You are committed and ready to teach. Have you done your homework
to prepare for the interview? Most school districts have specific questions and evaluation criteria for their recruiting efforts. Candidates are likely to be evaluated in a variety of areas including:
- Classroom management
- Learning theories and instructional strategies
- Teaching philosophy
- Subject matter/grade-level expertise
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Assessment and evaluation
The following questions are representative of those that you are likely to encounter in your interviews. Use these to practice and you will be prepared to communicate your teaching skills.
- What three words best describe you as an educator?
- How will you apply your philosophy of education in the classroom?
- Describe your ideal classroom.
- Tell me how you would spend $500 to enhance your classroom.
- How do you define success in the classroom?
- Why do you want to teach?
- With which kind of student do you most (least) like to work?
- Describe your student teaching experiences.
- What was your biggest problem during your student teaching experience? How did you resolve it?
- What are the qualities of an excellent teacher? Which of these qualities do you have?
- How do you relate with minority students in the classroom?
- How should a student’s educational achievement and progress be measured?
- How would you treat a student who refused to do the work you assigned?
- How and when do you discipline a student?
- What grade level do you prefer? Why?
- How would you work with students who perform below grade level, especially those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds?
- Some of your students always finish their assignments early. How would you deal with the free time that they have?
- What do you plan to be doing in five years? What are your career goals?
- What technology do you need in your classroom to promote a good learning environment? What specific technology skills do you possess?
- How do you incorporate your teaching philosophy into your daily instruction?
- Describe teaching strategies you have used for students including gifted students, second-language students, reluctant learners, and special needs students.
- How do you engage a parent in the education of his or her child?
By asking pertinent questions, you will show your interviewer that you understand fundamental issues relating to teaching. Well-designed questions can elicit valuable information about the needs of the school, the culture of the workplace, and the personalities of the people who will be your colleagues and supervisors if you get the job.
You should have several questions in mind before you arrive for your interview. The following questions should give you a good start.
- What is the teacher/student ratio in your district?
- Do you encourage teachers to earn graduate degrees?
- How many classes a day will I be expected to teach?
- What types of school activities promote parent-teacher-student interaction?
- Tell me about the students who attend this school.
- What textbooks does the district use in this subject area?
- Do teachers participate in curriculum review and change?
- Does your district promote staff development activities and conferences? What types of programs have the teachers attended in the last year?
- How does the teaching staff feel about new teachers?
- What discipline procedures does the district use?
- Do parents support the schools? Does the community?
- Do your schools use teacher aides or parent volunteers?
- To what extent do staff members work collaboratively to solve problems and respond to the needs of students?
- Does the administration encourage field trips for students?
- How are teachers assigned to extracurricular activities? Is compensation provided?
- Does the district have a statement of educational philosophy or mission?
- What are prospects for future growth in this community and its schools?
- What technology resources will be available to me in the classroom?