- How to Ace Teacher Interviews
“The influence of teachers extends beyond the classroom, well into the future”
The role that a teacher plays in society goes beyond words and definitions. Over time, the challenges that teachers face have increased. With classes moving online and the rapid advancement in technology, teachers are bound to up-skill themselves and get better every day. The profession, teaching, is much like a calling.
Both my mom and dad are teachers and I have always been fascinated by the profession. The kind of commitment that teachers have is commendable. Educational institutions want teachers who understand that meaningful teaching is not restricted to the four walls of a classroom. If you feel that teaching is your calling and want to crack teacher interviews, here’s a guide that will help you in all aspects. With teacher interview questions and answers, what interviewers look for in a teacher, tips on how to crack interviews, and more, this article will prove to be super helpful.
Top 20 Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself
This is the most common question that is asked in every other interview and not just during the interview for teachers. Needless to say, it is important to prepare for this question. Quite often what happens is that people take this question lightly and don’t prepare for it enough and spend a lot of time on the subject matter.
How to answer: Study the job role and job description thoroughly and incorporate the skills that they have mentioned as mandatory while you describe your character. For instance, you can mention that you are very compassionate and committed to efficiency when it comes to teaching. Give examples from past experiences and mention how you have handled conflicts in the classroom, the kind of feedback you have got from students, and likewise. Structure your answer in such a way that they understand that you are a good find.
2.Why did you choose teaching as a profession?
“why teach” or what are the traits in you that made you choose teaching is one question that you can expect in teacher interviews. This question is intended to understand whether you are really into the profession of teaching or not.
How to answer: You can start by saying how important the education sector is. Education is what builds a nation and its communities, well-read and well-educated citizens are what makes or breaks a country, etc. Then you can talk about the importance of teachers like how a teacher is the one who facilitates education and the selfless nature of the vocation. The kind of dedication and commitment that teachers put to impart knowledge is also commendable. You can also highlight the qualities that you possess that qualify you for the teaching profession.
3.What would your classes be like? Describe your teaching strategy
Different teachers have different teaching styles and with different styles, the rhythm of the classrooms change. The management wouldn’t want a class that’s chaotic and undisciplined.
How to answer: Frame your answer in such a way that it involves the best interest of all kinds of learners in mind. Co-operative and inquiry-based instruction is usually the best method. You can say that you use an intermix of multiple strategies so as to cater to all the students in the class. You can also add that your classrooms are a platform for two way interaction and not a monologue.
4.How would you connect with the parents/ How would you communicate with them?
This is yet another commonly asked teacher job interview question. A classroom is not restricted to four walls. To ensure effective learning, you have to be in touch with the parents. The institution will look for a teacher who can connect with the parents at regular intervals.
How to answer: With the advancement of technology, there are multiple ways to stay connected with parents. There are online teaching apps and communication apps that let teachers stay connected with students’ parents. You can also talk about Parent-teacher meetings and how you would ensure to build a strong community and establish rapport with them.
5.Give us two reasons why you would contact parents
Once the interviewer has asked about how you would connect with parents, another question can be about why you contact them.
How to answer: If you are an experienced teacher, you can draw examples from your experience and state why you have done it in the past. The best response, however, would be to say that you would call a parent not just when an issue pops up but also when their kid is doing good in class and when they show improvement. You have to add that a good teacher is regularly in contact with the parents, to check up on the students and whether the learning is effective.
6.How would you resolve classroom conflicts?
This is one of the most common interview questions for teachers. Classroom conflicts are bound to occur and the institution would want to know more about your conflict management and resolution skills. The intention of this question is to understand how well you can handle adverse situations.
How to answer: Start by saying that as a teacher, you understand that classrooms are not always going to be daisies and petunias, that is, conflicts are bound to happen and that it is a part of teaching or any other job for that matter. Set the tone in such a way that you describe yourself as a calm and composed person during adverse situations. Tell them that you would study the issue, look into both sides, and come up with a solution that favors the situation.
7.Each child is different, how would you cater to them?
Yet another important one that always makes it to the list of teacher job interview questions. The management wants maximum efficiency and wants the learning to be effective. To ensure that, they need a teacher who can cater to students of all kinds.
How to answer: Start by setting the tone right. Tell them how important it is to understand that each student is different. Much like your answer about teaching strategy, take across the message that you use a mix of methods to teach. Collecting feedback from your class is one method to ensure that your students understand you. One on one interactions at least once in a month will help you get the pulse of each student and from there, you can make learning effective easily.
8.What’s your biggest weakness as a teacher?
When it comes to interview questions for teachers’ jobs, this is one that cannot be avoided. It is common for the institutions to look for what their teachers lack and it is also a way of knowing whether you are ready to improve yourself.
How to answer: Do not say that you don’t have any weaknesses but play to your strengths here. As humans, it’s okay to have faults, but let them know that you are ready to learn and grow. As teachers here are a few weaknesses that are actually strengths:
- Relying on routine
- Ensuring that every single child understands the lesson
- Too much empathy and compassion
That’s how you play to your strengths. Having said this, you can be honest and tell them any weaknesses you have but ensure to let them know that you work on bettering yourself every day. Now, towards the end of the article, when we discuss about what interviewers look for in a teacher you will see that compassion and empathy tops the list.
9.Describe your classroom management skills
In the list of most common interview questions for teachers, classroom management has an important place. Classroom management is one of the key skills that teachers should have and the management would want to know more about it.
How to answer: Classroom management is a big area with multiple layers to it. We have discussed in detail about classroom management in one of our previous blogs. You will get a clear idea of what to answer when you read that blog.
10.What kind of teachers do you prefer to work with?
This question is intended to understand whether you are a team player or not. In our blog detailing the teaching skills required for a teacher, we had discussed the importance of teamwork. Teachers need to work in close quarters with other teachers to develop plans and strategies.
How to answer: Tell them that you are a team worker and you are comfortable around people with different backgrounds and perspectives. Teachers who challenge you, ones who push you to become a better version of yourself.
11.Why do you want to work for this school/educational institution?
This is the most common interview question for everyone let alone teachers. This helps the interviewers to understand how much prepared you are, how much you have studied about the organization, and helps them decide whether you are a good fit.
How to answer: to answer this question in the most effective manner possible, learn everything you can about the organization. If that seems tiring or if you don’t have the time, study their values and mission and tell them that it aligns with your goals and what you have in mind for your future. When the values of the organization do not match with your set of beliefs and values, neither you nor the organization would be satisfied with each other.
12.How would you incorporate technology into your classroom?
With online teaching and virtual classrooms on the rise, the interviewers would want to know about how comfortable you are around technology. There are countless apps in the market that make teacher’s life easier.
How to answer: Acknowledge that technology has become an important part of our lives. If you know your way around technology, talk more about it, if not, tell them how you have always wanted to learn more about it and how you are working on it already. Read about different applications and software that are helping teachers before you show up for the interview.
13.Tell us about one moment that you can’t forget as a teacher
Most interviewers ask this question to understand how much experience you have and how composed you are as a teacher. If answered properly, this question can act as a platform for you to shine.
How to answer: start with how many years of experience you have. If you are new, just say that within the short span of time, there are countless things that have made you love your job more. You can take inspiration from your experiences, and if there’s no such moment, you can explain why you chose to be a teacher, to begin with.
14.What are your hobbies and interests?
One of the most common interview questions for a teacher job is hobbies and interests. This helps the interviewer to get a wider perspective about the person outside of the subject matter knowledge.
How to answer: This is a personal question. You don’t have to make anything up. Share what your hobbies are. But make sure to be prepared and don’t blabber what you think might add weight to the resume.
15.How would another teacher describe you?
By asking this question, the interviewer sets forth to understand what type of colleague you are and how well you gel with other teachers in the institution. The kind of rapport you establish with your colleagues will also be evaluated through your answer to this question.
How to answer: This is another chance for you to communicate your best qualities to the interviewers. Tell them that your colleagues describe you as a team player and as a helpful colleague. You can talk about how positive you are and how you work with other teachers to build strategies. Again, this is a personal answer so you can add what you feel is the best.
16.How do you assess your students?
Most interviewers ask this question to get a better understanding of what kind of teacher you are. Evaluating students and assessing their performance is one of the major parts of being a teacher.
How to answer: You can start by saying that you value efforts and acknowledge improvement. Again, it is important to let the interviewers know that you understand how every kid is different and you take that into consideration while assessing them. Online teaching platforms have automated grading features that makes the life of teachers easier.
17.What changes would you bring in the education sector?
This question is intended to understand your farsightedness and your knowledge about the industry.
How to answer: Education is an ever-developing and ever-evolving sector. You cannot stick to steadfast, conventional methods, and hope that everything will fall in place. There’s no point in talking larva language to butterflies. You have to change according to the situation and by incorporating technology, education has developed a lot. For instance, you can say that you would let children study what they are interested in so that they can follow the career path of their choice.
18.Who is an ideal teacher according to you?
This question aims to understand your perspective about teaching and your values when it comes to teaching.
How to answer: If you have a teacher who you look up to, start by stating them as an example. Highlight the qualities that you like in them and why you look up to them. You can also say that an ideal teacher is one who never stops learning and understands that a classroom is an ecosystem with various kinds of people and countless possibilities in front of them.
19.What according to you is discipline? How do you ensure discipline in your classroom?
A disciplined classroom often paves way to effective learning and as a teacher, it is important to impart a lot more than textbook knowledge to your students. This question is intended to understand the kind of values that you would inculcate in your students.
How to answer: Discipline comes with respect. When students respect the teacher, their classmates, and themselves, they start becoming more disciplined about life. Being strict and harsh with students is not the only way or rather not the right way to bring in discipline. Open conversations and understanding can bring in discipline.
20.What makes you the best candidate?
Why we should choose you over the other candidates is a common interview question.
How to answer: Re-emphasize your skills and how they make you a good teacher. Tell them that you are someone who stands by what you believe and that even if they find someone else with the same set of skills, genuineness and your set of values are a rare find.
Now that you have a clear understanding about the teacher interview questions, without further ado, let’s learn more about what interviewers look for in a teacher:
1.Active and Positive Personality
Interviewers want their teachers to be proactive, whether it is coaching centers, schools, universities, or any other Educational institutions for that matter. Regardless of where you are going to teach, interviewers want their teachers to be active and positive. As it is, it is hard to gain the attention of students and engage with them. The last thing you want is to see them fall asleep because you aren’t active enough. Any job for that matter looks for a candidate who is active and enthusiastic. Positive personality helps to keep the classroom in control and to establish rapport with your students.
Teaching is largely a two-way communication. The teacher has to connect with the students in order to make learning effective. They also have to work in close quarters with other teachers to make lesson plans and develop teaching strategies. Interviewers look for strong communication and interpersonal skills in a teacher. If you feel like you lack these skills, make sure to work on them before you attend the interview. Also, read our previous blog to get a better understanding of how you can develop these skills, We have discussed in detail about the teaching skills that a good teacher needs in it, you can read it here.
3.Compassion and Empathy
More often than not teachers have to put themselves in the students’ shoes to understand and analyze the lessons. It is of paramount importance for teachers to be compassionate and this is exactly what interviewers look for while recruiting. If a teacher does not understand her students, the whole essence of teaching is lost. Along with intelligence and subject knowledge, empathy, compassion and an array of other traits make a teacher stand out from the crowd and increases your chance of getting selected.
4.Willingness to Learn
We cannot stress enough on this. Teaching and learning go hand in hand. A teacher must be willing to learn and unlearn and grow in the process of doing so. Interviewers don’t want teachers who are too rigid and not ready to adapt. As discussed, the education sector is evolving every day and it is important for teachers to up-skill themselves. If we take the current situation into consideration, teachers have to know their way around technology. Similarly, when the situation demands and as one progresses in their career, they must be ready to learn new things.
We hope this article detailing teacher interview questions and answers helps you crack that interview. Please keep in mind that this article is meant to guide you along the way. It is always better to come up with your own, honest answers rather than mug up answers that you find on the web. Genuineness and honesty rank above knowledge and brilliance. Ace your “teacher interview” questions with ease and be the teacher that everyone looks up to.
If you have any interesting interview stories, let us know in the comments section. We are waiting to hear from you.
All the best and go crack all the interviews!
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