Written by Robyn Shulman
Prepare for Teacher Interview Questions Now:
Landing your first teaching interview is a great accomplishment and you probably have many teacher interview questions in mind. The interview process is the next step toward getting hired, and this time can determine whether you are the right fit for the school, and if the school is the right fit for you.
Common Teacher Interview Questions
1. I have my first teaching interview next week and I am nervous. How can I prepare?
First, remember that it is natural to be nervous. Before you go into the interview, take a deep breath, put on your best smile and be courteous to everyone when you walk in the building. The best way to calm your nerves is to go into the interview prepared-so there won’t be any surprises. Ask about the type of interview planned (one on one, meeting with the team, presenting a lesson, etc.). Do as much research as possible about the school’s needs (test scores, support staff needs, culture) and be prepared to show how you can support and enhance these particular challenges. Keep in mind that you cannot fully script for teacher interview questions, you can only plan. During the interview, think about your answers carefully, keep them brief and provide specific examples to support your responses. Your answers should be greatly student-centered and supportive of the targeted goals of the school. Remember, teacher interview questions and answers must be specific to the school.
2. I submitted various resumes for local school districts, however, I have never been called in for one interview. Does the more time that goes by without a full-time teaching position affect my chances of ever obtaining a job in the classroom? Any advice on how to land an interview this school year?
First, the more time that goes by does not mean you hurt your chances for obtaining an interview. However, to better your chances of landing an interview, it is best to try and continue working with kids-even if you have to volunteer, tutor or sub. This way, it will show the interviewer that you are dedicated to the field, making an effort to stay engaged and develop experience-regardless of actually working in a classroom.
Also, when you apply directly on the school district’s site, it can be challenging to get a response because you can fall into a large pool of candidates. You can jump start your search by researching all of the local schools in your area to see where you can fill a vacancy based on your unique skills and certifications. Email the principal of each school with a tailored introduction, a copy of your resume and a link to your portfolio. Also, be sure to make the subject line of the email catch the principal’s eye, for example: “I think I would be an excellent addition to your school because I am bilingual and can assist your growing diverse student body.” Most importantly, stay positive and don’t get discouraged! Teachers leave for various reasons throughout the school year-don’t be afraid to email in ‘off-season’ hiring months-sometimes this can be all it takes.
3. I have an interview next week with a principal. What are some of the most common teacher interview questions I can prepare for now?
Here are some topics/questions that come up in most one on one interviews with a principal:
–Tell me about yourself.
–Why did you go into teaching?
-What sets you apart from other candidates?
-How would you describe the difference between a summative and formative assessment? Is one more important than the other? Why or why not?
-Tell me about your classroom management style-how do you deal with challenging behavior from students?
-What are your parent communication strategies?
-How do you feel about collaboration with other teachers?
-Take me through a brief series of steps in your lesson planning.
-What do you think is the biggest challenge for first year teachers? How would you handle your new challenges?
Remember to think, listen, tell stories and enjoy your interview. Don’t forget to ask questions during or at the end of the interview. Make sure your answers are supported by specific examples.
4. How do I know when to ask questions? It is a good idea to ask questions when the time is right; you will be able to sense if this is during the interview or at the end. Have your most important questions ready before the interview; it shows the interviewers that you have done your homework. Avoid asking questions about salary, days off or vacation. Also note that teacher interview questions 2015, can be vastly different from the previous years.
The following are a few sample questions:
-What kind of professional development opportunities does the school/district offer?
-Is there a mentoring program for new teachers?
-How is the technology program integrated into the curriculum?
By grasping ideas about the few teacher interview questions above, you can make the process less stressful. You have the greatest advantage in the world as a teacher. You have the ability to contribute to the future, to better society, and most importantly, affect the lives of youth in the most unparalleled ways.
You can find more information about teacher interview questions on this site and other teaching certifications (such as ESL/Bilingual). Connected Principals is also a fantastic site to read about teacher interview questions.
For job listings (including roles for new graduates and educators looking for different areas of interest, be sure to visit Atkins Careers).
If you are interested in quick-read, I highly recommend Ace Your Teacher Interview: 149 Fantastic Answers to Tough Interview Questions. I read the entire book and it is filled with practical, go-to information that you may have not considered (nor were taught). Ace Your Teacher Interview: 149 Fantastic Answers to Tough Interview Questions is an essential book if you are exploring optimal strategies for the teacher interview process. The book will provide you with key suggestions that are useful prior, during and after a teaching interview. You can consider this read as an all-in-one sourcebook, filled with personal stories, statistics and advice from educators around the world.
What other teacher interview questions do you have? Also, keep in mind that elementary teacher interview questions will be different than high school teacher interview questions. Be sure to research the differences. You can find many articles and books that provide sample teacher interview questions and answers.