Teaching Interview

During your teacher interview, you’ll need to do more than just give generic responses to the questions you’re asked. The best candidate will be able to explain how they are qualified for the job and why they would be a good fit for the school.

Make it personal.
Take the time to personalize your responses to interview questions. Include highlights from your background, skills and professional experience that are relevant to the job that you’re applying for. Focus on skills most relevant to the field. Here is a list of the teaching skills interviewers are most interested in. Of course, communication, organization, and critical thinking are high on the list of desired qualities.

Make a match.
Take a careful look at the job listing for each position you are applying to. In addition to emphasizing your skills that are relevant to teaching in general, you should hone in on the specific requirements that the employer has included in the listing. Take the time to match your qualifications to the job description. Make a list of the job requirements and a list of your experiences that match them.

Use your list as a guideline for responding to questions about your background.

Provide examples.

The interviewer will likely ask you behavioral interview questions, which require you to provide an example of a time when you did something. For example, an interviewer might say, “Tell me about a time you handled a behavioral issue with a student.” These kinds of questions require you to think of examples from past teaching experienced.

To answer these questions, describe the specific example you are thinking of. Explain the situation and what you did to either solve a problem or achieve success. Then, describe the result.

Even if the question is not a behavioral interview question, it is often helpful to provide a specific example. For instance, situational interview questions ask you to consider a possible future situation at work. An interviewer might ask, “How would you handle a parent who thinks you graded his child unfairly?” Although these are about future situations, you can still answer with an example from a past experience. It helps to create a list of anecdotes you can draw on, focusing on situations where your action has a clear, positive outcome.

Research the school.
Research the school district and the school where you will be working if you get hired. You’ll be able to find plenty of this information on the school district’s website. Also, if you have a connection to any teachers who work in the school, the district, or any parents whose attend the school, ask them for their insight into the job. The more familiar you are with the academics, extra-curricular activities, sports, student profiles, and the curriculum, the better equipped you’ll be to ask meaningful questions and provide nuanced answers to interview questions.

Be prepared for a panel interview.
When you interview for a teaching job, you may be expected to interview with a variety of different constituents.

You may be required to interview with a panel, which could include the school principal, administrative staff, other teachers, and parents. In some cases, you may need to an interview with a search committee that is charged with screening applicants before moving on to a formal interview for the job.

Teacher Interview Questions and Best Answers
Review this list of questions you might be asked during a teacher job interview, with examples of the best way to respond to each.

Questions About You as a Teacher
Share your enthusiasm for teaching, working with students, and examples of how you would teach your class. Be prepared to answer questions about why you are interested in the job, how you teach different types of learners within the same class, and how you handle challenges in the classroom.

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