We need great teachers in the profession! Most teacher hiring processes still include an interview component. This is your time to impress your future colleagues and supervisors. Yet, interviews can be daunting, and even unfair for some. I’ve provided this list of teacher interview questions to help you prepare in advance and represent yourself well.
One of the three pillars of this site is helping educators grow their career. You can also check-out my lists of principal interview questions, assistant principal questions, and resume and teacher letter of recommendation posts.
Table of contents
- Introductory Questions:
- Distance Learning / Digital Learning / Technology
- Equity Questions for Teachers:
- Family Involvement and Communication:
- Curriculum / Lesson Design
- Classroom Management Teacher Interview Questions:
- Teacher Leadership:
- Personal Growth:
- Teacher Scenario Interview Questions:
- Questions To Ask At the End of A Teaching Interview
What is your educational background and how did it lead you here?
When did you decide to become a teacher?
Why do you want to work at this school?
Tell us about yourself.
What other jobs have you held before and how did they prepare you for this one?
Share a favorite experience with a student.
What do you remember from your time as a student and how does it inform your teaching today?
Note: Be prepared by reading this post on how to answer ‘Why Do You Want to Be a Teacher?’ effectively.
Distance Learning / Digital Learning / Technology
How is technology most effectively used in teaching?
During Covid-19, did you work in a distance learning model? If so, what did you learn?
What Learning Management Systems (LMS) are you familiar with?
How do you engage students when teaching remotely?
How can you support students’ social emotional health in a distance learning environment?
Describe the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning. What is the appropriate balance?
How do you integrate technology into your classroom?
What online resources do you use to improve your teaching?
What types of assessment are effective when teaching remotely? (repeated in assessment)
Describe a flipped classroom. What experience do you have using this model?
Equity Questions for Teachers:
What do diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you? How has your understanding changed over time?
How does white privilege impact students in education?
Why is representation in literature important?
How have you prepared to work with the community we serve?
How do you create an inclusive environment in your classroom?
Give an example of a school practice/policy that creates or closes achievement gaps.
At the end of the school year, you review your discipline data and notice disproportionate discipline of Latino boys. What do you do?
What is the school to prison pipeline? How do you contribute to, or interrupt it?
Describe the racial achievement gap. How will you work to close it?
How have you been successful working across differences? What have you learned?
Family Involvement and Communication:
How do you build relationships with families?
What are the keys to effective family involvement in the classroom?
What strategies have you used to communicate with families about student performance?
A parent requests to observe in your classroom. What is your reaction?
How do you leverage community resources in your classroom?
Give an example of how you could include a non-English speaking parent in your classroom?
How do you believe families should be included in the school community?
Only 30% of our community has children in our schools. How do we make the school important to the rest of the community?
We share space with after-school community groups to extend our day. How can we ensure that relationship is collaborative?
Curriculum / Lesson Design
What is your experience with <insert district or school curriculum here>? (Note: This is why it’s very important you research the school first!)
What makes for an effective lesson?
How do you plan to meet the needs of all learners?
What is backward planning and how does it contribute to effective instruction?
How do you design for multiple learning styles?
The adopted curriculum doesn’t address a learning standard you need to cover. How do you modify it?
Describe the process you follow, from beginning to end, to design an effective lesson.
How do you use a curriculum map for your courses?
What is an IEP (individualized education plan.)?
Give an example of using an IEP to design student supports.
Classroom Management Teacher Interview Questions:
How do you build strong relationships with students?
What classroom management strategies have you found most effective?
Describe your experience with PBIS? (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports)
What would your classroom look like to a visitor?
Is your classroom orderly, quiet, noisy, messy? Why?
Have you worked in a school using Restorative Justice before? Tell us about it.
When students are not on task, how do you respond?
Describe the roles of physical environment, the teacher, the students in an effectively managed classroom.
Is student leadership important to classroom culture? Why or why not?
What is the role of the school principal in supporting classroom behavior?
What are norms? How can they be used to improve a meeting?
What are the characteristics of an effective teaching team?
What is a professional learning community? Describe your experience with PLCs.
If your team is underperforming, how will you respond?
Describe how you resolve conflict with peers.
Have you ever worked in a team-teaching environment?
You’ve agreed to teach a lesson sequence with your team, but find yourself off-pace. What do you do?
You are on a grade-level team with three other teachers. How will you work together to make sure all students in that grade are successful?
As a member of the math (or other subject) department, how do you collaborate to design a course sequence that supports learners of all levels?
Why is “I’ll just close my door and teach” harmful to students?
How do you display leadership as a teacher?
What do you need from others in a leadership role?
What is your experience delivering professional development to other educators?
Are teachers leaders in education? How?
What qualities do you believe make a good school principal?
Name a leader you admire. Why?
Have you had a positive mentor?
Would you be willing to serve as a mentor to others? How would you know when you’re ready?
In a staff meeting, colleagues are complaining in a way you consider unproductive. What do you do?
Your school principal makes a decision that is harmful to students. How do you respond?
What supports do you need to be successful?
What makes an effective teacher evaluation system?
Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Tell us about a time you made a mistake. What did you learn from it?
What was the most recent book or article you read. How did it impact your thinking?
What are your hobbies and pastimes outside of work?
What qualities make a great teacher? How do you foster those?
What type of professional development is most effective for you? Give an example.
Does personal goal setting work for you? Why or why not?
What is the role of coaching in improvement? Do you have any experience being coached? Are you receptive to it?
What are the three types of assessment?
What is the purpose of the state assessment?
When do you create an assessment for a learning unit?
Describe how you select the appropriate assessment for a lesson?
Give an example of when you used assessment results to improve your instruction.
What type of assessment do you use to set goals for students?
What types of assessment are effective when teaching remotely?
Which reading assessments have you found most effective? (could be used for any subject)
If a student has demonstrated a skill in daily work, but fails that skill on the class assessment, what do you do?
Can assessment be harmful to students?
Teacher Scenario Interview Questions:
During a whole group lesson, a student makes a mistake. Other students start making fun of him. What do you say?
A student approaches you before class crying. You notice a bruise. The student says his step-father hit him before school. What do you do next?
You work hard to design a lesson. At the end, you give an assessment and the majority of your class fails to meet the learning goal. How do you respond?
A colleague tells you that the principal is angry with you. The principal hasn’t said anything and you have no idea why.
A parent calls you and is yelling in a language you don’t understand. How do you respond?
A new student is assigned to your class. Initial assessments show she is significantly behind the expected reading level. Describe the intervention sequence you design.
Another teacher keeps ranting about “those kids” in the staff room at lunch. What do you do?
You’re teaching an advanced level course. You notice students from a particular pre-requisite are coming in lacking important skills. How do you respond in the current class and to fix the system?
(You are provided a classroom set of assessment data) Analyze the data set. Identify areas for reteach, students in need of intervention, and a skill for the next lesson sequence.
You are teaching a small reading group of students. A quick scan of the classroom shows a high-level of engagement, with one exception. A student is significantly off-task and starting to move around the room disturbing others. What happens next?
Questions To Ask At the End of A Teaching Interview
An interview is a two way street. I’ve written before about teacher interview tips. One key – be ready with impactful questions at the end of the interview when you are asked “What questions do you have for us?” Here are some:
What about this school makes you proud?
Name one student outcome the school is focused on improving?
Tell me about the culture of the school.
What do you need from me to help the school build/maintain a strong reputation?
What supports do you provide new teachers in their first year?
How are teachers included in the decision-making process at this school?
What does community engagement look like here? How can I help?
How do teachers receive feedback to improve their craft?
I believe we always need to be improving. If you could change one thing about the school immediately, what would it be?
How will the hiring decision be made?
There you have it, a great list of interview questions to help you prepare. Don’t forget to check out my teacher interview tips, too!
If I missed any of your favorite questions, let me know in the comments below.
And once you get the job, I want to help you be financially successful. Start with my new teacher money advice and subscribe below for our weekly newsletter.
Join The Weekly Newsletter and Get Two Free Downloads