintain eye contact. The helps to show your confidence regarding what you do and talk about. 

11 common questions for teaching interview

A teaching interview is no different than an interview for other jobs. You are judged by the boldness and the opinions that you have for new innovative ideas, that can help the community to grow. You are not assessed or judged by only the knowledge you have. The interviewers also check how to disagree on a topic, or how to communicate your thoughts.

Here are some common questions that you might be asked if you choose to become a teacher.

  1.  Why do you want to be a teacher?

Prepare a brief answer for this as this is the most common of all interview questions that you might be asked.  “I want to help people.” would simply not work. The answer must explain how you want to change the lives of students. It should also explain how your own life is augmented by being a teacher.

Example answer:

When I was a child, I had trouble reading. One of my teachers used to read texts to us and help us with the reading. Her care towards our learning switched on an unquelled thirst for reading hundreds of books on many topics like history, biology, nature, etc. Her attention forever changed my outlook on life. Since then, I knew what exactly I wanted to do, the same that she did – give tools to students that would cherish their entire lives!

  1.  What is your teaching philosophy?

You must match with the school’s philosophy of providing education to students. Use the S.T.A.R approach to answer this question — Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Example answer:

I believe in teaching by each student’s passion. For example, in one kindergarten class, my students had trouble with punctuation. I observed that one student suddenly got excited about colons. I fueled his passion with a big book on punctuation. His eagerness was communicable, and soon the entire class was asking bright and animated questions. Whenever possible, I try to deliver structured lessons in an unstructured way like this.

  1.  How would you handle a difficult student?

No doubt that difficult students exist in every classroom. Here is an answer to this question.

Example answer:

For me, the first step would be to pull them aside and address the issue privately. My biggest questions would be about decrypting what might be the root cause of this student’s bad behavior. Once I know what may be contributing to their difficulty, I try to work with them to come up with a solution. This way has been proven effective in my classrooms as well.

  1.  Why do you want to work for our school district?

This is another common question asked in the interviews.

Example answer:

I respect your school’s belief in teaching to the whole child. Your focus on academics, character, community, and nature fit perfectly with my philosophy as well. It’s easier to teach well-rounded students. The best lesson plan in the world can’t help a child who’s struggling in all other areas of life.

  1.  What do you find most frustrating about teaching?

When this question strikes, you need to be careful with what you are going to relate here. Do not start sharing your problems here.

Example answer:

I get very frustrated with bright kids who become overconfident and don’t apply themselves. There’s nothing more dejecting than wasted potential. In my last institution, I worked with several children who weren’t trying. I implemented a research-based program to incorporate student ideas into the lesson plan. The addition of their thoughts created more complete engagement.

  1.  How do you like to build relationships with parents?

Being a teacher not only means having an understanding of the students. It also means to build a relationship with the ones who guide the students in the other half of their life, i.e, their parents. A good student builds up valuable bonds with the parents of their students.

Example answer:

I think it’s really important to get to know the important family members in the life of each student. This is why at the beginning of the school year I like to invite parents to my classroom and have the PTM (Parents-Teachers meet) with the families. I also send out a survey to get a better understanding of the student’s home life, needs, and family dynamics. Then, throughout the year, I always try to touch base with families to share positive updates and small wins about the student in addition to discussing any challenges the student might be facing academically or behaviorally. This helps build faith and trust within the family and the child.

  1.  Why should we hire to teach you here?

The example answer below is for the schools that want technology in the curriculum.

Example answer:

I’m well aware of the new technology initiative you have taken for your school. We were tasked with the same challenge at my last school. Thanks to my strong tech background, I was able to add online quizzes easily. The students loved them. This led to ease in the administrative processing.

  1.  How would you handle (specific subject situation/misconception)?

Depending upon the standard and subject, this question varies on how to be delivered.

Example answer:

Let us take an example of a question – 48.5+0.36=? One problem that could occur is that students won’t line everything up by the place value or decimal. They may line the six up right below the five and therefore get the wrong answer. I would teach them to line the decimals up and then put zeros as placeholders so they don’t get confused. I would also encourage them to draw a line from each addend down to their sum to make sure all the decimals are in line. I always remind students to read carefully and double-check their work to avoid common mistakes like this.

  1.  Why do we teach (Science, Math, English, etc.) in school?

This might be asked to you to know how much your subject matters to you.

Example answer:

I am applying for the Post of Science teacher in your esteemed school. I’ve always believed our future depends on regular people using science in day-to-day decisions. Science is at the core of a sense of wonder for our natural world. That wonder can drive students to improve their learning skills.

  1. How do you evaluate your students?

This is asked to check how you evaluate your students’ performance. Avoid using generic answers and tell them how you do it and how much it has helped you to improve your students.

Example answer:

I evaluate students with formal as well as informal methods, including quizzes and tests. I also grade in-class activities like reports, recitations, desk work, and group activities. One student showed a strong grasp of concepts during the in-class activities and cross-questioning but performed poorly during his tests. On working closely with him, I exhibited an undiagnosed vision problem. Finally, he got corrective lenses and his test scores rose to match his in-class comprehension.

  1. What questions do you have for me/us?

Now, this can be one of the last questions that you might be asked. But most of the people get tricked by this one. You don’t just ask “When can I expect to hear something from you?”. Instead, lay an open-end question for them.

Example answer:

Try one of the following to hit an Ace in the conversation:

  • What qualities make someone successful here?
  • What drew you to [name of the school]?
  • What are you most excited to work on/accomplish at [name of the school] right now?
  • What do you wish you knew about [role]/[name of the school] when you first started?

If you do have a question about the next steps, make it your final ask after you’ve posed others.

About the article

The teachers of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and the teachers are the bridge that connects a child with their success. It is a fact that being a teacher is not an easy task. The same goes with the clearing of the teaching interview. In this article, we have discussed some common questions that are asked in the teaching interviews. So, be prepared with these when it’s your turn to appear for an interview.

Jack Marque

Digital Marketer with over 15 years of experience. Certified Digital Marketer and Educator by Google, HubSpot, and many other companies. An ex-employee @uber and @zomato

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