20 Job Interview Questions for Teachers (And Answers) – CV Nation

20 Job Interview Questions and Answers for Teachers

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The complete guide to teacher job interview questions and answers, which details 20 of the most common questions asked in teacher job interviews.

Job interviews for teaching jobs are difficult. You’ll be asked a number of challenging questions to see if you meet the school’s requirements and stand out from other candidates.

In this guide, we have included 20 of the most common teacher job interview questions, along with sample answers. Familiarise yourself with these questions and follow our job interview tips to give yourself a better chance of succeeding in your job interview.

1. Why Did You Become a Teacher?

Interviewers ask this question to find out if you are passionate about teaching and match the ambitions of their school.

Of course, you will have your own reasons for becoming a teacher. You may have become a teacher because you’re passionate about education. You may have become a teacher due to your own experiences as a student.

When answering this question, ensure to demonstrate your passion for teaching. The best teachers are often those who are passionate and committed to their profession. So if this comes through in your answer, you’ll make a positive impression.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I became a teacher because of my passion for learning. I get pleasure from enabling students to develop academically and realise their learning goals. Teaching and shaping members of the next generation gives me a great sense of pride.

As a teenager, I was helped and guided by many fantastic teachers. An example is my English teacher, whose commitment to teaching I admired. She not only helped me excel academically, but also taught me many valuable life lessons. These experiences played a key role in my pursuit of a career in teaching.

2. How Do You Build Productive Relationships with Students?

Developing productive relationships with students is key to improving their academic performance. As such, interviewers want to recruit teachers who can build positive relationships with students.

When answering this question, provide an example of a time when your strong student relationships were beneficial. For example, did you assist a student who was struggling?

By providing tangible examples of your relationship-building skills, you’ll show the interviewer that you care about students and can positively impact their learning experience.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I build productive relationships with students by getting to know them on an individual basis. By understanding students’ individual requirements, I can tailor their learning experience to their specific needs.

While teaching in my previous role, I encountered a student who was struggling with homework and was lagging behind the rest of the class. I introduced the student to an easy-to-use learning app, which enabled him to complete his homework on time. The fact that I had built a productive relationship with the student meant that it was easier for me to resolve this issue.

3. How Do You Make Use of Teaching Technology?

Technology is a big part of modern-day teaching. Not only is technology used for classroom management and organisation purposes, but it is also used as part of the actual teaching process.

When interviewing for a teaching job, the interviewer will want to determine if you are capable of making use of such technology.

The key to answering this question is to show your passion for technology and your understanding of the advantages it can bring to teaching. Then provide concrete examples of times you have utilised teaching technology.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I have championed the use of technology in the classroom for many years. Having seen first-hand the benefits that technology can bring to students’ learning, I have made an effort to become familiar with various teaching technologies.

While employed in my last teaching position, I used Example Software to organise class activities. This significantly improved the efficiency of classroom planning. I also used digital learning games, which enhanced student engagement.

4. Why Do You Want to Teacher at Our School/College?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to know if you are aligned with the school’s values and ambitions. They also want to know if you have specifically targeted their school.

The key to this question is research.

Before attending the interview, conduct as much research into the school as possible. This will enable you to demonstrate why you are a good fit for the job and show that you genuinely care about teaching there.

Here is an example answer to this question:

One of the main reasons I want to teach at your school is because I am aligned with the school’s values of academic excellence. During my career, I have taken steps to achieve academic excellence, and I have built a reputation for exceeding expectations.

While employed at Example College, 92% of my students achieved GCSE grades of A or A*. I believe this commitment and reputation for achieving academic excellence makes me a great fit for your school.

5. Describe a Time When You Dealt with a Disruptive Student

Interviewers’ goal when asking this question is to learn about your classroom management skills. All teachers encounter disruptive students at times. Experienced teachers are good at taking control in such situations and preventing them from escalating.

While answering this question, you may also want to touch on how you prevent students from becoming disruptive.

Here is an example answer to this question:

When teaching mathematics in my most recent teaching position, I encountered a student who was constantly initiating conversation with other students while I was teaching. I initially responded by asking the student not to disrupt the lesson. He continued to behave disruptively, so I told him to sit at the front of the class alone. After the lesson, I spoke with the student and conveyed the importance of rules in the classroom.

I am a firm believe that the best approach to disruptive behaviour is reducing the chances of it occurring. I mitigate it by establishing clear rules that apply to all students equally.

6. How Do You Involve Parents or Guardians in Students’ Education?

Involving parents and guardians in students' education is a key part of teaching. Interviewers want to know if you maintain channels of communication with parents/guardians and involve them in the education process.

When answering this question, highlight the ways that you communicate and engage with parents and guardians.

Here is an example answer to this question:

As I am aware of the importance of involving parents and guardians in the education process, I communicate with parents via telephone on a regular basis. I also attend parent evenings twice per year. If students need to be disciplined, I always communicate this directly to parents via telephone. I also inform parents and guardians that my door is always open until 5.30 pm if they wish to come in and chat to me about students’ education.

7. What are the Qualities of a Great Teacher?

The reason interviewers ask this question is to determine what you see as good teaching and find out if you’re aligned with the school’s values.

When answering this question, touch on your what you believe are the qualities of a great teacher and provide an example of a time you have utilised those qualities to achieve success.

Here is an example answer to this question:

For me, a great teacher is someone who is able to build meaningful connections with their students and motivate them to reach their full potential. Rather than simply dispensing information, a great teacher inspires students.

As an English teacher at Example High School, I took the time to build connections with my students on an individual basis and focused on motivating them. As a result, I found my students enjoyed my lessons. Over 84% of these students achieved GCSE grades of B or above.

8. What is Effective Classroom Management to You?

Classroom management is a fundamental part of teaching. It basically refers to the processes involved in the delivery and smooth-running of lessons.

Interviewers ask this question to find out if you have good classroom management skills.

Here is an example answer to this question:

For me, effective classroom management is the efficient delivery of well-planned lessons that are free from disruption.

During my time as a teacher, I have delivered such lessons by conducting thorough planning, establishing clear rules in classes and following the curriculum.

9. What Challenges Face Modern-Day Teachers?

Like most industries and professions, teaching is always changing. Teachers of today are faced with many more challenges than teachers of thirty years ago. For example, the introduction of technology and, more recently, remote learning are now key aspects of teaching.

Use your answer to this question to showcase your adaptability. Show how you’ve learned new skills to adapt to changing requirements in teaching. This could be as simple as learning to use Zoom or Skype for remote learning.

Here is an example answer to this question:

Technology is a key challenge that faces modern-day teachers. As software and technology are becoming more and more involved in education, it’s important that teachers develop technology skills and maintain a knowledge of relevant technologies. During my last role, I learned how to use Skype and Zoom in order to conduct remote lessons.

10. Tell Me About Your Teaching Style

Interviewers may ask you this question to find out if you’re a good fit for their school’s culture. This is why it’s important to conduct research prior to your interview, so you can identify the school’s culture and what they are looking for in candidates.

Here is an example answer to this question:

My teaching style is based on equality and fairness. I believe that students perform to high standards when they feel valued and respected, not just by teachers but by fellow students.

I also bring an enthusiastic approach to teaching. This, in my opinion, encourages students to adopt an enthusiastic approach to learning.

11. What Are Your Key Strengths?

The aim of this question is to determine if you are a good fit for the job. The interviewer wants to learn about your key skills. If you’ve done your research, you’ll be able to tailor your answer to the school.

Ensure your answer is in line with the key strengths the school is looking for in teachers. For example, if the school’s job description states that they are looking for enthusiastic teachers with good organisation skills, you could base your answer on that.

Of course, you should never lie during a job interview. But you can honestly speak about your skills if you do in fact possess them.

Here is an example answer to this question:

My key strength is my ability to build relationships and connections with students. I believe that strong relationships are fundamental to academic success. By getting to know students on an individual basis, I have been able to tailor their learning requirements and exceed grade expectations.

12. How Do You Motivate Students?

Students who are motivated are much more likely to achieve good grades and perform to high standards. For this reason, interviewers may want to know how you go about motivating students.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I motivate students by utilising an enthusiastic approach to lessons. I believe enthusiasm is contagious; when students are taught by an enthusiastic teacher, they become enthusiastic about their learning.

13. Have You Ever Used Data to Support Your Teaching?

When teachers use data, they’re able to improve their teaching, respond effectively to problems and make better decisions. As such, interviewers often want to know if you’re proficient at collecting data.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I have made use of data during recent years. In my most recent role as a teacher as Example School I determined students’ standardized test scores. I also made use of formative assessments to obtain valuable insight. This was in the form of quizzes and Q&As, a form of data that I used to ensure the was class was on the right track.

14. How Would You Evaluate Student’s Progress?

Interviewers may ask you a question related to evaluating student performance. They want to know what steps you take to identify struggling students and those who need additional support.

When answering this question, highlight the ways that you assess students’ performance, as well as the steps you take when you identify those who are struggling.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I monitor students’ performance by conducting monthly tests and quizzes. These are designed to identify students’ weaknesses and areas where they may require further support. I also organise mock exams to assess progress.

When I identify students who are struggling, I communicate with them to discuss the problem. I also offer one-to-one sessions and attempt to plan lessons in line with their strengths.

15. Give Me an Example of a Time You Improved Classroom Performance

This question is all about determining if you are capable of improving students’ academic performance. Most schools want to recruit teachers who are good at getting results. If you can demonstrate your ability to do that, you’ll stand a much greater chance of succeeding in your job interview.

When answering behavioural-based questions such as this one, use the STAR method. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. With the STAR method, you start by describing the situation, followed by the task at hand, the action you took and end result.

Here is an example:

When I joined Example High School as a maths teacher, my class were predicted poor grades in their GCSEs. I began teaching the students with enthusiasm and made their lessons enjoyable, something that they had not experienced when learning from their previous teacher. I also introduced technology to the class, which helped students with their homework and revision. When the students sat their GCSEs, over 81% of them achieved grade C or above.

16. How Do You Manage Behaviour in the Classroom?

This question is all about finding out how you control your classrooms. Are you capable of keeping order and minimising bad behaviour?

Here is an example answer to this question:

I manage behaviour in the classroom by establishing clear rules that apply to all students equally. If these rules are broken, I provide warnings and then issue discipline. Additionally, I also ensure that students feel that they are respected. I believe students are less likely to disrupt lessons and behave poorly when they feel respected by their teacher.

17. What Are Your Biggest Weaknesses as a Teacher?

When interviewers ask this, they want to see if you’re qualified for the job.

The key to answering this question successfully is to be honest but choose a weakness that won’t prevent you from performing your job. For example, when interviewing for a teaching job, you wouldn’t want to say your biggest weakness is communication.

Consider touching on a skill that you have taken steps to improve. This shows that you’re capable of identifying your weaknesses and obtaining new skills.

View our ultimate guide to answering job interview questions about weaknesses, which includes 12 example weaknesses.

Here is an example answer to this question:

I’m not very tech-savvy. In my last job, I realised that I was not familiar with many of the software packages that were used as part of the teaching process. To combat this weakness, I completed a three-week technology course, learning to use a range of teaching technologies. Going forward, I intend to undertake more courses to ensure I am capable of using all software programmes.

18. How Do You Manage Your Professional Development?

As a teacher, you’ll be aware that professional development is a big part of the job. Teachers need to always be prepared to develop new skills and keep up to date with changes in the profession.

Here is an example answer to this question:

For me, teaching is like a muscle that needs to be exercise regularly. For this reason, I ensure I am always developing professionally by attending courses and maintaining a knowledge of developments in education. I also read books and watch videos online related to teaching, as well as attending teaching conferences multiple times per year.

19. How Would Your Previous Students Describe You?

The goal of this question is to learn about your teaching style. The interviewer wants to know how students see you and how you approach teaching.

Here is an example answer to this question:

My previous students would describe me as enthusiastic. I approach every lesson with enthusiasm because I believe it is contagious; when a teacher is enthusiastic, students are encouraged to be enthusiastic about their learning.

They would also describe me as caring. I genuinely care about my students’ wellbeing and I want them to know they can come to me with any problem.

20. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

The worst way to answer this question is with a simple ‘no’. Answering with no would indicate that you have little interest in the job.

Instead, get a couple of questions ready before the interview. For example, you could ask:

- What do teachers enjoy most about working at your school?

- Which skills are most important for you in teachers?

By asking these kinds of questions, you will show that you have an interest in the job and you will make a positive impression on the interviewer.

We hope you have found this guide to teaching job interviews helpful. For further assistance with your search for teaching jobs, check out our other free resources for teachers:

- 3 Teacher CV Examples and Writing Guide

- 3 Teacher Cover Letter Examples

- 10 Most Important Skills for Teachers

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