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Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Why did you decide to become a teacher - Best Answers What is your teaching philosophy? - Best Answers What type of classroom management structure would you implement if you were hired? - Best Answers How have you used, or how will you use, technology in the classroom? - Best Answers Have you had experience boosting a student's self-esteem? If so, how? - Best Answers Would you be interested in participating in after school activities? - Best Answers

100 Interview Questions to Ask Teacher Applicants


Extract from the publication "Best Practices for School Human Resources Administrators," created by ACSA's Human Resources Council and availabe for sale now from shopACSA. By James E. Ferguson 1. What is your educational preparation? (Cite preparation in content area.) 2. What are your professional experiences? 3. What is the role of the teacher in the classroom? 4. How would you describe your last principal? 5. What was your favorite course in college, and why? 6. What principles do you use to motivate students? 7. Describe effective teaching techniques that result in intended learning. 8. What are your career goals five years from now? Ten years? 9. State a behavioral objective you taught in your last class. 10. What is the most exerting thing happening in the area of education today? 11. What is the most exciting thing happening today in your area of study? 12. What have you found to be the roughest aspect of discipline? 13. Describe the physical appearance of your classroom. 14. Describe an ideal curriculum in your area of study. 15. How do you implement career education concepts in your classes? 16. How do you individualize learning in your classes? 17. Define current curriculum trends in your area. 18. How much time do you devote to the lecture approach? 19. Describe independent study projects your students have completed. 20. If you could choose to teach any concept in your area, which would you select? Why? 21. What rules have you established for your classroom?

22. How have you implemented inquiry? 23. Of what use are behavioral learning objectives in the teaching/learning process? 24. How do you structure your class to achieve maximum benefit from teacher/student contact? 25. Describe the format you use to develop a lesson. 26. What should schools do for students? 27. Is the teaching of content important? Why/why not? 28. How have you emphasized the development of basic skills? 29. How do you handle the different ability levels of students in classes? 30. How do you account for the affective domain in your teaching? 31. How would your students describe you? 32. In what professional organizations do you hold membership? 33. How would your colleagues describe you? 34. Why did you choose the teaching profession? 35. How have you recently improved your professional skills? 36. What are your plans for future improvement of professional skills? 37. What is the toughest aspect of teaching today? 38. What is the role of homework? 39. What have been your most positive teaching experiences? 40. What have been your most negative teaching experiences? 41. How have you contributed toward the development of the total school program in your current position? 42. What activities will you sponsor if you are hired for this position? 43. Could a student of low academic ability receive a high grade in your classes? 44. What is your system for evaluating student work? 45. What would be the ideal philosophy of a school for you? 46. What is your philosophy of education? 47. Why is your field important for a student to study? 48. How would you handle a student who is a consistent behavioral problem in your class? 49. How would your last principal describe you? 50. What five words would you use to describe yourself? 51. What is your position on teacher advisement programs? Behavior modification? Tracking? Special education? Values clarification? Multi-test approach? 52. If you found nonstandard usage in student writing or class discussion, how would you respond to it? 53. In what areas do you feel you need improvement? 54. How would you handle a student sleeping in your class?

55. What would you do if a student has been absent from your class for several days? 56. What provisions have you made for the gifted? 57. What would a visitor in your class see? 58. How have you communicated student progress to parents? 59. What are your recreational activities, hobbies, interests? 60. How have you stressed the development of cognitive skills within your classes? 61. Define a superior teacher. 62. What is your opinion of holding students after school for detention? 63. Do you like laughter in your classroom? 64. What units would you include in teaching [name of course]? 65. How do you assist in preventing the destruction of school property in your classroom? 66. What is the role of the student within your classroom? 67. Describe an assignment that you recently gave to your students. 68. Cite the criteria you would use to evaluate a textbook for possible adoption. 69. What field trips have you arranged for your classes during this past year? 70. Have you supervised student teachers, interns, or practicum students? Why/Why not? 71. Should sex education be included in the curriculum? Why/Why not? 72. Are you well organized? 73. Describe a lesson plan that you have developed. What were the objectives, the format of the lesson, and how did you evaluate whether or not the objectives were achieved? 74. A student tells you he/she has been experimenting with marijuana. What would you do? 75. Should schools practice corporal punishment? Why/Why not? 76. Give an example of directions you have given for class or homework. 77. What are your practices in dealing with controversial subjects? 78. How have your classes made use of the library during the last nine weeks? 79. What should your students have gained from having taken your course? 80. What are your strong points? 81. What curricular materials have you developed? 82. How would you change the public schools if you could make any changes YOU wished? 83. What is your position on competency-based instruction? 84. What do you like most about being a teacher? 85. Which aspects of teaching do you like least? 86. Do you like to have people like you? 87. What time management principles do you follow? 88. How do you cope with stress?

89. What motivates you? 90. Why do you want to leave your present position? 91. How have you involved parents in the leaning process? 92. Describe your last workday. 93. If you could, what would you change about your present position? 94. Name the titles of the last three books that you have read. 95. How many days of work have you missed in the last three years? 96. What two or three books, concepts or experiences have influenced you the most in your professional development? 97. Can a school be too student-oriented? Explain. 98. Why should you be hired? 99. What questions have I not asked that you wish I would have raised? 100. If you are selected for this position, what can we do to help you be successful?

1. What is your educational background? 2. What are you currently reading for enjoyment? 3. What do you want to be doing in five years? 4. List five adjectives that describe yourself. 5. What is one of your weaknesses, and how are you working to improve it? 6. What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom? 7. To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student? 8. What activities might you coach or advise as a member of the teaching staff? 9. When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field? 10. Why do you want to teach at the ____ level? 11. What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching? 12. What is your favorite subject to teach? Why? 13. What is your least favorite subject, and how do you overcome your indifference toward it to teach it well? 14. What do you like most about teaching as a career? 15. What is your least favorite aspect of teaching? 16. What is your philosophy of education? 17. What role do standards play in your classroom? 18. Describe your teaching style. 19. How do you organize your classroom? 20. How do you structure your time to manage all of the duties associated with teaching? 21. What is the greatest success you have had in teaching? 22. What do you think is the greatest challenge facing students today? 23. What is the most difficult aspect of teaching today? 24. What are the qualities of an excellent teacher? 25. Describe the "worst" lesson you have taught. What did you learn from it? 26. What is your approach to classroom management? 27. What role have parents played in your classroom? 28. How do you motivate your students to become active learners in your classroom? (Or: How do you encourage class participation?) 29. Tell us about a troubling student you have taught and how you helped him or her.

Tips for Interviewers Make the most of teacher interviews with these tips! Tailor your questions to the applicant's level of experience. Good questions for new teachers might include: --- What is a strength of the teacher training program at ____ (university or college)? --- How have your former teachers influenced your teaching? --- Describe the positives and negatives of your studentteaching experience. --- What do you most look forward to in establishing your own classroom? Be prepared with questions that address specific issues related to the subject matter and grade level the position involves. Always give applicants the chance to ask their own questions at the end of the interview. Ask to see candidates' portfolios. In the

30. Describe your best professional development experience. 31. Describe your ideal lesson. nervousness of 32. Describe your planning process for a major project or unit. interviewing, some 33. How have you integrated technology into your teaching instruction? 34. What plans do you have for the integration of technology in your own applicants forget to classroom? share them! 35. What experience have you had with team-teaching? What is your opinion of it? 36. How have and will you address your students' different learning styles? 37. How do the assignments you give offer students the opportunity to express their creativity and individuality? 38. How do you modify your teaching to reach students who are struggling to perform at grade level? 39. How do you provide support for students with exceptional ability? 40. What would you tell your incoming class in a "back-to-school" letter at the start of a new school year? 41. How would you deal with a student who regularly missed school or your class? 42. If most of the students in your class failed an assignment, test, or project, how would you respond? 43. What would your students say they had learned after spending a year in your class? (Or: What do you want students to remember about your class?) 44. How would you establish and maintain good communication with the parents of your students? 45. What steps would you follow to deal with a student who displays consistent behavioral problems in your classroom? 46. Under what circumstances would you refer a child to the administrator's office? 47. What could a visitor to your class expect to see? 48. What do you hope to learn from your mentor? 49. How would you take advantage of resources within the community to enhance your teaching? 50. Why should you be hired for this position?

Why did you decide to become a teacher? Have you ever taken care of someone? Did you enjoy it? Do you consider yourself a risk taker? (Give an example to back up your answer.) Are you a positive and energetic person? (Give an example to back up your answer.) If a student said she thought you were the worst teacher she ever had, how would you react and what would you say? If I were your principal and we were setting goals for next year, what would they be? What is the last book you read? Have you ever considered publishing a book? Some people say you should demand respect. Do you agree or disagree? Tell me about yourself. How would you rank these in importance and why? Planning, discipline, methods, evaluation. If a student came to you and said, "None of the other students like me," what would you tell him/her? Are you an empathetic person? Give an example.

How can you tell that a person is a good listener? Are you an objective person? Give an example. What do you want to do with your life? How do you feel if a student does not meet a deadline? It is the first day of class, you are writing something on the board and a paper wad hits you in the back, what would you do? Later the same day, if all the students drop their pencils, what do you do? What was the most frustrating thing that happened to you as a student teacher? What was the best thing? Do you believe you should build rapport with students? If yes, how? How do you give your students recognition? Do you think a student can have too much recognition? How do you encourage students to learn? Can a student be forced to learn? How do you handle a child who seems gifted, but is a discipline problem? How do you prefer to use computers in the classroom? How do you present a new word to a class? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What is the role of the principal? Does a conflict exist between your perception of a principal's role and his/her role as your evaluator? Describe your student teaching experience. During your student teaching, were you ever involved with a situation at school involving racial tension? If so, how did you handle it? How do you establish authority/discipline? What do you do when a discipline problem arises? What subjects have you taught? Are you patient? Give an example. Do you ever feel angry toward your students? What will you be doing in five years? What is your educational philosophy?

If you could create the ideal school, what would it be like? Do you like to be challenged? (Give an example to back up your answer.) What do you like most/dislike most about teaching? How do you feel about noise in the classroom? How do you handle noise in the classroom? How would you handle making a difficult phone call to a parent?

SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR TEACHERS


Professional Experiences 1. What is your philosophy of education? 2. Describe your student teaching experience(s). What are some of the most significant things you learned from your cooperating teacher(s)? What did you like/dislike? 3. What is your knowledge of and experience with standards-based education? 4. What experience have you had with students from culturally diverse backgrounds? 5. When did you first become interested in teaching? 6. What opportunities have you had to bring multicultural education into your classroom? 7. Describe your experience(s) working in an urban setting. 8. How well has your college/university prepared you for the teaching profession? Instructional Skills 1. Describe the teaching techniques or strategies that are most effective for you. 2. How would you include cooperative learning in your classroom? 3. How would you identify the special needs of your students? 4. What do you include when you write learning objectives? 5. What techniques do you use to keep students actively involved during a lesson? 6. What methods would you use to assess student learning? 7. Describe different student learning styles and how you adjust lessons to benefit those differing styles.

8. Do you feel that the teacher should be responsible for developing objectives or should they be provided in the curriculum? 9. How do you deal with the unmotivated student? 10. Is drill and practice important? How and when would you use it? 11. What would you do if 50% of your class did poorly on a test? 12. What do you see as the relative strengths and weaknesses of norm-referenced tests? 13. How would you use authentic assessment? Technology/Computer Skills 1. How would you incorporate technology in your classroom? 2. What are your computer skills? What software have you used for instructional or classroom management purposes? 3. Assuming you have adequate equipment, how would students be allowed to use technology in your classroom? Classroom Discipline 1. Describe your philosophy regarding discipline. 2. What techniques would you use to handle discipline problems that may arise in your classroom? 3. What was the most challenging discipline problem youve encountered and how did you handle it? Were you prepared to handle this situation? In hindsight, would you have handled this situation any differently? 4. What kind of rules do you have in your classroom? (Share an example.) How are they established? 5. How would you create and promote a safe atmosphere in your classroom? Classroom Management 1. What is your classroom management plan/style? What are your goals? 2. Describe what you consider to be the model classroom. What would a typical day look like in this classroom? 3. Share three interesting classroom management techniques used in your classroom. 4. When students say they want their teacher to be fair, what do you think they mean?

Knowledge of Content/Materials 1. What kinds of materials have you used to assess student strengths and/or weaknesses? 2. What kinds of tests do you like to give? 3. Are there any materials you have used that you find are especially effective for slow learners or bright students? 4. What coursework have you taken that has made you especially suited for this position? 5. What kind of materials and supplies would you need to do your best job? 6. How do you stay current in your field? 7. What curricular changes do you hope to see over the next few years? Planning Skills 1. What do you include in your daily lesson plans? How closely do you follow your plans? 2. Describe a good lesson youve planned and implemented. Explain why it was good. 3. Describe a time when a lesson was not gong well. What did you do about it? 4. How would you integrate language arts across the curriculum? 5. How would you go about setting up your reading program? 6. How would you handle varied reading abilities in the content areas? 7. How much homework will you assign? How do you know how long it will take your students? Relationships with Administration, Staff, Parents, and Students 1. Describe an outstanding teacher. What makes this educator outstanding? 2. What does teamwork mean to you? Give an example. 3. What should a principal expect from teachers? What should teachers expect from their principal? 4. What kind of principal would you like to work for? 5. How would your students describe you as a teacher? 6. How do you approach parent/teacher conferences? 7. What do you feel is important to know about your students? How do you gather this information? 8. Describe your approach with a parent who is upset with you - - and you know you are right.

9. How can you get students to be excited about learning? 10. Describe your use of paraprofessional aides and/or parent volunteers in your classroom. 11. How do you develop self-esteem in your students? 12. How do you keep parents informed about the daily/weekly progress of their son/daughter? What vehicles do you use to communicate with parents? 13. What kind of people do you find it difficult to work with and why? 14. Do you want students to like you? Why or why not? 15. What do you value most in a child? Personal Qualities 1. Why have you selected teaching as a profession? 2. What are your career goals, short term and long term? 3. What makes you an effective teacher? 4. Describe yourself with three adjectives and explain why they were chosen. 5. What distinguishes you from other candidates? 6. Describe your fears as you begin your first year teaching. 7. If I were to contact your references what do you think they would say about you? 8. Would you describe yourself as a team player or an individual achiever? 9. What is your most successful accomplishment? 10. Tell me whom you would like to emulate. Why? Miscellaneous 1. What activities would you like to become involved in within our school, district, or community? 2. Why do you want to work in our school system? 3. Tell me about yourself. 4. Describe your thoughts about student and teacher accountability. 5. What professional development topics interest you? What are your plans for professional growth? 6. What gives you the greatest pleasure teaching?

7. What do you think is wrong with public education today? 8. At which grade level do you think you would do the best job? 9. Would you be willing to teach at a different grade level (elementary) or teach a different subject (secondary)? 10. What are your greatest weaknesses? 11. Why should we hire you over the two other finalists who have comparable qualifications?

6 Common Teacher Interview Questions


1. Tell us about yourself. This will be the first question at almost every interview. Just give a brief background in about three sentences. Tell them what colleges you graduated from, what you're certified to teach, what your teaching & working experiences are, and why you'd love the job. 2. How do you teach to the state standards? If you interview in the United States, school administrators love to talk about state, local, or national standards! Reassure your interviewer that everything you do ties into standards. Be sure the lesson plans in your portfolio have the state standards typed right on them. When they ask about them, pull out your lesson and show them the close ties between your teaching and the standards. 3. How will you prepare students for standardized assessments? There are standardized assessments at almost every grade level. Be sure you know the names of the tests. Talk about your experiences preparing students. You'll get bonus points if you know and describe the format of the test because that will prove your familiarity. 4. Describe your discipline philosophy. You use lots of positive reinforcement. You are firm, but you don't yell. You have appropriate consequences for inappropriate behavior. You have your classroom rules posted clearly on the walls. You set common routines that students follow. You adhere to the school's discipline guidelines. Also, emphasize that you suspect discipline problems will be minimal because your lessons are very interesting and engaging to students. Don't tell the interviewer that you "send kids to the principal's office" whenever there is a problem. You should be able to handle

most discipline problems on your own. Only students who have committed very serious behavior problems should be sent to the office. 5. How do you make sure you meet the needs of a student with an IEP? An IEP is an "individualized education plan." Students with special needs will be given an IEP, or a list of things that you must do when teaching the child. An IEP might include anything from "additional time for testing" to "needs all test questions read aloud" to "needs to use braille textbook." How do you ensure you're meeting the needs of a student with an IEP? First, read the IEP carefully. If you have questions, consult a special education teacher, counselor, or other staff member who can help you. Then, you just make sure you follow the requirements on the IEP word for word. When necessary, you may be asked to attend a meeting in which you can make suggestions for updating the IEP. Your goal, and the goal of the IEP, is to make sure the student has whatever he or she needs to be successful in your class. 6. How do you communicate with parents? This question will come up at almost every elementary school interview. It's fairly common in the middle school and high school as well. You might have a weekly parent newsletter that you send home each week. For grades 3 and up, you may require students to have an assignment book that has to be signed each night. This way, parents know what assignments are given and when projects are due. When there are discipline problems you call home and talk to parents. It's important to have an open-door policy and invite parents to share their concerns at any time. For more teacher interview questions, I invite you to download my eBook Getting the Teaching Job of Your Dreams ( http://www.iwantateachingjob.com ). In it you will find 50 common interview questions and answers as well as practical advice for getting the teaching job you want.