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Questions to Expect in a Teaching Job Interview

Landing a Teaching Job

If you want to be a teacher, you will have to pass an interview. Nervous? You'll need to know what to expect.

This article will explain the process of a teaching job interview, what to expect in the actual interview, and some of the questions that you may be asked.

Here's what you need to know, drawing on my own experience as a teacher as well as from other research that I have done. If you are presently preparing for a teacher job interview, this piece will help give an idea of what to expect in your upcoming interview.

Purpose of a Teaching Job Interview

First of all, let's consider the purpose of a job interview for a teaching job. Please remember that teaching is a very important and responsible job. As a teacher, you are given the role of loco parentis, or in other words, taking the place of a parent. Other people are paying you, and trusting you, to take care of their children! And therefore the pressure is on to get someone that is ethical and suitable for the position.

The administration who is hiring you is not the only one involved in the decision. When a teacher is hired for a position, it affects and concerns a lot of stakeholders, including:

  • School board: They are the ones that will be paying you and responsible for you.
  • Principal: They will be your direct supervisor.
  • Other teachers: They are not involved, but they are interested because your presence will have an impact on the mood of the school.
  • Parents: You may be involved with their children.
  • Taxpayers: You will be taking money from the public purse (if you teach in a public school)
  • Students: They are the ones who will be dealing with you day by day.

Therefore, remember that a job interview may appear to be a simple procedure, but the decision to hire a teacher is usually quite complex, and affects many people.

Most teaching job interviews take place in a board room with several interviewers.

Most teaching job interviews take place in a board room with several interviewers.

Group Interviews

Because there are so many stakeholders, it is not uncommon to have several people at the interview. In my experience, there are no fewer than three individuals asking questions, and sometimes as many as five sitting in the boardroom.

Most job interviews for teaching are group interviews. Interviewers may include a principal, a representative from the school board, a parent representative, and an administrator besides the principal.

Usually, during a job interview, the questions are passed around from one interviewer to the next. You usually will be seated in a board room facing all of the individuals conducting the interview.

Types of Questions for a Teaching Job Interview

Okay, here are some of the types of questions that may be asked in a job interview for teaching.

Of course, these will vary according to jurisdiction and level, but many of these may apply. Some of the categories may overlap.

Background Questions

  • What is your background as a teacher?
  • Where have you taught?
  • What is your educational background?
  • What kind of professional development have you taken part in?

Teaching Practice Questions

  • What are your strengths as a teacher?
  • How do you handle classroom management?
  • How do you do your lesson planning?
  • What kind of assessment do you do?

Situational Questions

  • What would you do if you had an aggressive student?
  • How would you help build children's self-esteem?
  • What was a lesson that you were very proud of?
  • What was one time that you felt good about the way you interacted with a student?

Teaching Philosophy

  • What is your teaching philosophy? (This may be given as an essay question.)
  • What are your beliefs on assessments?
  • What is the importance of confidentiality and professionalism to a teacher?

Professional Relationships

  • How kind of relationship have you had with other teachers in your school?
  • What kind of relationship do you think a teacher should have with the principal?
  • What you do believe is the role of the principal?

Extracurricular Activities

  • What kind of after-school activities have you done in the past?
  • What kind of extracurricular activities are you willing to do if you are hired for this job?

Expectation and Motivation

  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Why do you want to teach here?

Answer Honestly

When answering the questions, try to be as honest as you can be. Don't pretend to have experiences that you don't have, and don't pretend to be more than you are.

Be as forthcoming as you can be, concerning your style as a teacher. In this way, you are more likely to find a spot that fits you.

Not every job will fit you, and you want to find a position where your talents match up with the climate and philosophy of the school.

More Good Job Interview Advice

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Kiran Saleem on June 22, 2019:


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 11, 2014:

@RonElFran, it's always nice to prep for your interview, especially since we tend to be a bit nervous when it comes to an interview. Thanks for your comment!

@manatita44, thanks so much for the comment. I am glad you found the article interesting. Take care.

manatita44 from london on September 05, 2014:

Interesting article on preparing for an interview and the information necessary to know. Thanks

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on August 30, 2014:

Since I never expect to be seeking a teaching job, I read this out of curiosity. Seems like a very good guide for teacher candidates. I wish I had had something like this before some of my job interviews.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 14, 2014:

@Paul Kuehn, thank you so much for the shares and votes. I do apologize for not commenting back to you sooner. I have been so swamped with my position as a teacher that my comments have piled up. (Kind of like my marking does, too, ha ha!)

And to answer your question, no, we don't have demos. That is very interesting, and I did not know that. It sounds like a great amount of pressure on the candidate, but I suppose it would be easier to tell if they were a good fit for the job. Thanks for the great info, too. Have a good night.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on June 14, 2014:

@KatNance, thank you for your nice words about teachers. And you are so right in that -- we do see an awful lot of those kids! We tell the students that we do act in the parent role, while they are in school. Have a great day!

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on October 03, 2013:


This hub has very useful information for anyone who is applying for a teaching job. At the school where I work in Thailand, the job applicant only meets and answers questions from the head of our English Program. All job applicants must pass a classroom demonstration of teaching before they are hired. Do you have these class demos now in Canada or the U.S.? Voted up and sharing with followers. Also Pinning and sharing on Facebook.

KatNance on March 12, 2013:

teachers are very important ppl in our lifes they see more of our children than we do.teachers are awesome..this hub is very helpful..has very helpful info..

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 05, 2012:

GL, yes, it is important to know why questions are being asked, so you can answer them in a way that really does reflect who you really are. I did not realize this until I had some experience in administration and saw things from that angle. Thanks for the great comment and have a wonderful day!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on September 04, 2012:

A VERY helpful Hub here. So good that you labelled the 'types' of questions like this so that teachers about to go on an interview can seriously think about what their answers are 'saying' about them.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 03, 2012:

Teaches, I appreciate your confirmation that I am on the right track. I do hope it's helpful for new graduates. Take care and have a good year!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 03, 2012:

@Virginia, that is another excellent question that could be asked. I will add that one when I have a chance. Thanks for the tip. And yes, planning is the absolute key to success in teaching! Thanks again for the great comment. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 03, 2012:

@Marcy, thank you so much for your comment. Yes, a teaching interview is a unique experience and it's good to have some idea of what's going to take place in the interview. Thank you so much for the feedback and the shares. I hope it's helpful for them. Take care!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on September 02, 2012:

@Marcy, a teaching interview really is quite different than other professions, so it's hard to know what to expect. I am glad that you found it relevant and appreciate the shares so much. Have a great week!

Dianna Mendez on August 27, 2012:

I have been on interviews and have to agree that theses questions are ones that are asked. Teachers will appreciate your posting these so that they are well prepared for that important meeting. Voted up.

Virginia Kearney from United States on August 27, 2012:

Very helpful information. I've also been in on many hiring decisions and found one question really helped me sort through the applicants, "Describe what happens in a day in your class" or "What would I see if I came into your class for a day." Astoundingly, I found many applicants either couldn't clearly answer this question (showing to me that they had not thought about class organization and scheduling clearly) or they said things which showed they were not usually very well prepared in the morning like: "I have the students come in and draw or read while I get organized." To impress interviewers, you need to show that you are ready for the students and keep them occupied and interested in lessons through the day. No teacher is perfect all the time, but a plan can prevent many disasters!

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on August 26, 2012:

This is such valuable information! I think teaching, especially, can put an applicant in an interview setting that is unfamiliar turf, since it is not a career where you think about that element. I will be sharing this with the new grads-to-be I know who are headed for the classroom.

Voted up and up!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on August 26, 2012:

@Aman, thanks so much for the share! I do hope it helps as many people as possible. Have a wonderful night.

@Kissayer, thank you so much for your positive words. I do hope it does provide assistance to teachers looking for work. I know that when you are applying for a job, it helps to be as prepared as possible. Have a good day!

Kristy Sayer from Sydney, Australia on August 26, 2012:

Fabulous hub! Definitely a must read for any teacher seeking a new job! You covered all of the bases and made it easy for someone to prepare as much as possible before their interview.

Aman Thakur from India on August 25, 2012:

This is really an awesome hub loaded with important questions that one must prepare before facing any teaching job interview. Voting this hub up and socially shared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1