8 Common Interview Questions for Teachers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you have an interview for a teaching role coming up, understanding what sort of questions your interviewer will ask is important. There are a variety of skills and characteristics that hiring managers look upon highly in candidates for a teaching role. Interview questions for teachers will often give you an opportunity to showcase yours.

Thoughtful planning for your teaching interview can help you feel confident and prepared. In this article, we discuss the most common interview questions for teachers and how you can answer them well.

8 commonly asked interview questions for teachers

This section will look at the most common interview questions for teachers and provide some tips to answer them. Interviewers look for good responses to the questions as well as your ability to communicate them clearly. Common interview questions for teachers:

1. Why do you want to teach?

You can expect this question in nearly all your teacher interviews. This is an excellent opportunity to convey your passion for teaching and why you got into the teaching world. Every candidate may have their own dedication to the field and reasons they like teaching. It's a good idea to make this personal to you. Reflecting honestly on why you want to teach can be great preparation for the interview. A personal and authentic answer can make a positive impression on your interviewer.

Example answer: "I want to teach because I really enjoy working with kids and helping people. I find it incredibly rewarding to see the growth of my students. Noticing the moment when everything clicks for them, and they understand something that they didn't before makes it all worth it for me. The impact teaching has on the world also excites me. Through my students, I can go on to make an impact on the future world. I find it really inspiring to educate kids so that they can go on and achieve everything they want to."

2. What makes you a good fit for this school?

This is one of the common interview questions for teachers because it helps the interviewer learn about your inspiration to teach at a particular school. It shows the interviewer that you're interested in their school rather than just wanting a teaching role.

Researching the specific school can be the best preparation for answering this question. Their academic results, reputation, and values are great topics to become familiar with before your interview.

Example answer: "The increase in your school's ATAR results over the last four years inspires me. Personally, that implies a school under successful management that is focused on getting the best results for its students. I'm excited to join a school focused on the growth and improvement of its students."

3. What characteristics do you think students want their teachers to have?

Interviewers can ask this question to determine if you understand a student's needs. Every student may want something different from their teacher, and teachers need to be adaptable to accommodate this. You can explain the most common characteristics that you think students want in a teacher.

This question can also assess your self-awareness and ability to put yourself in your student's shoes. So when answering, you can reflect on the ways in which you have shown these characteristics in your teaching style.

Example answer: "I believe that students want their teachers to be understanding and approachable. Many of my students in the past have become more comfortable in asking questions when I remain approachable. If students know that their teacher is understanding and is judgement-free of any questions, they're more likely to succeed. For this reason, I keep a friendly environment and aim to build rapport with each student."

4. How does a teacher's personality affect their success?

Every teacher has their own teaching style. This question aims to determine your style and how your personality plays into it. When you respond to this question, you can express your vision of success and the tools you have to achieve it. An impressive response may link how your personal qualities have an impact on a thriving class environment. Your answer can also explain teachers' personality traits that may hinder their success.

Example answer: "Teachers need to be personable, compassionate, determined, adaptable and patient to teach their students appropriately. I've seen each of these personality traits benefit my students in previous teaching roles. I've also seen how a teacher's complacency can create a teaching environment that allows some students to fall behind."

5. What role does discipline play in teaching, and what is your approach?

The remit of teaching can go beyond educating their students. Teachers may have to discipline their students to encourage friendly behaviour. This can be a delicate topic, and teachers may need to have suitable discipline techniques.

This frequently asked interview question for teachers is crucial in primary school teaching. It aims to assess a candidate's approach to discipline to see if it aligns with the school's. When you describe your approach to discipline, you can also discuss why you think it works well and how handling discipline correctly can affect the classroom environment.

Example answer: "I believe a big part of a teacher's success is their ability to discipline effectively. My approach is first to explain what is expected of my students so that they're set up for success. I then use a rewards system to avoid bad behaviour in most of my students. While there can still be times when behaviour needs to be addressed in my classroom, this method encourages positive behaviour and provides a goal for my students. Appropriate discipline for students that misbehave can have a positive impact on the whole class. It reinforces the boundaries that they've become familiar with."

6. How do you incorporate caregivers into students' education?

Another complexity in teaching is balancing the involvement of caregivers in students' education. This can help interviewers determine how you would facilitate relationships with the caregivers of students. Many caregivers like to be involved in their child's education. Teachers need to communicate with them in a concise and informative way. A good response to this question acknowledges the involvement of caregivers and explains how you have previously incorporated parents in the process.

Example answer: "The success of a child's education can depend on the support of their caregiver. I believe that regular communication with caregivers allows them to have an active role in their child's education. I can provide caregivers with my contact information so they can get in touch with questions about their child's school progress. I take parent-teacher evenings seriously and I make sure I prepare for them well in advance so that caregivers get the most out of those nights."

7. How do you incorporate technology into students' education?

Technological advancements can make teaching more efficient in many ways. However, using technology in the classroom can be distracting and overstimulating for many students. Interviewers will likely want to know that you understand that you should carefully control technology in the classroom. An excellent answer to this question could explain how you use technology in your teaching classes and how that benefits you and the students. You can also reflect on why technology should be controlled to maintain a successful classroom environment.

Example answer: "Many technological tools are an excellent aid for helping students learn in the classroom. They can help students access information quickly, communicate away from the class and keep track of their work easily. However, I'm aware of the potential harm they can cause to my teaching environment too. Technology can be distracting, so setting boundaries and expectations are crucial to use technology in the classroom successfully. For example, I may set a certain amount of time for students to work on an assignment during the class. During this period, I will be approachable and monitor their work on their laptop. After this time, I will explain that their laptops need to be put away so we can focus and connect as a class again."

8. How would your past students, peers or seniors describe you?

While this can be a universal interview question, it's one of the most common interview questions for teachers. This question aims to determine how you would relate to your future colleagues and students.

Employers can compare your response to how your references describe you, which can assess your self-awareness. Self-awareness can be an essential trait for teachers who work independently, evaluate their own performance and make appropriate changes. An impressive answer may use anecdotes and examples from your experience to support your answer.

Example answer: "I believe my past students would describe me as supportive and knowledgeable. I've been told they were impressed that I had the answers to nearly all of their questions. I think my peers and seniors would describe me as a hard-working teacher who has a genuine passion for educating students. A big part of my teaching approach is to be compassionate to all my students so that they would describe me as a teacher that truly cares."

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