Teaching belongs to most popular career choices all around the world, and it should not surprise us. Working with children, teaching them vital skills such as reading, writing, or arithmetic; or with adults, helping them to reach their career goals, or get to the university of their choice, is an incredibly rewarding role.
Many people are attracted to teaching, and luckily there are also many job openings for teachers. But it doesn’t mean that you will automatically succeed in your interview. On the contrary. Interview processes have become more sophisticated over the recent years. You will often face many situational questions, such as how would you address this or that situation in a classroom. These are not easy to answer, especially if you lack previous experience with teaching.
Answers to all teacher interview questions
What’s more, you may interview in front of a small panel, consisting of school principal, one of their assistants, couple of veteran teachers, and sometimes even a parents of one of the children (for example a parent of a child with special needs, who’s representing this particular group of students).
But do not worry. We put this website together years ago, to help teachers face the challenges in their job interviews. In late 2021 we redesigned it completely (this process is still going on), added new interview questions and more sample answers to each question, to make sure that the content reflects the reality of the interviews in 2021, and beyond. You should find here everything you need to get ready for the interviews, and pass it with flying colors. Below the picture you will find the list of questions. Enjoy!
Top 40 teacher interview questions and answers
Interviewers will try to understand your skills, attitude to teaching, your knowledge of teaching methods, your motivation to do the job, and a few other things while talking to you in an interview. A mix of personal, situational (behavioral) and technical questions will help them to get a good grasp of your abilities and personality. Let’s have a look of questions you may typically face.
Clicking the question will open a separate article with sample answers, and an in-detail analysis of the interview question. We keep adding in-detail articles to more questions on the list every week, so stay tuned if you are looking for a particular article that’s not available at the moment. Thank you!
- Tell us something about yourself.
- Why do you want to be a teacher?
- Why did you decide to become a teacher?
- Can you tell us more about your experience with teaching?
- Why elementary (secondary, high school, special) education?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- What do you think characterize a good teacher?
- Why do you want to teach at this school, and not somewhere else?
- Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? Any idea on addressing them?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?
- How would you describe your teaching style?
- How would you approach the students of the first class, on their first day at school? What would you say?
- What inspired you to become a teacher?
- Why do you want to work for our school district in particular?
- How do you assess student progress?
- What teaching methods do you prefer and why?
- How would you handle a student who is constantly disruptive and defiant?
- Do you think that all students should be treated equally, or that there should be an individual approach to every student, in accordance with their learning abilities and potential?
- Imagine that father of one of your students complained about something which was untrue. How would you react?
- Why should we hire you, and not one of the other job applicants?
- A parent called you because they were worried about their child’s low grades. What would you say to them?
- What strengths do you bring to the classroom?
- How would you handle a conflict between two students?
- What do you consider to be the toughest aspect of this job?
- How do you support literacy for all students including English language learners?
- How do you keep students engaged and motivated?
- If you teach a lesson and your students don’t seem to be “getting it,” what do you do?
- What are your expectations for the students?
- What do you expect from the administrators and from the principal?
- How do you include parents and guardians in their child’s education?
- How do you feel about having children with special needs in your classroom?
- Why do you want to work with children?
- How do you go about teaching something that is not your strength?
- What is your teaching philosophy?
- How do you determine each individual child’s potential?
- What have you learned from your teaching experiences?
- How do you use technology in the classroom?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Describe your classroom management style.
- How do you connect your lessons to the real world?
- How do you motivate your students?
- What are your hobbies?
- Do you have any questions?
* You can also download the list of questions in a simple, one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
Right attitude and motivation
Success or failure in a teaching job interview does not depend only on your answers to tricky interview questions. You will have to show right attitude to teaching, motivation to do the job, and enthusiasm for both your teaching career, and the particular school (or other educational institution) where you want to work.
Try to show them what they will gain if they hire you (you can help them improve the reputation of the school, you can bring new ideas onboard, or you can simply try your best to be a good role model for your students). Show them that you care, that you consider this job your personal mission, that you do not teach only to earn money for doing so, and be able to enjoy your life outside of work. Questions you ask the principal while interviewing for teaching job can also make the difference, because at the end of the day everyone prefers talking to listening…
This is the attitude they seek in every single interview. Keep in on your mind when thinking about your interview answers and preparing for meeting with the school principal.
Do your homework – research about the school
A thorough research will help you in many ways. It will help you find good answers to particular interview questions (questions that relate to the educational institution, and the reasons why you chose them instead of some other place of work), to calm down before your interview (since it is always easier to feel relaxed in an interview once we are familiar with the place and the people), and to come up with a good question, once you get an opportunity to ask them something. You can focus on the following areas in your research (use Google, social networks, local news, and your connections while researching about them):
- The vision and goals of the educational institution.
- School principal, and their career, any major achievements of their career.
- Things that make the school a unique place to study at, and to teach at, simply the reasons why students (and teachers) should prefer it to other educational institutions (if there is any such reason).
- Problems and challenges they face at school (with discipline, bullying, high dropout rate, anything else).
- History of the school, at least briefly.
- The most notable achievements of the students (and teachers) in recent years.
- Study programs they offer, and approach to special education.
Luck favors the prepared mind
Learn to show the right attitude in an interview, do your homework (research), and prepare for the most common teacher interview questions with the help of our sample answers. The more time you spend preparing for your meeting with the interviewing panel, the better your chances of walking away with a new employment agreement will be. Law of action and reaction cannot be broken…
And if you would like to do something extra, checking information that’s not available to everyone, have a look at my eBook, the Teacher Interview Guide. Great answers to 28 most common interview questions for teachers, winning interview strategies, and basically everything you need to know to ace this interview with ease, will help you stand out and deliver when it matters the most.
* We are currently working on an updated version of the eBook, but even reading the current one can make all the difference between success and failure in your interview. Thank you for checking it out, and good luck in your interviews!