Questions to Expect in a Teaching Job Interview
If you are looking to obtain a job in the teaching profession, you will have to go through at least one job interview before you are hired to teach in a K-12 school. You may be wondering what to expect in the interview.
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.
I am writing this article from my own experience as a teacher who has gone through several interviews for teaching jobs in my career 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 are not the only ones 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 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.
They Are Usually Group Interviews
Because there are so many stakeholders, it 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
When answering the questions, try to be as honest as you can be. Don't pretend to have experience 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
- How to Score High in a Job Interview
Here's what managers look for on interviews. Ten important tips to score high on job interviews.
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.