Getting familiar with a slew of different teacher interview questions is important to your success in the actual teaching interview. Many teacher interview questions circle various buzz words and popular trends in education. Do your research on these trends, or else accidentally give a wrong answer. If teaching is what you want to do, we have to get you covered with the most frequently asked questions to help you land your dream job.
Common Teacher Interview Questions and Topics
Truthfully, there are no hard and fast teaching interview questions. However, many common teacher interview questions seem to be asked in different variations. Every school I have taught at and every interview I have been in all have similar questions, and there are almost always specific ways a school district wants you to answer.
1. What is Your Teaching Style?
My teaching style is one of a coach, a facilitator, and a questioner. Students succeed in my classes because they have autonomy in their learning to provide essential guidance and instruction. Throughout my teaching career, I have learned that when I provide the support students need to succeed and keep students involved in the learning and teaching process, higher levels of learning occur.
2. What Classroom Management Techniques Do You Use?
I manage behavior in my classroom by having clear rules and expectations for my students and then providing consistency for those rules and expectations. Being transparent and consistent in any grade level from elementary school through high school age students is imperative to have a learning environment conducive to learning.
3. What is Your Teaching Philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is may be different from your teaching philosophy. Your teaching philosophy defines you and your passion for this career field. Likely, in your time in college, you created a teaching philosophy, now is the time to expand on that or go back and rethink it entirely. My philosophy circles around and expands on the idea that all students can learn.
Lastly, make sure you know the school’s philosophy and mission statements for which you are interviewing! A short version of your teaching philosophy is a great section to add to your teaching resume or cover letter. It doesn’t hurt to also have a mission statement present on these documents.
4. Why Did You Become a Teacher?
Among all the teaching interview questions, this one is probably the most common question. Many job interviews will consist of a version of this question because the person potentially hiring you wants to know that there is intrinsic value to you with this job. Personally, teaching is deeply rooted in my family, and I feel called to the position. Don’t be afraid to get more personal and answer honestly with this question and let administrators see why you want this teaching job.
5. What Is Your Educational Background?
Be prepared to talk about every aspect of teaching and education experience you have. In your teacher interviews, make sure to explain both your formal and informal education. Talk about any student teaching experience you have had with veteran teachers and what you learned from them.
Do not just talk about your education. Remember, every single person coming into an interview for any position likely has the same, or better, credentials than you. Set yourself and your background apart by being passionate about how you studied and the extra things you chose to do to prepare you for this career.
6. How do Your Keep Students Engaged?
This one can be tricky because these types of interview questions are geared toward building a positive class community that will help all students learn. This includes the well-behaved and the not so well behaved. An excellent point to discuss is that whatever you teach may not always be a student’s favorite subject. However, you will constantly have students moving, critical thinking, doing group projects, giving oral reports, and generally having an active classroom. Sedentary classrooms equal poor student engagement.
7. How Do You Motivate Students?
This particular question is asking how you go above and beyond. How do you motivate a student who has no interest in your subject? What if you have a troubling student disrupting the whole class, and you need to get them back on task and don’t know how? When discussing how you motivate your students, don’t just think about the class as a whole. Think about those who may be more than a handful. Let your interviewer know you are out to motivate all students by meeting them where they are at and providing them what they need to meet the standards required standards.
8. Have You Ever Made a Lesson Plan?
When interviewing at a new school, I always take some of my best lesson plans as samples for viewing during my interview. However, this only works if you are a veteran teacher! If this is an interview for your first teaching job, a little bit of innovative thinking and planning needs to happen on your part before the interview. I suggest you choose a good practice lesson plan to bring with you or do some research and create one.
9. How Do You Keep Growing as a Teacher?
Out of all the teaching interview questions I have had, this particular one seems to make a lot of sense but can stump you quickly if you’re not prepared for it. If students keep growing in their quest for knowledge, why wouldn’t you as an educator? Talk about any books you have read recently about education or professional development that you benefitted from. Be as clear and concise as possible when you explain the how and the why of growing as an educator.
Be specific! If you’re talking about a book you have read recently, no the title and the author. You never know what book the person in front of you has also read, so make sure you know your stuff.
10. How Do You Incorporate Social Emotional Learning in Your Classroom?
After the Covid pandemic, social and emotional learning became an integral part of the classroom. Continuous learning on how to incorporate this into a student’s life became imperative. If I were to go into a job interview right now, I would discuss allowing students time to recognize when they’re frustrated by doing brain breaks. We would discuss how to incorporate alternate problem-solving methods in the classroom that address the student as an individual with a problem rather than THE problem.
Because social-emotional learning is such a buzzword and education right now, you need to research the topic and learn how to incorporate it into your classroom.
11. Explain How You Differentiate Instruction?
Differentiated instruction and personalized learning are two more big buzz words or phrases in education today. Your typical lesson plan no longer has just one lesson for everyone but rather one outcome with many different ways to get there. Explain how you will build on student strengths and also their weaknesses within one class. I explain this by providing a lesson plan for a project that has many different ways to get to the desired outcome. For example, the desired result would be to explain MacBeth’s fall into insanity, but they can choose the path through Project Based Learning (another buzz word), a presentation, an art project, a skit, and so on.
12. Have You Ever Had to Manage Remote Classrooms?
Again, a significant side effect of the Covid pandemic has been remote classrooms. Many schools and principles want to see your teaching skills when integrating technology and providing live instruction in the school. Sometimes, they won’t want to know how you integrate both live education and technology simultaneously.
13. How Would You Strive to Build Positive Relationships with Parents?
Among all of your interview questions for teachers, this one will be vitally important. Your administration wants to know that you have a mission to build positive relationships with your students and their parents. Successful educators know that having parents included in what’s going on in the classroom results in better learning and a better environment for the student. Having parents on your side gives students strengths in ways they didn’t know they had.
Final Thoughts on Interview Questions for Teachers
When going into your interview, don’t be caught up on whether or not they’re going to ask you about your personal interests or basic questions such as your education. Go into this interview with these various points and how you would answer them intact. The majority of administrators have been through many interviews and can get a sense of if you are not prepared in advance. You should study for your teaching interview just like you would a college entrance exam. Above all, remember to be genuine and to be yourself.