What are the most common teaching interview questions
This are questions you should expect in a teaching interview.
1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
It seems trite and like a softball question, but don’t let that fool you. If you don’t have a substantive answer, then why are you even applying? Schools want to know you’re dedicated to enriching the lives of students. Answer honestly and with anecdotes or examples that paint a clear picture of the journey that you took to become a teacher.
2. What is your teaching philosophy?
This question is tricky. Don’t answer with a cliché, generic response. In fact, your response is your teaching mission statement. It’s the answer to why you’re a teacher. It’s helpful if you write out your mission statement before the interview and practice reciting it. Discussing your teaching philosophy is a chance to show off why you’re passionate, what you want to accomplish, and how you are going to apply it in this new position, in a new classroom, at a new school.
3. Describe your classroom management structure.
If you’re a veteran teacher, discuss how you handled your classroom in the past. Give specific examples of things that worked the best and why. If you’re new, then explain what you learned as a student teacher and how you’ll map out a plan to run your first classroom. No matter how long you’ve been teaching, familiarize yourself with the school district’s philosophies on classroom management and discipline. Mention how you’ll incorporate their philosophy and stay true to your own. If you’re unable to find out much about the school’s policies beforehand, ask the interviewer to explain.
4. How do you incorporate social-emotional learning in your lessons?
Many states and districts have added requirements for social-emotional learning into their standards. Explain how you will not only tend to the academic needs of your students but tie in lessons that satisfy the core SEL competencies. Describe how you will help students build their self- and social-awareness skills, how you will support them in building relationships, and how you will give them the skills to make responsible decisions.
5. How do you use technology in the classroom?
Technology is at the forefront of education, so your interview is the time to show off that you’re savvy. Talk about why you’re excited to use technology with students. Explain how using SMART Boards improved your students’ test scores or describe the incredible website your last class created together. And, it’s great to throw in that you wear a Fitbit or that you control all the electronics in your house with your iPad. Innovative thinking around technology is something your administration is looking for—and so are your students.
6. How do you connect your lessons to the real world?
Incorporating real-world connections into lesson plans helps students understand why what they’re learning is useful beyond the classroom. Explain how you will facilitate this kind of authentic learning for your students. Will you invite guest speakers? Use primary source documents? Will you tie in current affairs when possible? Show that your methods extend beyond the theoretical.
7. How will you encourage parents to support their children’s education ?
The home-school connection is imperative yet tough to maintain. Administrators lean on teachers to keep open lines of communication with parents. They even see you as a “publicist” for the school, reinforcing the culture, strengths, and values of the school to parents. So, answer this question with concrete ideas. Share how parents will volunteer in your classroom and how you’ll maintain regular contact, providing updates on both positive and negative events. It’s great to also share your plan for providing resources to parents when students are struggling.
8. What are some methods you use to check for understanding as you’re teaching?
It’s one thing to prepare a high-quality lesson plan, but if students are not following along, what’s the use? Explain how your instruction will be responsive to students’ needs. Will you have students turn and talk while you listen in? Or implement exit slips summarizing what they’ve learned? Do you have a quick-check method, like thumbs-up/thumbs-down, to quickly scan for understanding?
9. How do you assess students’ progress?
Here’s your chance to preview your lesson plans and reveal your methods for keeping on top of students’ social, academic, and physical development. Explain the types of quizzes you give because you know that they’re most telling about students’ strengths and weaknesses. Give insight into how you use oral reports, group projects, and seat work to determine who’s struggling and who’s ahead. And, share how you implement open communication with your students to discover what they need to succeed.
10. Why do you want to teach at this school?
Research, research, and research more before your interview. Google everything you can about the school. Do they have a theater program? Are the students involved in the community? What type of culture does the principal promote? Use social media to see what the school proudly promoted most recently. Then, ask around. Use your network of colleagues to find out what (current and former) teachers loved and hated about it. The point of all this digging? You need to know if this school is a good fit. If it is a good fit, you’ll demonstrate how much you want the job by explaining how you would get involved with all the amazing school programs you’ve heard so much about!