Teacher Interview Questions

Teacher Relationships With Students

  1. What kind of students do you like to work with? What type of students could you teach most effectively?
  2. You give an assignment. A student ridicules the assignment, saying it doesn’t make sense. What would you do?
  3. How do you help students experience success?
  4. How would you individualize instruction for students?
  5. What procedures do you use to evaluate student progress besides using tests?
  6. How would you challenge the slow learner and the advanced learner within the same class?

Teacher Relationships With Colleagues

  1. What kind of teachers would you prefer to work with? Why?
  2. What activities would you like to work with in our school?
  3. What quality or qualities do you have that would enhance our teaching staff?
  4. What are some personality characteristics you find undesirable in people?
  5. Who should be responsible for discipline in a school? Why?
  6. What needs and/or expectations do you have of the school administration?

Teacher Relationships With Parents

  1. What do you feel is the most effective way to communicate with parents? Describe how you have used this/these technique(s).
  2. Describe the reasons why you would contact parents.
  3. What would you include in your Open House presentations to parents?
  4. What community activities would you like to be associated with? Why?

Instructional Techniques

  1. Describe any school experience you have had, particularly in student teaching (or in another teaching position) that has prepared you for a full-time position at our school.
  2. How would you integrate technology into the curriculum you would teach?
  3. Describe any innovative projects you have been involved in developing.
  4. Give an example of how you have used cooperative learning in your classroom.
  5. What four words would students use to describe your teaching strategies?
  6. What rules do you have for your classroom?
  7. Describe your teaching style and how you accommodate the different learning styles of the students in your classes.
  8. What do you consider to be your strengths and how will you use them in your teaching?

A Potpourri of Topics and Background Information

  1. Why did you choose to become a teacher?
  2. What are your hobbies and interests?
  3. What are your plans for continuing your professional growth?
  4. Tell me about an interesting article you have read recently in a professional journal.
  5. What contributions can you make to our school?
  6. What current trends in public education please you? Displease you?
  7. Tell me about the three people who have most influenced your own education and educational career.

Interview Questions:


ü      Ÿ      About You:


    1. Describe yourself.
    2. What are your greatest strengths?
    3. List 5 adjectives which best describe you. Which one is most important for your future as a teacher?
    4. Are you creative?
    5. Are you a leader?
    6. Are you an organized person? Is organization an important skill for teachers to have? Why?
    7. Would you describe a few situations in which your work was criticized?
    8. What is your greatest weakness?
    9. What is an example of a time you failed?
    10. Describe your present or past positions and tell us what specific teaching responsibilities you had there.
    11. You may be overqualified or too experienced for this position.
    12. What do you think of your boss/principle?
    13. If I spoke with your previous boss/principal, what would s/he say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
    14. Can you work under pressure, deadlines, etc?
    15. What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make?
    16. Tell me about a conflict you had with another team/faculty member and how it was resolved.
    17. What was the last book you read? Movie you saw? Sporting even that you attended?
    18. What two or three accomplishment have given you the most satisfaction, why?
    19. Who are some mentors throughout your life who have (or will have) shaped your teaching style?
    20. Can you describe your student teaching experience?
    21. Did you feel that you were prepared to teach?
    22. How did you grow as a teacher during your student teaching experience?
    23. If you had to do your student teaching over again, what experiences would you want more of?


ü      Ÿ      About Us:


a)      Define the principal's (administration's) role.

b)      What do you know about our school?

c)      Why do you want to work for us?

d)     What would you do for us that someone else can’t?

e)      Why should we hire you?

f)       What about our position do you find the most attractive? The least attractive?

g)      Do you have any questions for me?


ü      Ÿ      Your Philosophy and Ideas:



  1. What do you look for in a job?
  2. What are the qualities of an excellent teacher? Which of these qualities do you have?
  3. Describe your style of teaching.
  4. How would you describe the essence of success?
  5. How should a student's educational achievement and progress be measured?
  6. What should be the major focus in the preparation of music teachers?
  7. Do you think good teaching is teachable and learnable?
  8. How would you address individuality in your classroom?
  9. If you could use only one word to describe your style off teaching, what would it be?
  10. How do you set expectations? How do you raise expectations?


1)      Ÿ      Your Goals


a.       Where do you see yourself in five years?

b.      What are your long range goals?

c.       If you were to stay in this position, what goals would you set for yourself in the future years?

d.      How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our school?

e.       If you had your choice of jobs and schools, where would you go?

f.       Do you have plans for continued study?

g.      What do you feel are some general skills and abilities that you want students to demonstrate knowledge of after leaving your class?


2)      Ÿ      Your Wants


a.       What salary are you looking for?

b.      Why do you want to leave your current job?



3)      Your Classroom:


a)      Students:

i)        With what kind of student do you most (least) like working with?

ii)      How do you feel that the rapid learner should be provided for in your area of teaching?

iii)    How would you work with students who perform below grade level, especially those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds? Ê

iv)    A student tells you her friends make fun of her for studying/practicing. How would you help her with this issue?

v)      What methods have you used to keep parents and students informed of progress?


b)      Set-up

i)        In your present classroom, what problems have you identified that had previously been overlooked?

ii)      Describe to us what your rehearsal room/classroom looks like.

iii)    An observer enters your classroom. What would you like him/her to see?

iv)    How is your primary instructional area arranged? What does the seating area look like?

v)      Describe entry/exit procedures.

c)      Teaching

i)        What would you do on the first day of school?

ii)      Describe a typical class/rehearsal from beginning to end. Describe the types of activities that we might observe in each part of the class.

iii)    How do you plan for your daily teaching?

iv)    How have you incorporated thinking skills into your class?

v)      How have you utilized different teaching strategies to best provide for the learning needs of all students?

vi)    Do you have any problems with teaching specific instructional objectives as defined in a District established sequence?

vii)  How would you integrate your program with others in the school?

viii)            As you design a lesson and/or unit, what are necessary elements that must be present?

ix)     In addition to tests, what procedures have you used for evaluating student progress?


d)     Management

i)        How do you want yourself viewed in the class· as the students friend, or the autocratic teacher?

ii)      How do you establish yourself as the person in charge? What are ways that you can use to establish your control over the classroom setting?

iii)    What are some simple things that you can do to gain student attention and greater teacher control of the class without stopping instruction?


iv)    A student is consistently late to your class. How do you handle the situation?

v)      How and when do you discipline a student?

vi)    If negative behavior persists, what steps would you take?

vii)  If serious behavior exists, what would be your course of action?

viii)            Describe the toughest student(s) you have had to deal with, and how you resolved the situation.


1)        Performance

i)        What do you think are reasonable performance expectations for this position?



Interviewers are paid to ask questions! The following questions were asked

during previous teacher interviews. Use these to practice and you will be

prepared to communicate your teaching skills.

1. Why do you want to teach?

2. What is your philosophy of education?

3. If students are having difficulty learning a skill or concept, what do you do?

4. Describe your style of teaching.

5. Would you like to be involved in school (community) activities?

6. What do you plan to be doing in five years? What are your career goals?

7. Describe your student teaching experiences.

8. What was your biggest problem in student teaching? How did you resolve it?

9. What three words would your students sue to describe you as a teacher?

10. How do you individualize your teaching?

11. What techniques would you use to keep students actively involved and

motivated during a lesson?

12. What are the rules of your classroom? How are they established?

13. What are the qualities of an excellent teacher? Which of these qualities

do you have?

14. Some of your students always finish their assignments early. How would

you deal with the free time that they have?

15. How would you work with students who perform below grade level?

especially those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds?

16. What coursework have you taken that you feel has made you an

especially competent teacher?

17. How would you use teacher aides and parent volunteers?

18. Are parent/teacher conferences important?

19. Why do you want to work in our district?

20. What materials have you used that you find most effective for the slow

learners? The quick learners?

21. Why should our school district hire you?

22. Describe an ideal classroom.

23. Describe the types of quizzes and tests that you give. In a quarter, what

types of evaluations compose your quarterly report?

24. A student is consistently late to your class. How do you handle the


25. What would you do, or how would you treat a student who refused to do

the work you assigned?

26. How would you handle a student who continually “acted up” in your class?

27. How do you engage a parent in the education of his or her child?

28. How should a student’s educational achievement and progress be?


29. What do you expect from your supervisor? Your Principal?

30. How do you stay organized?

31. What excites you? Annoys you? Bores you?

32. What motivates you?

33. Whom do you admire?

34. Why do you want this job and what do you expect to get from it?

35. How do you keep from getting burned out?

36. What didn’t you like about your last position?

37. What would you do if your Principal made a decision you didn’t like?

38. What do you dislike about teaching?

39. Describe how you are a self-starter.

40. Give an example of how you handle conflicts.

41. If you had an idea for improving the school, how would you sell it to?

colleagues and the Principal?

42. If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be and why?

43. What gives you job satisfaction?

44. How do you get ready to teach a lesson?

45. Describe the best lesson you ever taught and explain why it worked.

46. Describe the worst lesson you ever taught and explain why it went badly.

47. How do you find out what students need to know?

48. If a lesson flops, what do you do?

49. How do you handle angry parents?

50. Give examples of how you handle pressure and stress.

51. Describe an ideal teaching-learning situation.

52. Why should we hire you over all the other candidates?

53. What kind of technology do you use in the classroom?

54. If it came down to you and 2 other candidates for a teaching job, what

would qualify you? Why should you get the job over the others?

55. What is a question you might have expected us to ask and we didn’t?

This is your opportunity to answer that question.

56. How do you manage the diverse learning styles in your classroom as well?

as diverse learning abilities?

57. Describe how you evaluate your lessons (summative evaluation)

58. Evaluation methods other than tests.

59. What learning styles have you used?

60. What is your goal?

61. Do you use cooperative learning?

62. Tell me in detail a reading lesson you developed, the reason why you

planned this lesson, the children’s reactions, specific learning tools utilized

and things you taught through the lesson and why.

63. If you had a child who had a bad grade at the beginning of the unit, and an

“A” at the end, would you count the bad grade?

64. Explain your classroom management policies.

65. What do you think are parents’ expectations of today’s teachers? What do

you think of these expectations, agree/disagree?

66. Knowledge about graduation exams and SAT tests.

67. Tell of a time when you took initiative to complete a task.

68. Why are you staying in this area?

69. How would you stay in contact with your parent?

70. Tell me something that you have initiated yourself.

71. How would you teach reading to 1st graders?

72. What would you do if you had 3rd or 4th graders who couldn’t read?

73. Describe how you see yourself as a professional in the classroom.

74. What have you experienced student teaching?

75. What are you looking for? What do you expect?







Could a student of low achievement ability receive a high grade in your class?

Describe a difficult situation/problem you have dealt with as an educator?

Describe how you would use technology in your instruction?

Describe how your classroom would meet developmental needs.

Describe the format you use in preparing lesson plans?

Describe your experiences collaborating with other teachers.

Here is a scenario question – One student needs to take a test, you need to take attendance and

another student is asking to go to the bathroom. What would you do first?

How can a teacher motivate a student to learn?

How do you deal with difficult parents?

How do you describe the role of the classroom teacher?

How do you relax?

How do you think students would describe you? How would your principal describe you?

How is it that you chose to become an educator?

How would you become a part of the school family beyond school hours?

How would you define a conducive learning environment?

How would you describe your teaching style?

How would you respond to each of the following situations: child is not working; child is

talking; child is day dreaming; child seems angry and upset?

How would you structure your class to achieve maximum benefit from student/teacher contact?

Is there anything else you want us to know about you that we have not drawn out by our


Review for us your education and work experience as an educator.

Talk to me about how you see the parents of your students becoming involved in your classroom.

Tell us about you as a person.

What approach would you take to provide for individual differences among students?

What are some of the problems you have encountered as a teacher and how have you solved


What are the reasons for your success as a teacher?

What are your career goals 5 years from now? What about career goals ten years from now?

What are your expectations of the principal of your building in terms of leadership, support,

discipline, etc.?

What are your top three rules in the classroom? Describe your discipline style.

What competencies do you possess that would improve our school?

What do you feel are your strengths as a teacher? Weaknesses?

What do you have that is unique to offer students?

What do you know about learning styles? Brain research?

What do you know about the MEAP?

What have you done in the past that would assess your creativity as a teacher?

What have you done to improve your professional skills lately? Future plans?

What is differential learning? How would you apply it to the classroom?

What is important to you in terms of multicultural issues/curriculum?

What is important when it comes to evaluating students? What types of assessment have you

used with students?

What is scaffolding? How would you apply it to the classroom?

What is your most exciting thing to happen in your classroom and what was your most

disappointing thing in the classroom?

What is your philosophy of education/teaching?

What kind of relationship would you like to establish with your students?

What methods of communication will you use with the parents of your students?

What strategies might you employ in regards to classroom management? Why?

What types of teaching strategies might you employ in the classroom?

What was your biggest disappointment during student teaching?

What was your most rewarding experience during student teaching?

What would one see if they walked into your classroom?

What would we see going on in your classroom from the time the bell rings to the time it rings

again for dismissal?

Why do you want to teach? At this particular school?

Why should we select you as our new teacher over the other candidates we will interview?

Revised 5-4-04

1. Opening/ice breaking
What were some strengths of your teacher education program?

What do you recall about YOUR experiences as a student at the age you are to teach?

2. School organization
With what size and type of teacher groups do you work best?

What actions have you taken to better understand the work of secretaries, janitors, other staff?

3. Students
What actions have you taken to learn about student cultural backgrounds?

What do you do to keep up to date with student interests out of school?

4. Curriculum
Give me an example of a key idea in your subject matter and how you developed your curriculum to teach it.

How do you select the concepts you emphasize in your teaching?

5. Instruction
Tell me about a difficult instruction problem you have worked on recently.

Tell me some good techniques you use at the end of lessons, or days of instruction.

6. Classroom management and discipline
Using your experience, how do classroom management and discipline differ from the beginning of the year compared to the middle of the school year?

When is it a good time to involve administrators in student discipline?

7. Other classroom issues
What preparation or experience do you have in working with classroom volunteers, parents in the room, or classroom aides?

How have you provided for respect for diversity (ethnic, gender, physical) in your classroom?

8. Dealing with parents
Describe a time to me when you learned something about teaching or an individual student by listening to a parent.

What methods or activities have you used to inform parents about your classroom?

9. Professional life
Describe some teacher-led organization, gathering, support group, or network from which you have benefited.

Tell me a situation in which you used fact or information finding techniques.
10. Educational philosophy
How should teachers respond to the achievement gap in this country between rich and poor student families?

What are the benefits and problems of a strong focus on standards for student performance?
11. Personal
How can we help you to become the teacher you want to be?

How do you handle conflicting demands on your time?
12. Assignment
We asked you to attend a District teacher-support group. What is one idea that you learned from the experience?

We asked you to read a short article. What is an important idea you took from it?
13. Ending
How do you think this interview went?

Is there anything else we need to know about you?
14. (Questions to avoid)
What are your child care arrangements?

Where did you get your accent?


If you are serious about teaching in the district where you are interviewing, there

are many questions to which you need to know the answers before you accept

an offer. Your interviewer will surely cover some of your questions, but by asking

pertinent questions you will show your interviewer that you do understand

fundamental issues relating to teaching. You should have several questions in

mind before you arrive for you interview. The following questions should give

you a good start.

1. What is the teacher/student ratio in your district?

2. Do you encourage teachers to earn graduate degrees?

3. How many classes a day will I be expected to teach?

4. What types of school activities promote parent-teacher-student


5. Tell me about the students who attend this school.

6. What textbooks does the district use in this subject area?

7. Do teachers participate in curriculum review and change?

8. Does your district promote staff development activities and conferences?

What types of programs have the teachers attended in the last year?

9. How does the teaching staff feel about new teachers?

10. What discipline procedures does the district use?

11. Do parents support the schools? Does the community?

12. Do your schools use teacher aides or parent volunteers?

13. To what extent do staff members work collaboratively to solve problems

and respond to the needs of students?

14. How are teachers assigned to extracurricular activities? Is compensation


15. Does the district have a statement of educational philosophy or mission?

16. What are prospects for future growth in this community and its schools?


1. What is the teacher/student ratio in your district?

2. Do you encourage teachers to earn advanced degrees?

3. How many classes a day will I be expected to teach? What is the typical class size?

4. Tell me about the students who attend this school? Can you give a profile of the 'typical' student?

5. What textbooks does the district use in this subject area? What is the district's policy on mainstreaming and inclusion?

6. Do teachers participate in curriculum review and change?

7. What kinds of support staff members are available to help students and teachers?

8. Describe the teachers at this school? Can you give a profile of the 'typical' teacher?

9. How do current staff welcome new teachers?

10. What discipline procedures does the district use? Is there a certain philosophy that you adhere to?

11. How do parents support the school?

12. How does the community support the schools?

13. Do your schools use teacher aides or parent volunteers? What is their role?

14. What allowances are provided for supplies and materials?

15. Describe the status of computer usage at your school? How do you envision it changing during the next three years?

16. Does the administration encourage field trips for students?

17. How are teachers assigned to extracurricular activities?

18. Does the district have a statement of educational philosophy or mission?

19. What are prospects for future growth in this community and its schools?

20. What kind of teacher job commitment is expected by the board, superintendent, principal and parents?