5 Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you are preparing to interview a candidate or applying for a job, review our list of top Teacher interview questions and answers.

As a teacher, how do you keep students engaged and motivated to learn?

The most effective teachers are dynamic and can easily hold a student's interest in a given topic. This question helps you understand the candidate's approach to motivating young learners and whether their approach would be beneficial for your student body. This question can also reveal whether the applicant appropriately incorporates technology as a means of boosting engagement and how much variety and adaptability they use in daily lesson plans. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of age-appropriate use of classroom technology
  • Ability to adapt lessons in response to student's needs
  • Use of positive reinforcement with students

Example: "I would use lectures, videos and books to engage students, employing several of these resources at each lesson. I'd adapt immediately based on their response."

What are your views on homework, and how do you use it in your classroom?

Teachers, parents and students often have conflicting opinions on this subject, and each school also tends to have its own philosophy. This question helps you evaluate whether the candidate's views align with your institution's values and whether their homework would be beneficial for your students. You'll learn the types and quantities of assignments they are likely to give, and you can determine whether this is age-appropriate. What to look for in an answer:

  • A philosophy on homework that aligns with your institution's
  • Interest in giving a variety of assignment types
  • Understanding of age-appropriate length for homework

Example: "For my middle school students, I assign short daily homework. I use worksheets, reading and online quizzes, and the tasks are varied each night."

What types of disciplinary methods do you use in your classroom?

Classroom management and disciplinary techniques have evolved over the past few decades. Find out what strategies the candidate employs to prevent classroom issues and whether they use disciplinary warning and referrals appropriately. This question will also help you discover more about the applicant’s values and attitude. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of up-to-date understanding of appropriate disciplinary strategies
  • Age-appropriate use of warnings and referrals
  • Positive approach to classroom management and disciplinary issues

Example: "I use prevention and positive reinforcement as my primary strategies for classroom management. When disciplining students, I never employ fear or shame in my approach, and I always consider the age of the child before taking disciplinary action."

How might you resolve a conflict with parents who are concerned about their child's grades?

Teachers often receive requests from parents to change a child's poor grades or to give him or her a retest or extra credit. This question lets you know whether the applicant would be open to these measures or whether they would stand firm in giving the student the score he or she actually earned. You'll learn how confident the candidate is in their grading system. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to respectfully address issues with parents
  • Awareness of prioritizing the child's best interest
  • Willingness to make appropriate grading exceptions

Example: "I would consider the reason for the child's poor grades, including any mitigating circumstances such as illness. If appropriate, I'd offer a retest for the student."

How do you manage multiple ability levels in your classroom?

Classroom teachers must be able to effectively teach gifted, struggling and special-needs students within the same learning environment. This question helps you understand whether their strategies provide every student with a learning experience that is appropriate to the child's current ability level and that helps him or her grow. You'll be able to determine whether the potential applicant’s policies are inclusive and enable each learner to feel a sense of belonging. What to look for in an answer:

  • Use of differentiated learning materials as appropriate
  • Ability to motivate students with varying abilities/needs
  • Drive to help each child grow

Example: "I use separate assignments and grading scales for students who have individualized education plans. I provide extra testing time for those who need it. I take the time to get to know my students so I can better plan for the different levels I have in my classroom."

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