Teachers have one of the most important jobs, they have to mold the young minds that become the future. As a teacher, you need to know how to answer an interview question so you can get the job at the school that will allow you to mold minds.
Here's a list of the ten most common interview questions for teachers.
Now, you know the questions, let's figure out how to answer them.
1. Why do you want to teach?
Though you may want to give a generic answer to this question like “I want to inspire the next president.” DON’T. Those answers don’t really say anything about you. Try talking about what influenced you to become a teacher, maybe share a story about the moment you knew you wanted to teach. THAT will impress your interviewer and guarantee they remember you after the interview.
When I was in high school, I was told that I needed to add more extra-curricular activities to get into a good college. Out of the available options, it seemed like tutoring was the best fit as I had the grades to do it. One of my first students was this shy kid who didn’t really talk much. I was tutoring him in math and one day when I was explaining quadratic functions to him, I could see that he wasn’t getting the material. I had previously noted that he liked to draw, so our next tutoring session, I took a paint by numbers coloring book with me. I explained quadratic equations using the book and I could see him understanding the material. I became a teacher to help other students like him those who didn’t learn in a traditional way.
2. Why do you want to work in our school?
This question is the teacher equivalent to “why do you want to work in our company?” and if you can’t answer either question, you really should rethink where you want to work. Try talking about your compatibility with the environment or the school district's values when you answer this question.
I am inspired by your schools focus on the arts. As an art teacher, I would like to be in a school where children’s creativity is given the chance and space to grow which is what you have in your school, and I want to be a part of it.
3. What is your teaching philosophy?
Everyone teaches in a different way. Some people prefer interactive teaching, while others are better teaching in the traditional way. Schools need to know that your teaching style will fit into their school structure, which is when they ask this question.
I believe that learning is a group effort which is why I like to involve the parents in their child’s education. For instance, I would teach the child a song that teaches them their times table and ask them to record a video of them singing the song with their parent/s or guardians. I believe in this way parents too can be involved in their child’s learning and can participate in their education.
4. How do you incorporate technology into your teaching?
Technology has become essential to teaching in this post-pandemic modern world. Schools need teachers that are familiar with all the advancements that have been made and are willing to incorporate it into their lessons.
Technology can be a great help in education, but it also can be very distracting. I like to incorporate a mixture of physical and online activities into my lesson plan so that my students are both mentally and physically engaged. One way is to give them time in class for online research and having them present their finds.
5. What do you find most frustrating about teaching?
Teaching can be frustrating. Questions that show you have the inner strength to deal with your frustrations or stress are very important for educators.
One of the things I find frustrating is when students refuse to apply themselves because they’ve been told they cannot by other teachers. I believe every student has the potential to do well and I want them to believe it too. I have found that positive encouragement and extra time often motivates the student but there have been times when that has failed as well.
6. How do you get through to a student who is not willing to learn?
This is a fairly common question, especially for experienced teachers. You need to know how to motivate all types of students and show that you understand different teaching methods.
In my previous workplace, I was teaching a student who wasn’t willing to come to class. I realized that detention was not the right answer, so I had a private chat with the student where I asked them why they were not turning up to class. They told me that they didn’t like public speaking and didn’t like my presentation in-class assignments. From that day, I began giving my students the option of doing a presentation or writing an essay for the in-class assessments and I found that a lot more students did better when they could write an essay rather than do a presentation.
7. How do you assess the progress of your students?
Your assessment strategy is a key selling point during the interview. Schools need to know that your assessment criteria are the same as theirs.
Most students need to continuously study in order to remember the material. While I understand that, I try to make learning more fun by giving students fun projects at the end of every unit by giving a creative exercise. These could be things like costume contests or songs or even mock trials. The important thing is that they really understand the material which is a key criterion. In addition, I give students standard tests as well once a month, so they are fully prepared for exams.
8. How do you deal with a parent challenging your teaching methods?
Parents can sometimes want to be involved in their child’s education. Teachers also need to know how to handle the parents and their ideas as well. It has also become an expectation that parents would be fully involved in their child's education.
As a teacher, I am very happy if a parent questions me regarding their child’s education. If a parent has questions about my teaching methods, I will happily schedule a meeting with them and the school principal in order to answer any questions that they might have.
9. What are your thoughts on disciplining students?
Children can misbehave or push boundaries. Schools need teachers who are willing to guide students but are also capable of being tough when it counts.
I have tried several disciplinary measures before, but I have found that the system that works best is the rewards system. The best-behaved student gets a small reward at the end of the month, and this becomes an example for the rest to follow.
10. What are you learning right now?
Continuous development is important. Even if you are not pursuing a course of study, you can share something about the book you are reading or even a hobby.
I have recently taken up knitting as a hobby. While many don’t see it as a valuable skill, I have found that knitting focuses the mind as it requires precision with every stitch and has given me techniques that I can use in my teaching to focus the attention of my students on the study material, particularly names and dates.