What are Interview Questions for Teachers?

A graphic of a school setting with overlaid text highlighting frequently asked interview questions for teachers
A graphic of a school setting with overlaid text highlighting frequently asked interview questions for teachers

Eskritor 2024-02-12

What are the Most Common Teacher Interview Questions and Answers?

Interviewing is an important step in the job search process. For teachers, an interview is especially critical because this position requires strong presentation and interpersonal skills. Thoughtful planning for your next teaching interview helps you feel confident and prepared to make a great impression.

Here are some templates on possible teaching interview questions with some helpful interview tips about teaching jobs:

1. Why do you want to teach?

When you’re asked this question during an interview, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your dedication to teaching. Every teacher has their reasons for entering this profession so feel free to provide personal anecdotes in your answer. The answer to this question is your mission statement in the job interview, so Be sure to explain your passion for teaching and any person or experience that inspired you to enter the profession.

Example Answer: “I became a teacher because of my high school algebra teacher’s impact on my life. Math doesn’t come naturally to me but she took the time not only to explain the material in a way that made sense to me but also helped me understand that every form of intelligence is equally valuable.”

2. What makes you a good fit for this school?

This question reveals whether you researched the school and district. Conducting thorough research about the student body, how the community views the school, test scores, and other aspects of the school district shows you’re serious about the position.

Example answer: “I am inspired by this school’s reputation for educational excellence and for encouraging creativity through its renowned arts program. I note there has been a dip in the AP test scores in recent years, so I am extremely motivated to introduce my teaching strategies. I feel confident that I could help students improve their scores and opportunities for success.”

3. What role does discipline play in teaching and what is your approach?

Teachers must handle issues with discipline from time to time and how discipline is addressed is an especially important aspect of elementary teaching interviews. Discipline is a vital part of controlling a classroom and depends on the age of the students, district policies, and teaching style. To answer this question, you should carefully describe your approach to discipline and how handling it correctly affects the classroom.

Example answer: “I believe that a teacher can’t be effective without the right disciplinary approach. I prefer to explain what’s expected of my students, so they’re set up for success. Without discipline, there won’t be respect, and keeping students accountable may be difficult. After researching several methods, I’ve found that a rewards system is the best method for avoiding bad behavior. While there are certainly still cases that need to be addressed with the school’s behavior program, using rewards enforces positive behavior and gives children a goal to strive for.”

4. Have your lesson plans been affected by standardized testing at the state levels?

Preparing for standardized testing is a crucial part of the teaching profession, especially for those in public education. When answering this question, you should describe how you incorporated different standards into your lesson plan but also how you developed a robust curriculum that wasn’t based on testing standards alone.

Example answer: “You must take standards into account when developing a curriculum. Successfully structuring a school year depends on effectively planning a curriculum and regularly assessing students. My approach is to develop lessons by building them around educational standards, but I don’t only teach with testing in mind. My lesson plans include more information than just what the students need to know for the standardized test. Regular assessments let me gauge how well my students understand the material, and I use my curriculum to make sure my students have acquired the skills that they’ll need for the test.”

5. Tell me about your teaching philosophy.

It is common for employers to inquire about your teaching methods and philosophies to determine if you’d be a good fit for their school. Many schools may have established ways of teaching and you must express your openness and confidence in your own cultivated opinions about the best ways to teach.

Example answer: “My teaching philosophy is to make my lesson plans relatable. In many cases, when a student can’t identify with the material, it’s harder for them to gather meaning. As a literature teacher, my goal is to help students empathize with characters, places, and concepts, especially when those things are different from their own life experiences. When I was a student, I found stories more memorable when my teachers helped me draw parallels. As a student teacher, I like to make comparisons between older texts, like Shakespeare, and modern events. For example, comparing events in the plays to events in pop culture. This not only helps students understand the stories but also helps them draw their own conclusions.”

teacher on a job interview

6. What characteristics do students want their school teachers to possess?

Every teacher has a unique way of teaching but different students thrive under different teaching styles so a teacher must be adaptable. A good answer explains what characteristics you think are most important for a teacher to possess, how these traits benefit students, and how you cultivate those qualities in yourself.

Example answer: “I believe that students want their teachers to be dedicated and approachable, and they can tell when a teacher doesn’t possess these qualities. If students know you’re working hard and want to support them as they learn, they’re more likely to succeed. For this reason, I keep an open-door policy at all times and strive to build rapport with each student.”

7. How would your past students, peers, or administrators describe you?

This question is for learning more about your personality and self-awareness. Employers may compare your answer to how your references described you. A thorough and thoughtful answer shows strong interpersonal skills and perceptiveness. Also, remember to use anecdotes and examples from your experience to support your answer.

Example answer: “My peers and students would describe me as encouraging, creative and inspiring. I love planning fun activities for my classroom and involving other classrooms as well. For example, last year I organized ‘Pi Day’ on March 14 for the whole six-grade class. I planned scavenger hunts, relay races, and trivia all based on math. It was great to see all the students work together, have fun and learn.”

8. What do you believe is the role of technology in the classroom?

Many teachers now incorporate technology into their lessons. Your answer should explain your thoughts on technology and how that translates to your teaching. Many teachers aim to use available technology without letting it take over the classroom.

Example answer: “I think that technology in the classroom can be a valuable tool in helping students learn. However, technology can also be distracting, so setting expectations for appropriately using tech is critical. Students should be able to use the technology for learning in addition to basic skills so I give them assignments that require advanced use of the technology to complete the work. For example, I may include formatting requirements with their writing assignments, so they’re progressively learning to format throughout the year. This allows the students to become more comfortable with different platforms and sets them up for success in their future workplace.”

9. What questions do you have for us?

This question is typically asked at the end of the interview and is a critical part of the interview. Asking thoughtful and researched questions shows your interest in the position and supports a memorable final impression. Come prepared for the interview with five to 10 questions and jot them down. Also, make a mental note of any new questions that arise throughout the interview.

Example questions: “How would you describe the culture of the school? What qualities do you look for in a candidate? Which are some of the school’s greatest achievements? What extracurricular activities are offered to students?”

Here are some other types of possible questions that hiring managers may ask:

    • What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
    • What qualities make a great teacher?
    • How have you worked with students who perform below grade level?
    • Describe the positives and negatives of your student-teaching experience.
    • What is your motivation for working in special education?

1. Research the school

Carefully review the websites for the school and its district to ensure you are able to speak to their mission, methods, and values. Doing so may also surface the pain points of the school so you include ways you might help address them. You should also research its social media presence and any available information on its active leadership.

2. Request informational interviews with school contacts

As a teacher, you may have contacts at the school you’re interviewing with from school or educational groups. If they’re willing, it may help to sit down with them to ask questions about the school and seek advice about how to approach the interview. You might also learn about whether you feel the school would be a good fit for you as well.

3. Prepare thoughtful interview questions

Doing so shows your passion for the position and your preparation for the interview. These questions also help you determine whether your core values align with those of the school’s administration. For example, you may want to consider asking about what kind of support you expect in terms of mentoring or training.

Employers look for teacher candidates who have a combination of strong academic credentials, teaching experience, classroom management skills, communication and collaboration skills, a passion for teaching, and flexibility and adaptability.

  • Education and Certification: Employers typically look for candidates who hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education or a related field and have a valid teaching certification. Depending on the state or country, specific requirements may vary.
  • Knowledge of the subject matter: Teachers should have a deep understanding of the subject they are teaching. Employers look for candidates who have a strong academic background in their subject area.
  • Teaching Experience: While teaching experience is not always a requirement, employers generally look for candidates who have experience working with students, whether it’s through student teaching or prior teaching experience.
  • Classroom Management Skills: Employers look for candidates who have strong classroom management skills, including the ability to maintain a safe and structured learning environment, manage behavior problems, and create positive relationships with students.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Teachers must have good communication and collaboration skills to work with students, parents, and colleagues effectively. Employers look for candidates who are able to communicate clearly and effectively, listen actively, and work well with others alongside problem-solving skills.
  • Passion for Teaching: Employers look for candidates who are passionate about teaching and genuinely care about their students’ success. They want teachers who are enthusiastic, creative, and committed to lifelong learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Share Post

AI Writer



Create AI generated content