29 Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a teacher, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a teacher, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Education is one of the most important aspects of our society. Teachers play a critical role in shaping the minds of the next generation. They help students learn and grow both academically and emotionally.
If you want to become a teacher, you’ll need to go through a job interview. During the interview, you’ll be asked a variety of questions about your teaching experience, education, and philosophy. You’ll also need to answer questions about your ability to work with children and manage a classroom.
To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of common teacher interview questions and answers.
This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your passion for teaching. Discuss a subject you enjoy teaching and why you enjoy it. You can also discuss the challenges of that subject and how you overcome them.
Example: “My favorite subject to teach is math because I love seeing my students’ faces when they understand a new concept. I find it challenging to teach math because there are so many different ways to explain a concept, but I make sure to use different methods in class so all students understand the material. I also make sure to give my students plenty of practice with math problems so they can develop their skills.”
This question helps employers learn more about your background and why you chose a career in education. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific teacher who inspired you to pursue a career in teaching. You can also talk about what you enjoy most about teaching.
Example: “Ever since I was a child, I have always enjoyed helping others. I remember that when I was in elementary school, my teacher would always let me help her grade papers and prepare for class. This made me feel so accomplished, and I knew that I wanted to become a teacher when I grew up. Now, I love being able to help students learn new concepts and discover their talents.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see how you stay current in your field. They want to know that you’re willing to learn new methods and techniques for teaching students. In your answer, explain that you regularly read educational journals and attend conferences to learn about the latest research on teaching. You can also mention any continuing education courses you’ve taken in the past.
Example: “I subscribe to several educational journals and attend at least one conference a year. I find that these resources help me learn about new teaching methods and strategies for engaging students. I also take part in professional development courses through my school district, which has helped me learn more about how to use technology in the classroom.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see how flexible you are as a teacher. Your answer should show that you can be flexible while still maintaining a high standard of teaching.
Example: “I once had a student who was deaf and used sign language to communicate. I had no experience teaching a student who used sign language, so I asked the student’s parents if they could find a tutor who could teach me some basic sign language so I could better communicate with their child. The parents were happy to help, and I started learning basic sign language. It took me about three weeks to learn enough to communicate with their child and another two weeks to feel comfortable enough to teach the student.”
This question is a way for the interviewer to learn more about your teaching style and how you connect with students. Your answer should include examples of how you interact with students in that age group and how you help them learn.
Example: “I feel I best connect with elementary school students. I find that they are eager to learn, and I enjoy being their first teacher. I find that I can make learning fun for them, and it’s rewarding to see them retain information and apply it to their lives. I also enjoy interacting with older students, as they are often more mature than younger students and have a better understanding of what they’re learning.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching philosophy. This is an opportunity to share your passion for teaching and how you chose the grade level you teach.
Example: “I chose to teach third grade because I love working with students who are eager to learn new things. I find that third graders are at a great age where they are still excited about learning but they are also starting to develop their own opinions and ideas. I enjoy helping students develop their critical thinking skills and prepare for future learning.”
Special needs students often require a unique approach to teaching. Interviewers may ask this question to determine whether you have experience working with special needs students and how you plan to address their needs in the classroom. In your answer, try to explain your past experiences working with special needs students and how you plan to support these students in the future.
Example: “I have worked with students who have special needs throughout my career as a teacher. For example, I worked as a substitute teacher at a high school where one of my classes was an English as a second language class. In this class, I had several students with special needs who required extra support and attention. I made sure to provide each student with the individualized attention they needed to ensure they were all understanding the material.”
Interviewers ask this question to see how you can apply your knowledge of a subject to the classroom. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention any certifications or degrees you have in the subject you’re teaching. You can also explain how your personal experiences with the subject or subjects you teach make you qualified to teach them.
Example: “I have a bachelor’s degree in English literature, and I’m currently working toward my master’s degree in education. I’ve always been passionate about literature, and I love sharing my passion for reading with my students. My experience as an educator has helped me understand what students need to learn about literature and how I can help them learn it.”
Interviewers want to know how you’ll keep your classroom organized and ensure students are following the rules. Be sure to discuss your management style and how it helps you create a productive learning environment for students.
Example: “I use a combination of positive reinforcement and consequences for misbehavior. For example, if I see a student is struggling with a concept, I’ll pull them aside to ask them questions and help them understand the material. If they continue to struggle, I’ll provide additional support in the form of tutoring or extra help after school. If students are disrupting the class, I’ll have a private conversation with them about their behavior and what they can do differently.”
Interviewers may ask this question to determine how you assess your students’ learning. They want to know how you measure success and whether you have a plan for helping students who are struggling. In your answer, explain how you determine if a student has learned the material and what steps you take to help them if they’re struggling.
Example: “I use a variety of methods to determine whether or not students have learned the material. I give quizzes throughout the unit to see if they can recall the information from previous lessons. I also administer unit exams at the end of each unit to see if they can apply what they’ve learned to new situations. If a student is struggling, I will provide extra help in class and even set up an appointment with them after school so they can get more one-on-one attention.”
Interviewers may ask this question to gauge your problem-solving skills and how you’ve used them to overcome challenges in the classroom. When answering this question, it can be helpful to focus on a challenge that you overcame rather than one that you failed to overcome.
Example: “When I first started teaching, I had a student who was very disruptive in class. He would often talk out of turn and not pay attention during lessons. I tried several different strategies to get him to focus, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, I decided to meet with him after school. We talked about his interests and hobbies, and he told me that he didn’t feel like he fit in at school.
I found out that he was being bullied by other students and that’s why he was acting out in class. I talked with the principal about the situation and we decided to hold an assembly where we discussed bullying and how to report it. The student felt more comfortable after the assembly, and his grades improved.”
Interviewers want to know how you can motivate students to learn, succeed and achieve. They want to see that you can inspire your students and help them develop a passion for learning. Use examples from your experience of motivating students to learn and succeed.
Example: “I find that the best way to motivate my students is to be an example for them. I show them that learning is fun and exciting, and I make sure they understand the material before we move on. I also make sure to give them positive feedback when they do well, which motivates them to work hard and achieve their goals.”
Interviewers want to know that you can keep students engaged in your classroom. They want to know that you have a variety of teaching methods and strategies you use to make lessons fun and interesting for students. When answering this question, be honest about the methods you use to keep students engaged and interested in what you’re teaching.
Example: “I think it’s important to keep students engaged in the lesson at all times. I try to make my lessons fun and interactive by incorporating games, projects and activities into my lessons. I also try to make my lessons more interesting by using technology as much as possible. I find that many students enjoy learning more when they get to use technology in the classroom.”
Parents play an important role in their child’s education. Parents can help with homework, attend school events and provide emotional support. Some parents may not be able to attend school events, so you should offer other ways to stay involved. You can talk about how you communicate with parents and how you encourage them to help their child succeed.
Example: “I send weekly emails to parents with homework assignments, upcoming events and test dates. I also send daily emails during the school year with any updates or changes to the schedule. I always make sure to include a way for parents to contact me if they have any questions or concerns. I also encourage parents to volunteer at school and attend our open houses.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn about your teaching methods and how you interact with students. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific teaching style and how it benefits your students. It can also be helpful to include an example of a time when you used this method successfully.
Example: “I believe in a hands-on learning style that gives students the opportunity to experience concepts firsthand. For example, I once had a student who was struggling with fractions. Instead of just explaining how to do fractions, I gave the student a set of fraction flashcards and asked them to solve the problem on their own. The student was able to solve the problem on their own, and they were able to apply that knowledge to other math problems.”
Teachers must have the ability to manage students who misbehave. This question helps interviewers evaluate your skills in handling discipline issues and maintaining order in the classroom. In your response, explain how you use positive reinforcement and other strategies to help students behave and learn.
Example: “I believe that positive reinforcement is the best way to help students learn and behave. When I notice a student behaving well, I praise them for their efforts. When I see a student misbehaving, I try to find out what’s causing their behavior. For example, if a student is talking out of turn, I may ask them to explain what they were trying to say. This helps me understand their thought process and find ways to help them learn.”
This question can give the interviewer insight into how you approach change and your willingness to innovate. Your answer can also show how you might implement changes to benefit students. When answering this question, it can be helpful to highlight specific ways you would like to improve the educational system and how those changes could benefit students.
Example: “I would change the current educational system by making sure that all students have access to the same resources and opportunities. I think that providing equal opportunities for all students is a key factor in improving education. I would also like to see more funding for special education programs, as I think that these programs are essential for helping students with learning disabilities succeed in school.”
This question can give the interviewer insight into your ability to assess student applications for special programs. Use your answer to highlight your ability to make accurate decisions and use critical thinking skills when assessing student applications.
Example: “I have worked in several schools that offered gifted programs, so I have seen many different types of applications. I start by reading through the application thoroughly and making notes about what the student has done in their previous school. I then compare their work to the criteria listed in the application. I also speak with the students’ teachers and parents to get a better idea of how they are performing in their current classroom.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your commitment to teamwork and collaboration. As a teacher, it’s important to support your colleagues in the classroom and on the school campus. Show interviewers that you’re willing to help other teachers by sharing an example of how you’ve helped a colleague in the past.
Example: “In my previous school, I was one of the youngest teachers in the building. I was also one of the only teachers who taught multiple subjects, so I had a lot of questions for my colleagues. I always made sure to ask my colleagues for help when I needed it, and they were always willing to lend me a hand. They even helped me develop lesson plans for my classes and offered feedback on my teaching style.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see how you organize your time and plan your lessons. This can be an important skill for teachers to have, so they can ensure they’re covering all the necessary material while keeping students engaged. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific process you use when writing lesson plans and how it helps you be successful.
Example: “When writing lesson plans, I start by reviewing the previous day’s material and looking at any notes I took during class. Then, I decide what concepts I want to cover in the upcoming lesson and what activities or assignments I can use to help students learn those concepts. Finally, I write down the objectives for each lesson so that I know exactly what I need to cover.”
Interviewers want to know how you plan and manage your classroom. They want to see that you have a system in place for keeping track of student progress, as well as how you motivate students to complete their work.
Example: “I use a variety of methods to ensure all of my students are on track with their assignments. I check in with students daily and provide them with regular feedback. I also use a variety of digital platforms that allow me to keep track of my students’ progress and send reminders when assignments are due. I find that this helps keep students accountable and motivated to complete their work.”
Students may have different interests and learning styles, which can make it difficult for them to engage in certain subjects. An interviewer may ask this question to see how you encourage students who may not be interested in what you’re teaching. In your answer, try to highlight your teaching methods and strategies that help you engage students of all learning styles and interests.
Example: “I try to make sure my lessons are engaging for all students. I also try to connect my lessons to real-world applications and experiences so that students can see how the material they learn in class will help them in the future. For example, I once taught a lesson on the solar system, but I also used that information to teach my class about constellations. This helped some students who were interested in astronomy understand the material better.”
Technology is an important part of many students’ lives and can be a useful tool in the classroom. A teacher should know how to use technology effectively and in a way that helps students learn. Consider how you can show the interviewer that you know how to use technology in the classroom without letting it take over your lessons.
Example: “I think technology is an important tool for students to learn with, but I also think it’s important for them to learn how to use it independently. I make sure my students understand how to use technology for research and other assignments, but I also teach them about the different types of technology and what they’re good for. For example, I’ll show them how to use a mouse and keyboard, but then I’ll have them practice using their fingers on a touchscreen.”
Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you can help students who have trouble learning. In your answer, explain how you help students learn a concept or skill and how you encourage them to try their best.
Example: “I help students who struggle with learning by giving them extra practice with the concept or skill. I also make sure to give them plenty of positive feedback when they complete a task well or answer a question correctly. I find that positive reinforcement is an effective way to encourage students to keep trying. I also make sure to provide plenty of resources for my students so they can learn on their own, such as online resources, tutoring sessions and extra-curricular activities.”
Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your teaching style. They want to know how you would create a positive learning environment for students. In your answer, describe what you think is important in a classroom and how you would implement it. You can also mention any specific techniques or methods you use to create a positive learning environment.
Example: “I think an ideal classroom should be a place where students feel comfortable asking questions and expressing themselves. I would create this environment by creating a safe space where students can share their opinions and ideas without fear of judgment. I would also encourage open communication between myself and my students by making myself available for questions and feedback. I think it’s important to foster a relationship with my students so they feel comfortable reaching out to me.”
Field trips are an important part of a student’s education. They allow students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and explore the world around them. Interviewers want to know how you plan for field trips and ensure your students have a safe, educational experience. In your answer, explain how you plan for field trips and what steps you take to ensure that all students are prepared.
Example: “I always plan for field trips at least two weeks in advance. I make sure to communicate with parents about the trip and any supplies their child will need. I also make sure that I have enough teachers to cover the classes while we’re out on the trip. I find that it’s helpful to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.”
Interviewers may ask this question to see how you plan and execute lessons that involve students of different backgrounds. In your answer, share a specific example of how you incorporated diversity into a lesson plan or activity.
Example: “In my previous position, I taught a class of fifth graders that included students from many different backgrounds. During one week of the school year, I planned a lesson on the Civil War. I started by asking students what they already knew about the war, and then I researched additional information about the war and its causes. We talked about how some of the causes were due to slavery, and we discussed how this relates to our current society. We also talked about how some people feel that the Civil War is still relevant today.”
This question is a great way to assess your ability to work with others and collaborate with school leadership. This question also helps the interviewer learn more about your expectations of the school and administration. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list specific resources you need to help you do your job effectively.
Example: “I need access to a computer lab with enough computers for all of my students. I also need a dedicated space for my class so that I can have control over the decor and learning materials. I would also benefit from having a teaching assistant or paraprofessional in my classroom to help me with student care and support.”
This question can help interviewers understand your approach to teaching and how you measure success in your classroom. When answering, it can be helpful to describe a specific example of a time when you measured success and the results of that measurement.
Example: “I measure success in my teaching by looking at my students’ growth over time. For example, during the first week of school I may ask students to write a paragraph about themselves, and then I may ask them to do the same thing again at the end of the year. By comparing these two paragraphs, I can see how much they’ve grown as writers and as people. This helps me know that I’m doing my job well.”