Level of education, number of students in a classroom, and subject you teach are just some of the factors that limit your choice of a teaching style. School principal and other interviewers are aware of it.
In spite of that, they want to hear what teaching style you prefer to apply in your lessons, while trying to achieve great results with your students. What’s more, some schools prefer one teaching style only–their entire marketing and philosophy is based around it. And it is also the reason why students (or their parents) choose their school, instead of another one. Think Montessori, Waldorf, and similar concepts of education, which certainly have some pluses and attract parents with certain values and beliefs.
Similarly to many other interview questions, you should start with a short research. Check the website of the school and their marketing materials. Make sure that they do not promote a particular teaching style. If they do promote one, learn something about it and refer to it once they inquire about your favorite teaching style. Ensure them that you love it and see the benefits for the students. You can even point it out as one of the reasons why you apply for a job with them, instead of some other educational institution in the area.
If they don’t promote a particular teaching style, you can say whatever you want. As long as it makes sense of course, considering the subject you teach, target audience, and number of students in the classroom. You should be able to justify your choice. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include different teaching styles in my selection, as well as some unconventional answers. Below the list you will find some additional explanations and hints.
7 sample answers to “How would you describe your teaching style?” interview question
- In my experience, when we teach subjects like history and geography, the lecture style works the best. However, instead of just sitting and talking, and waiting for the students to make their notes, I try to make the lessons more interactive. If we talk about Latin America for example, their population and problems they face, I will pick a fitting documentary which depicts local reality and show it to the students. It makes the lesson more interesting for them, and often leads to an interesting discussion, which helps them develop their communication skills, and also helps with deeper understanding of the subject.
- My favorite teaching style is the activity method. I encourage students to ask questions, to think creatively, and to find the answers. In my opinion, it is much more effective than to simply give them the answers. Because once they learn in this way, they tend to remember the lesson better, and it also helps them to develop a questioning mind, and a curiosity about the world around us. Of course, it isn’t always possible to apply my favorite teaching style, and I am definitely ready to adapt it to the conditions in the classroom, as well as to the subject we cover.
- I’m 100% in for Montessori education. I started my own education in a Montessori kindergarten more than twenty years ago, and I am grateful to my parents who had made the decision. It really gave me an edge and helped me become the person I am today–still eager for knowledge, and still finding playfulness in life. I would love to work in a place that follows the method, and that’s the reason why I applied for a job with your elementary school.
- To be honest, I do not have a favorite teaching style at the moment. This is my first job application, and I am yet to learn what works best with the students. Of course, I know the theory. The lecturer, demonstrator, facilitator, and the delegator. I believe to understand all major teaching styles, though I still lack experience with their practical application in a real classroom. However, I am eager to talk about this with more experienced teachers, as well as experiment in the lessons, and hopefully find the teaching style that works the best with my students. It will become my favorite one, because the results of my students matter more than my personal preferences.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only tricky question you will face in your interview. You will face questions about conflicts with students, dealing with disciplinary issues, and other tricky situations you may face in the classroom. If you want to make sure you won’t answer such questions with embarrassing silence, have a look at the latest edition of our eBook, the Teacher Interview Guide. Premium answers to all questions you can possibly face will help you gain confidence, outclass your competitors, and get the job. Thank you for checking it out!
- In my opinion, individual approach is the key. I prefer to use a variety of teaching styles in my classes. Whether I lecture or coach really depends on the children and their learning abilities, as well as the subject we cover, and other circumstances, such as the number of students in the classroom. The goal is always to keep the engagement and motivation high, and to make sure that we progress with all students. In my last teaching job I achieved great results with action based and game based learning, but it doesn’t mean that I will stubbornly stick to it here. I can assure you that I am ready to apply different teaching styles in my lessons, in order to achieve the best possible results with the students.
- As a special education teacher, I can vouch for one teaching style only: personalized education. In my short experience I’ve already understood that each child with special needs is different and can progress at a different pace, and we teachers have to accept it, and adjust our teaching style accordingly. I find it fascinating that once we customize our teaching for each student’s strengths, needs, skills, and interests, we can achieve much better results. And that’s exactly what I hope to achieve at your school.
- Teaching in front of hundred people, I am often left with one option only–lecturing. In my opinion though, lecturing doesn’t have to be boring. On the contrary. Once we include examples from real life, interesting stories, or even a fitting joke in our narrative, we can maintain high attention and engagement. And even in a lecture we can ask a question here and there, just to make sure that the students feel involved in the lesson. I believe to have an ability to captivate my audience, and make sure that they stay present in the lesson.
Ensure the interviewers that you care the most about the results of your students
Each of us has their preferences, and lecturing is definitely the most convenient teaching style. However, great teachers do not decide according to their personal preferences, or level of convenience. They always do the best thing for the students.
And that’s exactly the attitude you should try to show in your interview. Regardless of the teaching style you promote, you should explain the interviewers how using it in the classroom helps you to achieve great results with your students. Such results are your first priority, and justify your choices.
Individual approach is always a good answer
If you are not sure what to say, or lack experience, you can always vouch for an individual approach. Tell the principal that you will adjust your teaching style according to the subject covered, your target audience, and the actual situation in the classroom.
In reality, you may not have such a luxury. You will follow certain lesson plans and won’t have a time to experiment much with a variety of teaching styles, or with anything else for that matter. While interviewing for a job, however, you can let your imagination roam a bit, and talk about individual approach to each classroom or even to each lesson, and each student. Most interviewers will love such an attitude, though deep inside they know it isn’t really possible to teach in this way…
Ready to answer the question about your teaching style? I hope so! Do not forget to check also sample answers to other tricky teacher interview questions: