By Teachers, For Teachers
Teacher interviews can be stressful, mostly because you don’t know what they’re going to ask you. There are so many possible teacher interview questions, how are you supposed to narrow them down to prepare? Think of preparing for an interview like you would you would if you were taking a test. Review common teacher interview questions and prepare for general topics, like why you got into the profession, how you’ll use technology, or how you’ll meet the needs of your students. When you are prepared, the interview will go easier, because you’ll have a general idea of what you want to say on each topic. Here are a few teacher interview questions that you should be able to answer without hesitation, as well as a general idea of how to answer each question.
You can guarantee that this question will arise at some point during the interview process. This is the time when you can talk about the struggles you had as a child and had to overcome, or the special teacher that never gave up on you. It’s a time to be raw and honest with the interview panel, and really let them see a more personal side of you.
When you’re applying in a school district, you must learn everything there is to know about that district, from what their mission statement is to the technology that they use in class. If the district is known for using flexible seating, then you should be aware of that. School districts want to know that you did your research. Now is not the time to answer that you like the school district because it’s close to your home. You want your future employer to know that you are invested in the district and all it has to offer, not that you want to work there because it’s convenient for you. Look for what their main policies are, and what they are known for. Know their demographics and what kind of extracurricular activities that they have. The more you know, the more they’ll be impressed. You can say something like this:
“I have been a part of this school district since I was a child, and I am invested in this community. In addition to that, I love how this school district has incorporated flexible seating into their classrooms. I also like how the school district has gone above and beyond to make sure the classroom sizes are small enough that they are able to meet the needs of all students.”
This answer shows the interview panel that you are invested in the school, and it also shows them that you’ve done your homework by talking about flexible seating and class size.
Meeting the needs of all students is a topic that is currently trending and will most likely never go away. Today’s teachers are expected to meet the needs of all students instead of just teaching to the masses. The interview panel wants to know what you will do to ensure that all students’ needs are being met. The best way to answer this question is to ensure the panel that you will appeal to different learning styles. You can talk about using the multiple intelligence theory, using choice boards, or even utilizing technology to meet the needs of all learners.
Technology is a huge part of 21st century education. The interviewer is trying to see how familiar you are with technology, and they want to know what specific pieces of technology you will use in your classroom. Make sure that you (again) research what the school district already uses, as well as decide what you want to use. Make sure that you are familiar with each piece of technology that you talk about, because the last thing you want to do is try and pretend that you know about tech tools when you really don’t have a clue. You can also suggest what tech tools you’d like to see at the school and how you’d go about getting them if they’re not available. Here is an example of how you can answer this type of question:
“I would incorporate a variety of different pieces of technology into my classroom. The first tech tool that I would utilize would be a Smartboard. I would utilize this with the app Class Dojo as well as the app Go Noodle. I’ve used these pieces of technology in the past, and know firsthand the wonderful benefits they produce. The second piece of technology I will use in my classroom is an iPad or a Chromebook. I will use several different apps to help enhance my students’ learning throughout the day. Lastly, I would like a class set of tablets, and if it is not feasible for the school district, then I will try and obtain them by going to Donorschoose.org.”
This answer shows the interview panel how you will utilize technology in the classroom by giving them specific examples, as well as what tech tools you’d like to have and how you’re planning on getting them if they are unavailable.
This is a two-part question, because a lot of the time there will be a parent representative on the interview panel. This parent representative will want to know a few things about parent-teacher communication. This is a good time to talk about the Remind App or the Class Dojo App that you’ll use to communicate with parents. It’s also a good time to discuss how you’ll set up volunteer opportunities for parents to come in at their convenience. In addition to mentioning how you’ll communicate with parents through technology, you can also mention other ways, such as weekly newsletters, classroom reports, a website, email, or even a note home.
It is important to be prepared as well as honest with all of your answers. Organize your thoughts in advance and you should have a successful interview. And don’t forget, when they ask you if you have any questions for them, always ask at least one or two. This will show them that you are interested in the job. Good luck!
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.