Answering Interview Questions for Teachers
Below are sample interview questions which are typical of what teachers are asked. In preparing for interviewing, my advice to interviewees is to think through your professional guiding principles. You probably should identify between 10 and 15 principles. There are your beliefs. Write them down and identify your accomplishment, skills, experiences and personal stories that illustrate each guiding principle.
There are lots of lists of typical, most asked questions that are readily available. Review those questions and match them to the guiding principle(s) that come closest to getting at the core of the question; then create two minute answers that are guided by your guiding principle. This isn’t easy, but with some practice you will get good at it, and it really works. You might want to purchase my ebook in which I devote an entire section on specific answers which speak to guiding principles. Here are some questions and what I think are key principles that can guide an effective response.
• Why did you decide to become a teacher? SERVICE TO YOUTH AND THE COMMUNITY
• Have you ever taken care of someone? Did you enjoy it? NURTURER AND ALTRUISM
• If I were your principal and we were setting goals for next year, what would they be? STUDNT LEARNING/STUDENT UNDERSTANDING ARE ALWAYS PRIMARY
• What is the last book you read? PRESENT YOURSELF AS AN INTERESTING AND INTELLIGENT PROFESSIONAL
• Some people say you should demand respect. Do you agree or disagree? ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. ESTABLISH A RESPECTFUL CLIMATE/ BE A ROLE MODEL
• Tell me about yourself. IDENTIFY THREE WORDS AND/OR PHRASES THAT GO TO YOUR CORE
• How would you rank these in importance and why? Planning, discipline, methods, evaluation. THINK SYNERGISTICALLY
• If a student came to you and said, “None of the other students like me,” what would you tell him/her? KNOW YOUR ROLE AND RECOGNIZE YOUR LIMITATIONS/ BE A TEAM MEMBER—MAKE REFERRALS
• How do you feel if a student does not meet a deadline? BE NON-JUDGEMENTAL –AVOID TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY
• How do you give your students recognition for a job well done? INTRINSTIC REWARDS OUT-WEIGH EXTRINSIC
• How do you know that students are learning? CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING
• How do you handle a child who seems gifted? EVERY STUDENT IS UNIQUE AND NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGED/DIFFERENTIATION OF INSTRUCTION
• How do you prefer to use computers in the classroom? A TOOL IN PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
• What is the role of the principal? THE PRINCIPAL IS A RESOURCE PERSON WHOSE ROLE IS TO HELP ME GROW PROFESSIONALLY
• How would you handle a racial conflict situation? TEACHABLE MOMENT
• How do you establish authority/discipline? ESTABLISH CLEAR EXPECTATIONS AND LIMITS
• Do you ever feel angry toward your students? THE TEACHER IS THE ADULT AND THE PROFESSIONAL IN THE CLASSROOM
• How would you handle making a difficult phone call to a parent? ASSUME THAT PARENTS LOVE THEIR CHILD AND WANT WHAT’S BEST
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