All teachers attest to the interview being crucial in landing a job. It doesn’t matter if you’re new or have years of experience. A negative impression during the interview could cost you the job. The good news is that with some preparation, you could enter the appointment prepared for anything they throw at you.
When answering these questions, interviewers are looking into how you respond along with the answers. They want to see someone professional and genuine at the same time. You have to tailor your words and fit your experiences and views. Knowing how to direct your answer in this scenario will help you succeed. Let’s look at the popular interview questions for teachers:
1. Describe to me a problem you encountered and how you went about solving that problem?
This question aims to discover how you deal with problems and also reveals a bit about your history. Schools need to know that you can rely on others when doing the job. Not only that, but they are also looking at how you are open to helping others within the institution. Knowing that means they’ll be confident in hiring you as you can work with anyone.
Describing a situation that didn’t go as expected shows that you understand how to deal with these scenarios. It reveals that you are not a stranger to conflict and can find the right solutions. It’s best to find a story that fits the teacher’s scenario. It could be one from your experience or something that happened in school.
2. Do you have any questions to ask?
This question will come up at any time during the interview. Some experience it at the start while others at the end. The most common answer is no, and that’s fine, but there is a way you can answer this to create a good impression. Don’t ask anything about the job yet, as you’ll get to ask those questions later.
Preparation is vital here. You may have already researched the school and its goals before the interview. Take notes on things you may need clarification on or are interested in. Asking a question related to this shows that you have a genuine interest and you’re good at retaining information.
3. How do you conduct your typical lesson?
When an interviewer asks you this, they aren’t looking at how much you know. They want to see if you can conduct an engaging class. This answer requires preparation, so it would be good to have a lesson from previous experience ready. If not, create a plan at home to prepare for this if they ask.
You don’t have to roleplay about being a teacher here. Talk to the interviewer and tell them how you would go about the lesson from start to finish. Explain to them why you did it that way and let the interviewer ask any follow-up questions if they have any. Answering this question shows you have what it takes to conduct a lesson and think about the job.
4. Talk to me about a time when something unexpected occurred and how you dealt with it.
Teachers should be adaptive and versatile. Not all lessons go as planned, and you may encounter meetings, emergencies, school events, and more. The interviewers want to see how well you deal with unexpected events or conflicts as they will likely happen on the job.
It’s good to tell a story here that shows you were able to stay calm during a change in expectations. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a classroom setting, but telling a story in a similar environment can help. For example, you can talk about working in a large group or being in an activity where you’re handling many people.
It’s good to talk about a solution you came up with and how you implemented it. Also, talk about how the people responded when you provided a solution. Having this story ready if the interviewer asks will save you from trouble.
5. Why do you want to be a teacher?
Schools want to know who you are and what you bring to the table. They want to see the passion that ignited you into this path to becoming a teacher. There are many good answers here, from pursuing knowledge to connecting with children and enjoying teaching.
Remember that it’s not about what you like about the job but rather who you are and what this means to be a teacher. You can also talk about stories of inspiration and how being a teacher has been a positive influence for your life.
For example, a person may say that they’ve always loved and had a passion for teaching. It shows that you are dedicated and will commit the hours needed to bring a positive experience to your students.
6. What are you learning right now?
This question is more of a test to check if you’re still learning as an educator. A teacher needs to continue to hone their craft and expand their knowledge. The interviewer may ask this question in terms of your interests or hobbies. The goal here is to show that your interests also develop your personal and professional skills.
It does not matter what you are taking, as long as it is something that shows you’re growing. It can be about reading books, practicing skills, or taking a class. The interviewer is looking for the mindset, not the subject you’re learning.
7. How do you think diversity and inclusion apply in the classroom?
It’s a standard for schools to ask about these policies and initiatives. The world has shaped to become something that always includes this in the conversation, and school is no different. Educators must be open to the idea of these concepts and must be willing to stir conversations if necessary. It’s a way for them to begin building the foundation against issues like racism and inequality.
While anti-hate views are valuable in work, you should always treat these questions with some restraint. Many educational facilities do not have the means yet to be open to more progressive beliefs.
8. What is your teaching philosophy?
This question isn’t about discovering your philosophical role model or lifestyle mantra. It’s about telling the interviewer what you believe is crucial as a facilitator for learning. Answer in a way that tells them what you want to accomplish. Ultimately, they want to see you bring something positive to the school.
9. How do you address trauma in the classroom?
Questions like these can be tough to answer because there are many ways to approach them. Take it as an opportunity to show how you understand trauma and how you could deal with it. Remember that trauma affects the students and the people around them. As long as you know what it is and how to deal with it, you’ll be safe.
10. How do you handle difficult students?
Problem students are there no matter where you teach. It can be challenging to deal with them while working with another challenge. As a teacher, they want to know if you’re up to the task of dealing with a problematic or disruptive student.
Students often behave this way because of outside factors or trouble with the current content. You find that these same people have no problem learning when it’s something that engages them. One of the ways you can answer this is to find a center point where the student’s strengths can shine. Learning is more of a collaborative effort, and you have to find solutions that work for both sides.
The more details you can put into your answer, the better. For example, you can first talk to the students privately and see how you can help. You can figure out the cause of the behavior and research a workaround.
11. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Interviewers ask this because longevity is a concern. Many teachers are leaving their posts in hopes of finding greener pastures. Schools want those who can stay for the foreseeable future. It’s best to avoid answering in a way that implies you might be left. You can say that you plan to be the best teacher and see what opportunities spring up. If you’re planning on finding a higher position within the education sector, that can also be a part of your answer.
The Secret is Preparation
Knowing the possible teacher interview questions and preparing answers is essential to success. They may not come up, but you’ll be thankful you have something ready when they come up. Remember that you can always put a personal spin on the questions. As long as you’re showcasing your value, you’ll be in a position to land the job.