17 English Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an English teacher, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

English teachers help their students improve their language skills. They work in elementary, middle, and high schools, and at colleges and universities. In order to teach English, they must be familiar with the language’s structure and grammar. They must also be able to plan and execute lessons that will improve their students’ speaking, reading, and writing abilities.

If you’re an English teacher who is looking for a new job, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some interview questions. In this article, we will provide you with some common English teacher interview questions and answers.

Are you certified to teach English?

This question is a basic background check to ensure you have the necessary qualifications for the position. If you are not certified, explain what steps you took to get your certification and when you plan on getting it.

Example: “Yes, I am currently certified to teach English. I started my teaching career in an inner-city school where I taught English as a second language. After two years of teaching ESL, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in education with a concentration in English. I graduated from the program last year and am now working toward my state certification.”

What are some of your favorite books to teach in class?

Interviewers may ask this question to get a sense of your teaching style and interests. They want to know what you enjoy about the subject, how you approach it with students and if you have any experience teaching similar material in the past. When answering this question, try to mention books that are relevant to the position or school.

Example: “I love teaching Shakespeare because I find his plays so interesting. I also think they’re great for developing critical thinking skills. In my last position, I taught Romeo and Juliet to eighth graders. We spent most of the year reading the play aloud as a class, then we broke into groups to act out different scenes. It was a lot of fun.”

How do you handle students who are struggling with English concepts?

English teachers must be able to identify students who are struggling with concepts and provide them with the support they need. Interviewers want to know that you have a plan for helping these students succeed in your classroom. In your answer, explain how you would help each student individually and what resources you would use to ensure all students understand the material.

Example: “I find that many students struggle with English because it’s not their first language. I try to make sure every student understands the basics of grammar before moving on to more advanced concepts. If a student is still having trouble after reviewing basic rules, I will pull them aside during class or set up an appointment to meet with them one-on-one. This allows me to assess where they’re having problems and create a personalized learning plan.”

What is your teaching philosophy?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your teaching style and how you plan lessons. Your answer should include a few key points about what you believe in as a teacher, such as encouraging students to ask questions or providing feedback on assignments.

Example: “I believe that every student has unique strengths and weaknesses, so I try to create lesson plans that cater to each individual’s needs. For example, if one of my students struggles with writing essays, I’ll give them extra time to complete their assignment and provide additional resources for them to use. In general, I think it’s important to be flexible when planning lessons because no two days are ever exactly the same.”

Provide an example of a lesson you created and why you chose the elements you did.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan lessons. When answering, try to describe a lesson that was unique or innovative in some way.

Example: “In my last position, I taught an English class of seventh graders who were learning the basics of writing essays. One day, I decided to have them write their own fairy tales as practice for essay writing. The students enjoyed it so much that they asked if we could do it again the next week. I agreed because I knew it would help them with their writing skills. In the end, they learned a lot about writing while having fun.”

If a student is struggling with a concept, what steps do you take to determine the cause?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you handle students who are struggling with a concept. In your answer, explain the steps you take when working with a student one-on-one or in a small group setting.

Example: “I first try to determine what concepts they already understand and which ones they don’t. I then use different resources like textbooks, online lessons and other classroom materials to help them better understand the material. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have them stay after school for extra help until they master the concept.”

What would you do if you noticed a student copying another student’s work during a test?

Copying another student’s work during a test is one of the most common forms of academic dishonesty. The interviewer wants to know how you would handle this situation in order to maintain a safe and productive learning environment for all students. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to ensure that the copying stops and that the student who was cheating learns from their mistake.

Example: “I have had this happen before, and I always make sure to address it immediately after the test. I tell the student that they must retake the test because I cannot give them credit for the assignment. Then, I speak with the other student privately about why they were caught cheating and let them know that if it happens again, they will be removed from my class. This usually resolves the issue, but if not, I may need to report the incident to the school board.”

How well do you know the state curriculum for English?

The state curriculum for English is a set of standards that teachers must follow when teaching their students. Interviewers ask this question to make sure you are familiar with the requirements and can teach according to them. In your answer, explain how you plan to meet these standards in your classroom.

Example: “I am very familiar with the state curriculum for English because I have been following it since I became an educator. The curriculum provides me with a clear outline of what my students should know by the end of each grade. As long as I continue to do this, I will be able to provide my students with a quality education.”

Do you have any experience working with a diverse student population?

English teachers often work with students from a variety of backgrounds. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with different types of learners and can create an inclusive classroom environment. In your answer, share about a time when you worked with a diverse group of students. Explain how you used your teaching skills to help all the students succeed in your class.

Example: “In my last position, I had the opportunity to teach a mixed-grade English class. The older students helped the younger ones learn new concepts and strategies for writing essays. It was rewarding to see them use their knowledge to support each other. We also read books that featured characters from various backgrounds. This allowed us to discuss what it means to be empathetic toward others.”

When teaching a lesson, do you prefer to use technology or traditional methods?

This question can help an interviewer determine how you use technology in the classroom. It can also show them your comfort level with using technology and computers to teach students. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific time when you used technology or computers to enhance learning for your students.

Example: “I believe that technology is a great tool for teaching students new concepts and ideas. I always try to incorporate technology into my lessons whenever possible. For example, last year we were studying the Civil War and I had each student create their own blog about the war. They wrote several posts on their blogs throughout the course of the unit, which helped them learn more about the war while also practicing their writing skills.”

We want our students to be able to communicate effectively in English. What is your approach for teaching speaking skills?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan to teach speaking skills in your classroom. Use examples from past teaching experiences that show how you helped students develop their communication skills and improve their confidence when speaking English.

Example: “I believe it’s important for students to learn how to speak confidently in front of others, so I always make sure to include opportunities for them to practice public speaking throughout the year. In my last position, we had a mock debate club where students would prepare speeches on topics they were passionate about. They would then present these speeches to our class or other groups of students. This was an excellent way for them to build up their confidence while also learning more about the topic.”

Describe your process for grading tests and assignments.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your grading policies and procedures. They want to know how you grade assignments, what criteria you use and whether or not you provide students with feedback on their work. In your answer, explain the steps you take when grading tests and other assignments. If possible, give an example of a specific grading policy you have used in the past.

Example: “I always assign grades based on the percentage of questions answered correctly. I also consider the time it took for the student to complete the assignment and any extra credit opportunities they completed. For instance, if a student completes all of their regular assignments but misses one test, I will deduct points from their overall grade. However, if they miss multiple tests, I will fail them out of my class.”

What makes you stand out from other English teachers?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand what makes you unique. It’s important to show that you have a passion for teaching, but it’s also helpful if you can explain how your skills or experiences make you an effective teacher.

Example: “I think my ability to relate to students is one of my greatest strengths as an English teacher. I’ve been passionate about reading and writing since I was young, so I understand what it feels like to be a student who struggles with these subjects. When I see a student who needs extra support, I try to find ways to provide them with personalized attention. This helps me connect with each student on a more personal level and ensure they’re getting the support they need.”

Which teaching methods do you prefer?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style. They want to know if you prefer a traditional lecture-style classroom or if you’re more comfortable with an interactive learning environment. In your answer, explain which methods have worked best for you in the past and why.

Example: “I’ve found that my students learn best when I use a variety of teaching methods. For example, I like to start each class period with a short lecture on important concepts. Then, I’ll move into a discussion where they can apply what we learned. Finally, I’ll give them some time to work independently on their own projects. This method has helped me reach all types of learners.”

What do you think is the most important skill for an English teacher to possess?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you possess the skills and abilities necessary for success as an English teacher. You can answer this question by identifying a skill, explaining why it’s important and giving an example of how you use that skill in your teaching.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for an English teacher to have is creativity. I believe that being able to come up with new ways to teach students about literature or writing helps them retain information better than if they were simply reading from a textbook. In my last position, I started a creative writing club where we would write short stories together and then critique each other’s work. This helped students learn more about grammar and sentence structure while also developing their own writing style.”

How often do you update your lesson plan?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you keep students engaged. Your answer should include a specific example of when you updated your lesson plan, the reason for updating it and what changes you made.

Example: “I update my lesson plans every week because I find that’s the best way to ensure all students are understanding the material. Last year, one student was having trouble with an assignment and asked me if they could do extra credit work instead. I decided to change their grade from a zero to a B+ so they wouldn’t feel discouraged. It also helped them understand the importance of doing their homework.”

There is a new trend in English usage that you don’t agree with. How do you address the situation in class?

This question is an opportunity to show your critical thinking skills and how you can apply them in the classroom. You should answer this question by explaining a current trend that you disagree with, why it’s wrong and what you would do about it if you were given the chance.

Example: “I think it’s important for students to learn proper grammar and spelling because I believe it will help them succeed later in life. However, there is a new trend where people are using words like ‘grammar Nazi’ or ‘spelling bee’ as a joke. While I understand that language evolves over time, I don’t think it’s appropriate to use these terms in casual conversation. In my class, I would address this issue by asking students to explain their reasoning behind using these terms. Then, we could have a discussion about why they shouldn’t be used.”


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