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Paraprofessional Interview Questions

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  1. How would you handle being in a classroom where you disagreed with a teacher’s decisions? See answer
  2. What certifications or training have you acquired to become a paraprofessional? See answer
  3. What would you do if a student in the classroom was constantly being disruptive? See answer
  4. What experience do you have working with students with special needs? See answer
  5. What sort of responsibilities do you see yourself performing that do not directly involve interacting with students? See answer
  6. Paraprofessionals are often responsible for chaperoning students outside of the classroom on field trips and during assemblies. Being in a public place on a field trip can be overstimulating for some students, while other students may thrive in the environment or even become overexcited and try to run off on their own. They should be able to adjust their teaching and supervisory strategies to help students excel in different environments with added distractions. This question lets interviewers learn about the candidate’s ability to prepare students for outings and monitor their behavior in a public environment.
  7. Do you prefer to work with students on-on-one or in groups? Why?
  8. How would you respond if a student was making fun of your appearance to their peers?
  9. How do you keep young students motivated and focused on their education?
  10. You see a student crying after class, but they leave before you have a chance to talk to them. How would you follow up?
  11. What methods do you use to ensure you grade assignments fairly?
  12. Give me an example of a situation you would bring to the head teacher instead of handling yourself.
  13. Are you prepared to organize materials for a range of grade levels and subjects?
  14. Tell me about your experience with non-traditional teaching methods.
  15. Are you familiar with using online portals to upload grades, manage assignments and communicate with parents and guardians?
  16. What publications and resources do you use to stay knowledgeable about new developments and best practices in education?
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6 Paraprofessional Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How would you handle being in a classroom where you disagreed with a teacher’s decisions?

A:

You will gain insight into how the paraprofessional views their relationship to the teacher by asking this question. Their answer should give you an idea of how well they work with others and how well they handle interpersonal conflicts in a professional setting. The potential candidate may also demonstrate compatible personal values.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Desire to provide support for the teacher
  • Understanding of their role in the classroom
  • Sensitivity to the needs of students

Example:

“I would wait until we were alone and explain why I disagree, but I would respect their authority if they don’t change their mind.”

Q:

What certifications or training have you acquired to become a paraprofessional?

A:

Even if you live in an area where there are no specific certifications required for paraprofessionals, you should ask this question. It encourages the paraprofessional to tell you why they are qualified for the job. You can learn if they have all necessary licenses and education to satisfy legal requirements, and their answer also tells you if they have extra training for situations your school encounters.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Adequate training and education that meets the needs of your institution
  • Proper certifications to be a legally qualified paraprofessional
  • An interest in regularly updating skills and certifications

Example:

“I have an associate’s degree in education, and I maintain my Emergency Childcare First Aid certification. I’m also certified to work with students who do not speak English as their first language. I attend child-development workshops at least twice a year.”

Q:

What would you do if a student in the classroom was constantly being disruptive?

A:

One of the main tasks for a paraprofessional is assisting the teacher in creating and maintaining a comfortable learning environment for students. Part of this assistance is monitoring students and being attentive to their needs. The ideal candidate will have a plan for compassionately handling disruptive students without exacerbating the situation further. Their answer will also reveal their willingness to relate to a disruptive child.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Enthusiasm with helping children learn
  • Interest in finding the cause for bad behavior
  • Ability to be calm yet firm

Example:

“I would try to provide attention and rewards for positive behavior instead of arguing and punishing negative behavior. I believe listening to children is important because verbal communication is often difficult for them, so it takes time and patience to understand them.”

Q:

What experience do you have working with students with special needs?

A:

Be sure to include this question if the paraprofessional will be giving guidance to students with special needs. How they respond lets you know if they are comfortable working with special needs students and have the knowledge needed to perform well in these situations. Even in a classroom without any obvious special needs, picking a paraprofessional with this experience can help them to deal with students.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Training in managing special needs students
  • Examples of how the paraprofessional helps special needs students
  • Comfort level in dealing with atypical students

Example:

“Each child’s needs are unique, so I’m careful in the way I approach a child. My last job included a child with severe ADHD, so I spent a lot of time helping him focus and keeping him calm.”

Q:

What sort of responsibilities do you see yourself performing that do not directly involve interacting with students?

A:

This question helps you determine whether the candidate can successfully perform all paraprofessional roles. Their answer may demonstrate a willingness to anticipate and plan for tasks that will help the lesson plan run smoothly, such as prepping print outs for the lesson or compiling attendance information at the end of the day. The ideal candidate understands that they will need to remain flexible.

What to look for in an answer:

  • A focus on assisting teachers
  • A no-job-is-too-small attitude
  • A thorough knowledge of what the role entails

Example:

“I plan to help the teacher with filing materials and maintaining student records. I also expect to setup classroom displays, AV presentations and student projects.”

Q:

Paraprofessionals are often responsible for chaperoning students outside of the classroom on field trips and during assemblies. Being in a public place on a field trip can be overstimulating for some students, while other students may thrive in the environment or even become overexcited and try to run off on their own. They should be able to adjust their teaching and supervisory strategies to help students excel in different environments with added distractions. This question lets interviewers learn about the candidate's ability to prepare students for outings and monitor their behavior in a public environment.

A:

Some of the elements of an effective response are:

  • Empathy and interpersonal communication
  • Observation skills
  • Setting clear expectations for students

A good answer could look like this:

Example:

"Field trips are an exciting time for students, and I feel that the best way to set them up for success is to discuss the trip as a group before we leave. I would talk to the students about how we behave in public, the importance of sticking with a buddy and how to respectfully look and not touch when they see interesting things on the trip. I would also give them a list of questions to consider before the trip to get them excited and help them focus on learning once we arrive at the destination."

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    Last updated: Apr 21, 2021