Your Teacher Interview Prep Cheat Sheet: Tips, Questions & Answers

Teacher Interview Tips
Created by CakeResume

Are you preparing for a teacher job interview? In this blog post, we will provide you with all the information you need to shine in your interview. We'll start by explaining the qualities that interviewers are looking for in a candidate. Then, we'll give you some tips on how to highlight these qualities in your answers. Finally, we'll discuss some common teacher interview questions and answers. 

Let's get started!

When interviewing candidates for a teaching position, interviewers are looking for qualities that will ensure the success of their students. Some of these qualities include the ability to build relationships, strong communication skills, and a dedication to teaching. Candidates who can highlight these qualities in their answers will stand out.

By being well-prepared for your teacher interview, you'll be able to demonstrate your dedication,  strong communication skills, and the ability to build relationships with the students and parents.

Why Interviewers Ask Teacher Interview Questions?

To get started, let's begin with an overview of why interviewers ask common teacher interview questions. This will help you decide which directions to focus your answers in that will strategically highlight your best qualities.

✏️ Teaching skills

Teaching skills are crucial to educators for obvious reasons. Interviewers want to learn about your teaching methods and to get an idea of how you would conduct classes. They want to know if you can keep students engaged while teaching the required curriculum.

To highlight your teaching skills in a teaching job interview, you could talk about how you designed a syllabus or how you taught a difficult concept to students.

✏️ Field knowledge

Having solid field knowledge for the teaching job you are applying for is essential. Interviewers want to know that you are familiar with the curriculum and that you have an idea of how to arrange lectures to best engage students.

To show expertise in the field, you could discuss a time when you had to research a topic to teach it effectively. Alternatively, you could talk about how you stay current with the trends in your teaching field.

✏️ Class management 

Interviewers want to ensure candidates have class management skills because a large part of a teacher's job is managing a classroom. They want to know how you would handle disruptions, set boundaries, manage schedules and keep students on track.

If you have experiences guiding difficult students, handling outbursts or enforcing disciplines effectively in classrooms, it might be a good idea to talk about them.

✏️ Computer skills

With technology becoming more and more prevalent in society, most interviewers want to know if educators are comfortable using computers for things such as teaching, grading, communicating with parents and keeping attendance.

To stand out, consider talking about your knowledge on EdTech (educational technology) and highlight your proficiency in popular tools such as Excel, Google Docs or PowerPoint.

✏️ Motivation

In teaching, interviewers particularly look for motivation during the interview because the job can be very demanding.

Dazzle interviewers with your very own story about why you had decided to pursue a career in education. The key is to be honest, authentic, and passionate.

✏️ Communication skills

For a teacher, communication skills are an indicator of how well you will be able to teach and work with colleagues, parents and other professionals. This is why interviewers may ask about your communication skills in a teaching interview.

You may want to talk about the time you had to resolve a conflict with a colleague or the time you had to communicate with parents about their child's progress in school.

✏️ Teamwork

Schools and classes are close-knit communities that require teamwork on a daily basis. Interviewers want to know if you are capable of functioning in a team and being a part of the community.

One way to showcase teamwork skills as a teacher is by talking about a time when you had to collaborate with a colleague on a project.

Teacher Interview Tips

Now that you know what to highlight when answering teacher interview questions, it is time to learn tips on how to prepare for a teaching job interview. 

Here are our 5 best tips for a teacher interview:

✨ Research the school.

Before you walk into a teacher interview, you should do research about the school, including the school's curriculum, philosophy, the student body, the teaching staff, etc. It not only shows your interest and efforts during the interview, but also helps you decide whether the teaching job is a good fit.

✨ Conduct informational interviews.

Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about the role and to network with people who are already in the field. By conducting informational interviews, you will get a better idea of what to expect in a teacher interview and also gain some insights on how to prepare for it.

✨ Prepare examples that demonstrate teaching-related skills.

Examples make your answers more concrete and memorable for the interviewer. When asked about a time when you had to use a certain skill, be sure to have a good example ready that will help demonstrate your teaching-related skills.

✨ Keep your answer short and focused.

By answering interview questions for educators concisely, you will seem confident and prepared. This is also a good opportunity to showcase your ability to communicate effectively.

✨ Pay close attention to your body language.

Aside from verbal communication, body language is a more subtle but equally important form of communication in interviews and in teaching. You could consider practicing for the teaching job interviews with an audience and have them critique your body language to help you perfect it.

Common Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Ready to start preparing for interview questions? Let's start with some possible questions and answers for teachers.

💭 Early Childhood Education Interview Question and Answer

Question: Why are you particularly interested in early childhood education?

Sample Answer: Young children are at a critical point in their lives where they are actively developing their skills, senses and abilities. As an educator, I would have the opportunity to help foster early childhood development in a positive and supportive environment. I want to be part of this important process and help children reach their full potential. This is where my passion for early childhood education comes in. 

💭 Primary Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Question: How would you describe your teaching method as a primary teacher?

Sample Answer: I believe that all students learn differently and thus, my teaching methods are designed to meet each child's individual needs. I would use a variety of methods such as direct instruction, small groups, and hands-on activities to engage all types of learners in the classroom. I want to expose my students to different learning styles, which will help shape their future educational experiences.

💭 Kindergarten Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Question: Why do you want to be a Kindergarten teacher?

Sample Answer: I have always loved working with young children and feel that kindergarten plays an important role in a child's development. I want to be a part of that process and help children learn and grow. Additionally, I feel that I can bring a lot of energy and creativity to the classroom, which is vital in kindergarten.

💭 English Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Sample Question: How would you encourage your students to read English literature in their free time?

Sample Answer: I would start by encouraging my students to find books that interest them. Once they have found a book they enjoy, I would help them break down the book into manageable pieces so they can read a little bit each day. I would also create fun and engaging activities related to the book to help my students learn English along the journey.

💭 Preschool Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Question: Do you think technology should be a part of the preschool learning experience or is it too early? Why?

Sample Answer: I believe that technology can be a valuable tool in the preschool classroom, but it should only be used when appropriate. I would carefully select which apps, games and websites to use in the classroom, monitor their use closely and strictly limit screen time. I feel that technology can help preschool children learn new concepts and skills in a fun and interactive way. However, it is important to set boundaries and teach discipline at the same time so they don't develop a digital addiction.

💭 Math Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Question: What are some of the biggest challenges math teachers face when teaching?

Sample Answer: One of the biggest challenges math teachers face is getting students to understand mathematical concepts. In my experience, many students struggle with math and feel discouraged, so it is the math teacher's job to be creative and find different ways to explain the concept. Additionally, a math teacher must be able to identify which teaching method works best for each student. Some students learn better through visual aids while some students prefer hands-on activities. I have extensive experience working with different types of learners and am confident I am a good fit for this position.

💭 Questions for a Tutor Interview

Question: Do you have any experience tutoring online? Is your approach different than when you tutor face-to-face?

Sample Answer: Yes, I have been tutoring online for several years now. I find that my approach is very similar to when I tutor face-to-face. The main difference is that there are more distractions when you are tutoring online, so you have to be more engaging and creative to keep the student's attention. For younger students, I have them take a 5-minute break every 30 minutes and chit chat with them to make sure they stay focused and to connect with them on a personal level. For older students, we discuss different strategies to stay focused during the session.

💭 Substitute Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Sample Question: As a substitute teacher, how do you build relationships with your students in a short period of time?

Sample Answer: I always try to arrive early in the classroom so I can introduce myself and get to know my students. I also take time during each class to learn their names. By doing this, I can build relationships with my students relatively quickly.

💭 Special Education Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Question: What inspired you to teach in special education?

Sample Answer: I have always had a heart for working with special needs students. I feel that they are generally the most underserved population in school and it is my mission to help them reach their fullest potential. I have taken a diverse range of courses on this topic and have experience teaching students with a variety of disabilities and know how to adjust my teaching strategies accordingly.

💭 Art Teacher Interview Question and Answer

Question: How do you facilitate creativity in your art classes?

Sample Answer: I believe that creativity should be nurtured in every student, so I try to create a classroom environment that is conducive to creative expression. I like to show my students different pieces from different artists and I provide a variety of art materials and allow students the freedom to explore their own ideas. I also encourage them to take risks and experiment with new techniques.

Questions to Ask in a Teacher Interview

Many interviewers ask if the interviewee has any questions for the employer. This is an opportunity for the interviewee to show that they've done their research on the school and are truly interested in the position. 

A teacher interview is no exception. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about the teaching position and the school, so dig deep into your mind and prepare to ask some serious questions!

3 examples of good questions to ask during a teacher interview:

  1. What challenges do you see the school facing in the next few years?
  2. What type of support do teachers receive here?
  3. What are the school's expectations for teachers in terms of professional development?

Questions like these help show that you are interested not only in the position, but also in the school's success as a whole.

Asking about challenges faced by the school shows that you are looking to be a part of the solution.

Asking about support for teachers indicates that you understand how important it is to have a good support system to be successful.

Asking about expectations for professional development shows that you are committed to lifelong learning and want to be sure that the school is also committed to helping you grow as a professional.

These are just a few examples of good questions to ask about teaching and the school during a teaching job interview. Remember to always keep in mind that the questions you ask should reflect your qualifications and passion for and commitment to the teaching profession.

To nail a teacher interview, you need to know what qualities interviewers are looking for and how to highlight those qualities in your answers. 

It is also helpful to have some good questions prepared to ask the interviewer about the teaching position and the school. By being well-prepared and asking the right questions, you can make a great impression and increase your chances of getting the teaching job!

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--- Originally written by Candy Ho ---

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