15 Inquiry Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Inquiry skills will be used.

Inquiry-based interviews are becoming increasingly popular, as employers look for candidates who can think on their feet and solve problems. If you’re interviewing for a job that requires inquiry skills, you can expect to be asked questions that test your ability to gather information, identify patterns, and make recommendations.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample inquiry interview questions and answers. These questions will give you an opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills and demonstrate how you would approach real-world challenges.

1. What is inquiry?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of inquiry and how it can be used in the workplace. When answering this question, you should define what inquiry is and explain why it’s important for professionals to use it.

Example: “Inquiry is a research method that involves asking questions about a topic or problem. It’s an effective strategy because it allows me to gather information from multiple sources and analyze it to find answers. I’ve found that using inquiry has helped me solve problems more quickly than when I was just relying on my own thoughts. In fact, I once had a coworker who couldn’t figure out how to complete a task. Instead of telling him how to do it, I asked him questions about his process and figured out the issue myself.”

2. Can you explain the difference between an inquiry and a problem-based learning approach?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of inquiry-based learning and how it differs from other approaches. When answering this question, you can define both types of learning and explain the differences between them.

Example: “Inquiry-based learning is when students ask questions about a topic or subject they’re studying. This type of learning focuses on the student’s ability to think critically and solve problems. Problem-based learning is when teachers pose a problem for students to solve. Students then work together in groups to find solutions to these problems.”

3. What are some important skills that students need to be taught when using inquiry-based teaching methods?

This question is a great way for interviewers to assess your understanding of the skills needed to be an effective teacher. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list out the specific skills and explain what they are used for.

Example: “Inquiry-based teaching methods require students to have strong critical thinking skills, as well as problem-solving abilities. These skills allow them to think through different solutions to problems and make decisions based on their own research. Students also need to be able to communicate effectively with one another in order to collaborate on projects and share ideas.”

4. How does inquiry differ from traditional education?

This question can help interviewers understand how you approach learning and problem-solving. Your answer should show that you value the process of inquiry over memorization and regurgitation. You can also use this opportunity to explain why it’s important for students to learn through inquiry.

Example: “Inquiry is a more active form of learning than traditional education, which often involves memorizing facts and information. Inquiry requires students to think critically about their surroundings and ask questions. This helps them develop critical thinking skills and prepares them for life after school. I believe that all students deserve an education that encourages them to explore and discover new things.”

5. What are some strategies for implementing inquiry into teaching plans for K12 classrooms?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to apply inquiry skills in the classroom. Use examples from your experience teaching K12 students and explain how you used these strategies to help students learn more effectively.

Example: “I find that using a variety of methods for introducing new concepts helps my students retain information better than if I only use one method. For example, when teaching about different types of ecosystems, I might start by showing them pictures of various ecosystems and describing what they are like. Then, we would go outside to observe real-world ecosystems and compare them to those we saw in our photos. Finally, we would discuss which ecosystem is most similar to the ones we observed.”

6. Can you explain what guided inquiry is in the context of STEM education?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of the different types of inquiry and how they can be used in education. Your answer should include an explanation of what guided inquiry is, as well as its benefits for students.

Example: “Guided inquiry is when teachers use questions to guide students through their learning process. This method allows students to explore concepts at their own pace while still receiving guidance from their teacher. Guided inquiry is beneficial because it helps students develop critical thinking skills and learn how to research topics on their own.”

7. How do you create a good inquiry-based question?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your ability to create questions that encourage students to think critically and creatively. Your answer should include a specific example of how you created an inquiry-based question in the past, along with what made it successful.

Example: “I once had a student who was struggling with his math homework. He didn’t understand why he needed to learn certain concepts, so I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said he wanted to be a chef, so I used cooking terms to explain some of the more difficult concepts. This helped him relate the information to something he enjoyed, which motivated him to work harder on his assignments.”

8. What are some ways to measure progress during inquiry projects?

This question can help interviewers assess your ability to manage projects and make decisions that affect the outcome. Use examples from past experiences where you measured progress, evaluated data or made changes to improve outcomes.

Example: “I measure progress by evaluating how well students are understanding concepts and whether they’re able to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. I also use assessments to determine if my lessons are effective for all learning styles. If a student is struggling with a concept, I’ll modify my lesson plan to address those challenges. For example, last year one of my students was having trouble identifying different types of plants. I modified my curriculum to include more hands-on activities so he could practice identifying plants in the classroom.”

9. What’s the best way to motivate students during an inquiry project?

This question can help interviewers assess your ability to motivate students and encourage them to participate in classroom activities. Use examples from your experience that show you know how to get students excited about learning.

Example: “I find the best way to motivate students during an inquiry project is by making sure they understand why it’s important for them to learn the information. I also make sure they have a clear understanding of what their goals are, so they know exactly what they need to do to succeed. For example, when teaching my fifth-grade class about ecosystems, I made sure each student knew what was expected of them before we started our projects. They were given specific instructions on what types of questions to answer and which resources to use to complete their work.”

10. What are some key differences between student-led and teacher-led inquiry lessons?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your understanding of the differences between teacher-led and student-led inquiry lessons. This can help them determine whether you are prepared to lead a classroom discussion or if you would be more comfortable following along with a teacher’s lesson plan. In your answer, try to highlight some key differences between these two approaches to teaching and learning.

Example: “In my experience, there are several key differences between student-led and teacher-led inquiry lessons. First, in student-led lessons, students have more control over what they learn about and how they learn it. For example, when I was in high school, we had a unit on ancient civilizations where our teacher taught us about different cultures around the world. However, during one class period, she asked us to research a specific civilization that interested us. We were able to choose which resources we used to complete our assignment and write an essay about our findings.”

11. What are the most common mistakes made by teachers during inquiry projects?

This question is a great way to show your knowledge of the teaching profession and how you can help others improve their skills. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about common mistakes teachers make so that you can provide helpful advice on how to avoid them.

Example: “The most common mistake I’ve seen made by teachers during inquiry projects is not giving students enough time to complete the project. Teachers often want to move onto the next lesson before students have had enough time to fully understand what they’re doing in class. This leads to confusion among students and makes it difficult for them to learn new concepts.”

12. Are there any situations where inquiry might not be appropriate? If yes, then can you give me some examples?

This question is a great way to test your critical thinking skills. It’s important that you can recognize when inquiry isn’t the best method of communication and know how to adapt your approach.

Example: “There are definitely situations where inquiry isn’t appropriate, but I think it depends on the situation. For example, if someone has already made up their mind about something, then asking them questions probably won’t change their opinion. In this case, I would try to find out what they like or dislike about the subject so I could better tailor my message to appeal to them. Another time when inquiry might not be appropriate is when there is an emergency. If someone is in danger, for example, then trying to ask questions may take away from more urgent matters.”

13. What are some characteristics of an effective inquiry project?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the inquiry process and how it can be applied in a professional setting. When answering this question, you can list some characteristics that make an inquiry project effective and explain why they are important.

Example: “An effective inquiry project has several key characteristics. First, it should have a clear goal or objective. This helps ensure that all research methods are used effectively to meet the goals of the project. Second, it should include a thorough literature review. A good inquiry project will use credible sources to support its claims and conclusions. Third, it should have a well-defined methodology. The methodology should clearly outline the steps for conducting the research and gathering data.”

14. What are the main steps involved in carrying out an inquiry lesson?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of inquiry lessons and how they’re carried out. When answering, it can be helpful to list the steps involved in an inquiry lesson and what each step entails.

Example: “The main steps involved in carrying out an inquiry lesson are setting up the learning environment, introducing the topic, posing questions and guiding students through their answers. I usually begin by explaining the purpose of the lesson and why we’re studying this particular topic. Then, I pose my first question and allow students time to think about their answer before moving on to the next one. After that, I help them find the correct answer and explain why it’s correct.”

15. Do you think inquiry lessons help develop critical thinking skills? Why or why not?

This question is a great way to assess your understanding of inquiry lessons and how they can help students develop important skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to explain the importance of critical thinking in developing future professionals who are able to solve problems and make decisions on their own.

Example: “I think inquiry lessons are an excellent way to teach students about critical thinking because they encourage them to ask questions and find answers for themselves. In my experience, I’ve found that many students don’t know how to approach a problem or question without being told what to do. Inquiry lessons give students the opportunity to explore topics on their own and learn how to use evidence and reasoning to support their claims.”


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