Getting a job as a teacher is a bit different to any other job. The people you work with the most will not be there. You basically have to talk to a grown-up about how good you are at talking to little kids.
It might even be better if the interview was held by the kids themselves.
Actually strike that that’s a terrible idea!
Interviews are stressful occasions, you need to put yourself out there and hope that the other person thinks that you are a competent enough person to trust with the role.
In order to reduce the stress you need to ensure that you come prepared. You are dressed the part, you arrived on time and you have checked yourself out in the mirror beforehand (make sure there’s nothing stuck in your teeth!).
But the most important thing you can do to prepare is to practice interview questions beforehand.
And that is what we are going to look at today. We are going to go through some of the most popular Teacher Interview Questions.
Take your time and think about how you would answer these questions in an interview setting and make some notes if necessary. Hopefully in doing this you will nail your next interview.
Teacher Interview Tips
Lean heavily on your experience – Follow the B-STAR process (discussed further below) and refer back to your previous time in the classroom regularly. Show the interviewer that you are very well acquainted with the subject matter at hand.
Name drop the processes, systems and tools you have used – If you use any learning aids in the classroom make sure you namedrop them (particularly if you know the institution is also using – or has used – the same tool).
Tailor your answers to the school – Learn all you can about the organisation that is interviewing you. Each institution is different and offers different learning experiences to their students (classroom size, extra-curricular activities, etc.)
How Best To Answer Teacher Interview Questions
Unless the question you are asked is a straight ‘up or down / yes or no’ style question then you are going to need to learn to describe, expand and elaborate on your answers. The best way of doing this is to follow the B-STAR technique for answering interview questions.
Answers using this method follow the below structure:
B – Belief – What are your thoughts and feelings with regard to the subject matter? – As a Teacher you should have your own set of philosophies and an overall ‘teaching style’ that you tailor to each situation.
S – Situation – What was going on? Briefly explain the scenario that was taking place. – Try not to spend too much time describing the situation. The bulk of your answer needs to be about you and what you did so keep the situation simple to understand and even simpler to describe.
T – Task – What was your role in the action? Most of the time it is best that you are taking an active rather than passive role in the encounter – You are going for a Teaching role (presumably) so the situation you describe should have you at the head of the classroom if possible.
A – Activity (or action) – What did you do? Detail the steps you took and why you took them. – This should take up the bulk of your time answering the question.
R – Results – How did everything end up? Try to use figures if possible (e.g. student pass rates rose 10%).
Remember though that the B-STAR technique is descriptive not prescriptive. You do not need to follow this flow strictly, go with what is best for your answers and that will allow you to put your point across and show your experience the best.
What You Should Not Do When Answering Questions
Do not badmouth a previous institution
Do not avoid the question.
Do not describe a failure (unless specifically asked).
Do not downplay the situation.
Do not overhype the situation.
Do not say you have no experience with the subject matter.
Do not reject the premise of the question.
Do not have a passive role in the situation.
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
Do not overly describe the scenario and miss the action.
General Teacher Interview Questions
Why do you want to work in our school? / why do you want to teach? (often asked together)
What makes you an effective teacher? / Why should we hire you?
How would you contribute to making our school a safe environment for children? / Tell us how you dealt with a safeguarding issue in school
What are the current issues in education?
How do you build relationships and communicate with parents/carers? / How do you engage with students’ parents or guardians?
What would you do if there was a pupil in your class who was refusing to complete their work? / Can you tell us about a time when a pupil has refused to cooperate with you?
Can you tell us about a time you’ve faced challenges at work and how you’ve overcome them?
How would you handle bullying in your class?
How do you assess and record children’s progress?
Why did you choose to teach this particular age range?
What do you think makes a successful school?
How do you feel about parent helpers in the classroom?
How would you meet the needs of more academically able children in the class?
What strategies do you use to support children with special educational needs?
If a child doesn’t show signs of improvement after all your planning, monitoring, assessing and so on, what do you do next?
What do you think is the best way to motivate pupils?
How would you like to see your career develop?
Tell me about a lesson that didn’t go well and what you did about it
What behaviour management strategies do you tend to employ in the classroom?
What role do you believe technology has in the classroom?
What is your teaching philosophy?
What has been your greatest success as a teacher?
Primary School Teacher Interview Questions
What are your favourite and least favourite subjects to teach, and why? How do you ensure that you teach your least favourite subject well?
How would you develop children’s communication and language skills?
What are the important things to consider when setting up your inside space?
Secondary School Teacher Questions
In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of your subject, and how do you make sure that you teach this well?
What have you gained by studying your main subject at university?
How do you see your subject developing over the next three years?