Learn how to ace your teacher interview


Teacher and a pupilWhat questions should you expect in your teaching interview? How to make the best possible impression on the hiring committee? And what decides the winner at the end?

Simply, how to prepare for this challenging experience, and walk away with a coveted job contract? We will try to answer the question on our website that specializes only in teaching interviews.

Written by Glen Hughins, Consultant at Educational Recruitment Agency Meridian and a Professional Interview Coach.

Personal, behavioral, and technical questions

Interviewers will try to assess your knowledge, motivation, and your readiness for a job with a set of personal, behavioral and technical questions. You will find them in the list below.

Clicking a question will direct you to a separate page, where we analyze the question, and offer sample answers. However, I suggest you to firstly read this page to the end, in order to understand all nuances of teaching interviews.
It’s better to start practicing your answers having that knowledge….

  • Why do you want to become a teacher?
  • Why elementary (secondary, high school, special) education? What do you want to accomplish on this specific position?
  • Please tell us more about your experience with teaching.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
  • What do you think characterize a good teacher?
  • Why do you want to teach here, and not somewhere else?
  • Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? How would you solve the problems?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What value can you bring to our team?
  • How would you approach the students of the first class, on their first day at school? What would you say?
  • How do you measure student performance in your classroom?
  • What teaching methods do you prefer and why?
  • What would you do if a student was complaining about an assignment you’d given?
  • Do you think that all the students should be treated equally, or that there should be an individual approach to every student, in accordance with their abilities and potential?
  • Imagine that father of one of your students complained about something which was untrue. How would you react?
  • A parent calls you because they are worried about their child’s low grades. What would you say to the parent?
  • What actions would you take after such a call?
  • How would you handle conflicts between students?
  • What do you consider to be the toughest aspect of this job?
  • If you teach a lesson and your students don’t seem to be “getting it,” what do you do?
  • How would you win a heart of your students?
  • What are your expectations for the students?
  • What do you expect from the administrators and from the principal?
  • How do you plan to include parents in their child’s classroom?
  • How do you feel about having children with special needs in your classroom?
  • How do you go about teaching something that is not your strength?
  • What kind of relationship do you want to foster with your students?
  • How do you determine each individual child’s potential?
  • Do you think computers belong to classroom?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Do you have any questions?


Teacher succeeded and got a jobRight attitude and motivation

Success or failure does not depend only on your answers to interview questions. You need to show right attitude to teaching, motivation to do the job well, and enthusiasm for both the teaching career, and the particular school (educational institution).

Try to speak not only about what you want to gain as a teacher (salary, personal satisfaction, a job you always wanted to have), but also about things the educational institution will gain, if they start an employment relationship with you (helping them to improve their reputation, bringing new ideas on the board, or simply striving to play a positive role in a life of every single pupil you’d teach).

Show them that you care, that you consider your job a mission, that you do not teach only to earn money…


Pre-interview research

You should already know that people sitting in hiring committee are typically proud of their institution, or their school district. They know a lot about it, and they do expect the same from the job applicants. I suggest you to conduct a detailed research, focusing mainly on the following areas:

  • The vision and goals of the educational institution
  • School principal, and their career
  • Major achievements of the institution
  • Things that make the school a unique place to study, and to teach at, simply the reasons why students (and teachers) should prefer the school to other, competing institutions
  • Problems and challenges they face
  • History of the institution
  • The most notable achievements of the students (and teachers) in recent years
  • Study programs they offer, with all details

Good pre-interview research will help you in many ways. It will help you to find good answers to particular interview questions (that relate to the educational institution of your choice), to calm down before your interview (since it is always easier if we feel familiar with the place and the people), and to come up with a good question, once there’s an opportunity, or an obligation, to ask something.

When you know a lot about their school, you will always find something to start a discussion….

Luck favors the prepared mind

Learn to show the right attitude, do your homework, and inspire yourself with our answers to most common interview questions. You will find great analysis and sample answers to eight common teacher interview questions on the pages of this website (scroll up, or check them in the menu).

Taking an extra step

If you find the free information useful, you can consider having a look at my Teacher Interview Guide. The 51 pages long eBook will show you brilliant answers to twenty eight most common teacher interview questions, winning interview strategies for teachers, and much much more.

One way or another, I wish you good luck in your interview!

Glen Hughins,

Your Personal Interview Coach