Sample Teacher Interview Questions

Getting to Know You
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Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you choose to become a teacher? What do you want to accomplish as a teacher? Describe your areas of strength and also an area you hope to improve. Tell us about your student teaching experience. What did you learn, what did you do well, and what do you need to work on? What would your students say about you? What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What three words would you choose to describe yourself? What is your educational and professional preparation? How would your peers/colleagues describe you? In 100 words or less, discuss the strengths and competencies you possess which qualify you for this position.

The purpose and rationale for these (getting to know you) questions are to gain personal information, determine your ability to organize your thoughts and think quickly, as well as your poise and confidence under stress.

Teacher Relationships with Students
• • • • • • • • • • What kind of students do you like to work with? What type of students could you teach most effectively? How do you help students experience success? How would you individualize instruction for students? What procedures do you use to evaluate student progress besides using tests? How would you challenge the slow learner and the advanced learner within the same class? How will you find out students attitudes and feelings in your class? What is your experience working with special education students? English Language Learners? What is your experience working with diverse student populations? Discuss experiences working with your target population of students. How do you keep them motivated? Discuss your experience or interest working with struggling learners and at-risk students.

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Teacher Relationships with Students Continued
• • • • • What do you think is the best approach for empowering students, rather than enabling them? What opportunities would you be able to bring to our students? Describe a lesson that would be very motivating to teach. What are the students doing? How will you establish and foster relationships with students, especially those with difficult behaviors? How do you assess what a student with behavioral issues needs to be successful? Describe methods, strategies, or interventions you have implemented with a student with serious behavioral issues.

Teacher Relationships with Colleagues
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • What kind of teachers would you prefer to work with? Why? What activities would you like to work with at our school? What quality or qualities do you have that would enhance our teaching staff? What are some personality characteristics you find undesirable in people? Give an example of something valuable you learned from a colleague. Can you give a specific example of a project where you worked collaboratively? What were the goals, challenges and outcomes? Discuss your feelings about working in a team environment in which some items (i.e. curriculum) are agreed upon as a team, department, school, etc. What kind of assistance would you most like from other staff members? Who should be responsible for discipline in a school? Why? What do you feel is the most effective way to communicate with parents? Describe how you have used these technique(s)? Describe the reasons who you would contact parents. What would you include in your Open House presentations to parents? What community activities would you like to be associated with? Why? Briefly describe your philosophy of education. List and describe three teaching strategies you feel most competent using. How will you make your classroom a safe learning environment? How will you address Response to Intervention in your classroom? What are the most significant challenges in teaching and learning in current classrooms? How will you implement accommodations for students with special needs? What teaching strategies do you feel comfortable using? Are you developing? What is the most unique lesson you have taught in a classroom? Teaching strategy and/or pedagogy? Tell us about two lessons you have taught that went really well and two that did not go so well.

Teacher Relationships with Parents

Teaching Techniques and Pedagogy

Teaching Techniques and Pedagogy Continued
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Describe any school experience you have had, particularly in student teaching (or in another teaching position) that has prepared you for a full-time position at our school. How would you integrate technology into the curriculum you would teach? Describe any innovative projects you have been involved in developing. What teaching methods do you use most frequently (i.e. lecturing, demonstrating, worksheets, projects, research, daily puzzles)? What areas of your subject are you uncomfortable teaching? How do you decide which electives to teach, if given the option? Are you comfortable with online grading software? To you feel it is important to teach values and morals in school, and how would you accomplish this task? How familiar are you with the state academic standards and MCA testing? Do you have experience with group teaching and/or subject integration, and do you think it is valuable? Give an example of how you have used cooperative learning in your classroom. What four words would students use to describe your teaching strategies? What rules do you have for your classroom? Describe your teaching style and how you accommodate the different learning styles within your classes. What do you consider to be your strengths and how will you use them in your teaching? What methodologies do you use in your teaching? How would you develop an overall teaching plan for the year? Would you rather try new teaching strategies or try to perfect the approaches which work best for you? Explain. An experienced teacher offers you the following advice: “When you are teaching, be sure to command the respect of your students immediately and all will go well.” How do you feel about this? How do you decide what should be taught in your class? Tell me about a lesson you use that integrates one or more standards. What is your philosophy of classroom management? Tell me about a lesson you use that utilizes reading, writing, speaking, and listening. What would I see if I were to observe you at work in your classroom? What are some ways you’ve thought of to reduce plagiarism? What intervention strategies do you use as a teacher at the classroom level for students who are not having success? Discuss your general philosophies related to grading, assignments, types of assessments, extra credit, etc. What are your experiences working with Curriculum Cycles, designing curriculum and leadership roles related to designing and implementing a new/revised curriculum? How do we overcome obstacles or barriers to learning (i.e. lack of motivation, little support at home, etc.)?

Teaching Techniques and Pedagogy Continued
• • • What do you believe is the best strategy or tool for coaching students? Tell me how you enforce a productive class environment. Describe some reading strategies you’ve implemented to work with functional readers with very low comprehension, written, and work skills. The purpose or rationale for these questions are to gain insight into the candidate’s preparation and competency in lesson planning, curriculum development, and the Standards. They are also asked to determine the candidate’s ability to develop curriculum that will address the standards in their classroom, the candidate’s enthusiasm and excitement about preparation to teach, and the organizational and reflective abilities of the candidate.

Content Knowledge
• • • • • • • • Why did you choose to study your subject area? Describe the three most important concepts in your subject matter that students must understand to become successful. What are the current trends in curriculum in your teaching area? In 100 words or less, describe your preparation and study in your subject matter. What is the most exciting thing happening in your field of study? What is your favorite concept in your subject area to teach? What was your favorite course in college? What was your most difficult course in college? The purpose and rationale for these questions are to gain insight into the candidate’s preparation/competency in the subject area, the candidate’s comfort level teaching in their subject area, the candidate’s enthusiasm and excitement for subject the area, and the amount of specialization in the subject area.

Professionalism and Motivation
• • • What does it mean to be a professional educator? Describe characteristics of the best/worst teacher you have known. What is the correct professional dress and demeanor for a classroom teacher? What are your three most important reasons for wanting to be a teacher? What are your professional aspirations in the next five years/ten years? What are your thoughts on being a role model and its importance in the classroom? What has been your most positive teaching experience? Negative?

• • • •

The purpose or rationale for these questions are to gain insight into your professional philosophy and determine your training on how to be a professional.

School/Position
• • • • • • • • •
What are the position(s) for which you are applying? What has motivated you to apply for this position at our school? What do you know about our school? Please describe your education, training, experiences, and accomplishments to help us better understand your qualifications for these positions. How do you anticipate working at this school will be different from your previous experience? Why are you the best candidate for this position? What sets you apart from other applicants? What needs and/or expectations do you have of the school administration? How do you deal with fast-paced, high intensity, high expectation job settings? What experiences will help in preparing you for a demanding situation? Discuss the ideal teaching situation for you. What type of students are you teaching, what courses, what resources are available to you, what level of students, etc.? What teaching situations do you do your best work? Please identify our schools guiding principles or mission at “jump off the page” for you. How would you bring those ideals to life? If you were offered this position, what would be the first thing you would do to prepare? If you were asked to do more than your job description required, how would you respond? What do you know about the state and national standards? Do you see any value in being involved in your state’s association? If you were offered and accepted the position here, what changes would you make immediately and what would you want to change down the road? Describe your organizational skills. How would you stay organized with planning, correcting, and parent/teacher communications about academic and behavioral issues? Your teacher’s contract states that teachers should “dress appropriately.” What does that mean to you?

• • • • • • • •

Situational Questions
• •
If you had given students 15-20 minutes after your lesson discussion to do their homework and a student puts his head down on his desk, what would you do or say? You have a special needs student with ADHD in your classroom, she is repeatedly disruptive – talking to those around her, getting up to sharpen her pencil a couple times during the class period, and making comments such as, “This is stupid. Who needs to know this stuff anyway?” What would you do? A paper was due at the end of a two-week unit. Johnny didn’t meet the deadline. He tells his parents that he did not have enough time to finish it. His mother is a school board member. What would you say or do?

Situational Questions Continued
• • • • • •
If you told a student (who was disruptive) to go to the office and she refused, what would you do? A student is doing poorly in your class. You talk with her, and the student tells you that she considers you the poorest teacher she has ever met. What would you do? You give an assignment. A student ridicules the assignment, saying it doesn’t make sense. What would you do? If you see a 180-degree turn in a student, what would you do? A parent comes to you and complains that what you are teaching his/her child is irrelevant to the child’s needs. How would you respond? How would you initiate a discussion with a student who has not completed their work for two days in a row?

Unique Questions
• •
If you could pick a famous person to interview, who would you pick and why? If you could be one color of the rainbow, which color would it be and why?

Additional Topics and Background Information
• • • • • • • • • • • • • What personal attributes do you possess which will enable you to be a positive role model for students? What are your plans for continuing your professional growth? Tell me about an interesting article you have read recently in a professional journal. What current trends in public education please you? Displease you? Tell me about the three people who have most influenced your own education and educational career. What do you think will provide you the greatest pleasure in teaching? Discuss your experience in leadership positions and how you can best add to the leadership here? “The fundamental purpose of school is learning, not teaching.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? To whom would you go if you weren’t sure how to handle a situation? Are you interested in coaching? If you were coaching, how would you handle a student who does something unsportsmanlike? Project yourself five years into the future and place yourself into your vision of what this learning environment will look like? Please respond briefly to the following: All children can learn; Multiple Intelligences; Site based management; Inclusion; Cooperative Learning.

Questions to ask at the interview (select 2 or 3)
• • • • • • • • • • • • Tell me about your community and students. Does the school or district have a general discipline plan? Do you offer professional development opportunities or continuing education? Are there any aspects of my background or qualifications that are unclear or need further explanation? I’d be happy to clarify them for you. What support or resource staff do you have available to assist students and teachers? Is there heavy parental involvement within the school? Has the district recently implemented any new programs for (insert grade level or subject area)? What technology resources are available for myself to use and for the (insert grade level or subject area)? What is the school policy or philosophy on inclusion? Are there duties outside the classroom that are expected of teachers? How receptive are you of changes to the curriculum? What is the process? What is the next step in the hiring process or when do you hope to make a decision?

Questions to ask after the job offer
• • Tell me about your health insurance plan(s). Tell me about your retirement package.

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