5 Teaching Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

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

What qualifications do you have to be a teaching assistant?

While work histories and educational background may vary widely amongst your candidates, a teaching assistant must communicate and operate effectively with children, parents and their direct supervisor. Having applicants answer this question will give you insight into their motivation for applying at your school and help you understand what personal qualities they will bring into the role. What to look for in an answer:

  • Candidate’s motivation for becoming a teaching assistant
  • Personal characteristics and professional background that will contribute to their success
  • Experience in working with children

Example: "I loved working with primary school students in the past. I want to make school a better experience and provide hands-on learning to children on a daily basis."

How would you address a small group of students who interrupt class by being disruptive?

A teaching assistant may be tasked with handling a student's behavioral problems without help from the lead teacher. Part of their role may be to provide formal discipline to a student or group of them. While you may have guidelines for dealing with these situations, your candidate’s answer will help you understand their general approach to discipline and how they solve problems in the classroom. Their response will also tell you if they are a good fit overall. What to look for in an answer:

  • Candidate has a usual method of dealing with typical classroom problems
  • Applicant's aptitude for communicating effectively
  • Capacity to handle disputes between children

Example: "I would handle disruptive students using previously agreed-upon methods, such as separating the student, so they can still learn without being a distraction to others."

Is it essential for children to be entertained and enjoy the learning experience at school?

A variety of answers can come from this open-ended question, and it's sure to spark some interesting conversation. The candidate’s answer will provide insight into their greater teaching philosophy, which should align with your school’s approach and needs. This question will also demonstrate their critical thinking skills and their level of professionalism in the field of education. What to look for in an answer:

  • Firm understanding of teaching ideologies
  • Capability to think critically
  • Ability to communicate ideas clearly

Example: "I feel making school enjoyable creates actively involved students who are easier to reach and better able to understand information."

How would you deal with a lead teacher who does something that you disagree with?

A teaching assistant is likely to have disagreements that arise from daily contact with a variety of personalities within the school. This question's goal is to gather information about the applicant's ability to comprehend and effectively deal with disagreements with others, including the person who is directly supervising him or her. The candidate should demonstrate a firm ethical stance as well as the capacity to communicate their concerns effectively. What to look for in an answer:

  • Interpersonal skills and commitment to ethical behavior
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Knowledge of the role of a teaching assistant in the school

Example: "As a teaching assistant, I know that the teacher has authority in his or her classroom. However, I would still privately discuss my concerns with him or her as needed."

Tell me about a time you were able to successfully get a child to finish an assignment he or she did not want to complete. What was your approach?

As a teaching assistant, the candidate needs to be able to handle unmotivated students. Through this open-ended question, the applicant should talk about the strategies he or she uses to approach pupils who are uninterested in completing their work. Make sure your candidate has the skills to work patiently with those who are disruptive, uncooperative or just uninterested in the material. Their approach should align with your school’s philosophy. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to solve problems as a teaching assistant
  • Patience and diligence to work with children
  • Capability to motivate and encourage students

Example: "A student became extremely angry when trying to complete a project, so I walked her through the process and completed it with her by her side."

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