25 Common Teacher Interview Questions—and How to Answer Them

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Being a teacher is incredibly rewarding. After all, you get to shape how your students learn, grow, and see the world around them.

Of course, teachers have things they need to learn, too—like how to answer interview questions in a way that’ll nab you a job at that amazing school you’ve had your eye on.

You’ll still get asked the more general interview questions like “ What are your strengths and weaknesses ?” or “ Why do you want this job? ” But you’ll also face more specific queries about, say, working with students or designing a lesson plan.

To help you prepare, check out these common teacher interview questions—with advice on how to answer them and example answers. Plus, learn what skills and qualities hiring managers are looking for and get some bonus tips for nailing your next interview.

What are hiring managers looking for when interviewing teachers?

No matter the specific role or workplace, hiring managers look for common themes in qualified teaching applicants:

Keep these themes in mind as you prepare for your teaching interview and look for opportunities to communicate them whenever possible—especially in response to these common questions.

Need some tips for writing your teaching resume? Find a full guide here .

Why do you want to be a teacher?

What’s your teaching style or philosophy, how would you handle a student you found difficult to teach, how do you motivate students, how do you like to communicate and build relationships with parents, what are you learning right now, tell me about a time when you worked with a team to solve a problem., tell me about a time when you faced a difficult challenge., tell me about a time when a situation changed or something unexpected happened at work and how you dealt with it., tell me about a time when someone gave you feedback and how you handled that., how would you handle [specific subject situation/misconception], walk me through a typical lesson., what questions do you have for me, bonus teacher interview questions.

“You have to know who you are as an individual and as an educator, and you have to know what you can bring to the school,” says Calvin Brown, Senior Recruiter at Alignstaffing , an education staffing firm. This question gets to the heart of that passion and self-awareness.

How to answer

Rule #1: Don’t say, “Summer vacations!” But seriously—this one should be easy to answer. There’s probably something that made you want to get into education. Maybe you enjoy teaching your friends new things, are a facts wizard bursting with knowledge, or love connecting with children. Focus not just on what you like about teaching but also on what you can bring to the table.

For example, you might say: “I really admired my third grade teacher, Mrs. Kim, and even after I left her class I still returned to her for advice and guidance over the years. It’s that sense of warmth and acceptance she provided me that inspired me to become a teacher. I want to be that person others can lean on as they navigate the rough waters of growing up.”

Interviewers want to see that you really want to help students develop inside and outside school—not just push them toward some academic result. Basically, you care about people and their success, and you’ve thought about what that success looks like and how you’ll help students achieve it.

You’ll want to be honest about your specific style and mindset when it comes to teaching. But also consider what this school’s philosophy is like, and try to emphasize where your values naturally overlap.

For example, you might talk about how you take a community approach to education, which means “knowing that you’re one piece of this person’s journey,” says Mary Findley, Senior Teacher Success Manager at Skillshare and a former Teach for America Core Member and elementary school teacher.

You could answer with: “I believe when students are challenged with realistic goals and given the support they need not to just get the answers right but to be able to use those lessons to solve future problems on their own, everyone comes out on top. I think that as a teacher, it’s my job to support my students through the lessons I give, but also through the various challenges they may face at school, and to partner with them as well as other support systems to help them feel motivated, comfortable, and happy in the classroom.”

Students don’t all learn or behave the same way, which may make it a challenge to have them all in one classroom at the same time. Difficulties with students can look like many different things, from falling grades to disrupting lessons. So interviewers want to know that you’re up to the task of helping students with the varied obstacles they may face.

A good answer delves into figuring out the cause of a student’s behavior, as that’s often the most important step. “When students are disengaged, it’s either because the content’s too challenging, it’s too easy, or there could be some outside-of-school factors,” Findley says.

Your response should show that “you’re meeting the student where they’re at and building on their strengths,” Findley says. It should also emphasize that you’re “collaboratively discussing” solutions with the student rather than ordering them around.

If you have an example story to tell, that’s a great way to state your case. Just make sure your story is well structured to convey the message you want. Consider using the STAR method whenever you’re answering an interview question with a story—i.e., make sure you cover the S ituation you found yourself in, the T ask you needed to complete, the A ction you took, and the R esult your action had, in that order.

You could say: “For me, the first step would be to pull them aside and talk about the issue privately. My main questions would get at the root cause of this student’s behavior. Once I know that, I try to work with them to come up with a solution. I used this strategy in my last classroom, where I had a student who couldn’t seem to stay in his seat during lessons and I found out that sitting still too long made him feel confined and nervous. We talked about how his behavior affected the rest of the class, and we agreed that when he was feeling really anxious he could raise his hand and I’d let him take a lap around the classroom, but only when it was appropriate. I also decided to make some of my lessons more active and hands-on so that other students could benefit from getting out of their seats every once in a while.”

Interviewers want to see how you influence students to do what you need them to do. Findley adds that this is an especially important thing to vet for when hiring remote teachers, because motivating others over video requires a lot more creativity than when you’re teaching in person.

Motivating your class is really about having a personalized approach, Findley says. You’ll want to show that you can engage a classroom, as well as take into consideration various students’ needs and drivers. Brown adds, “You have to know your students, you have to know their strong points [and] their weak points.” So make sure that your answer shows an individualized approach.

Take this sample answer: “Positive reinforcement is super important to keep a student motivated, so one thing I like to do is throw out rewards or bonuses when they perform especially well. This could be candy, or a star, or a sticker, or even just a compliment—whatever I can tell students enjoy receiving, and it’s different for everyone. I never want students to feel left out or favored, so I always try to be fair and consistent with everyone. But it’s those little moments of recognition I think that keep them happy and excited to learn.”

Part of being a teacher is working with parents and guardians—i.e., the people who influence how your students learn and behave in the classroom just as much as (if not more than) you do. Building trust with the adults in your students’ lives can often help you build stronger relationships with the students themselves and create some consistency between school and home.

“I’m looking to see that a candidate will take every opportunity to interact with parents in person,” Brown says. “Ultimately, I’m looking for candidates that believe parent collaboration is key to a student’s success, and they will take the time to maintain an ongoing, open conversation.”

To show you take building relationships with family members seriously, you could say: “I think it’s really important to get to know the important family members in each student’s life. Which is why at the beginning of the school year I like to have individual meetings with each student’s family. I’ll also send out a survey to get a better understanding of the student’s home life, needs, and family dynamics. Then, throughout the year, I build on that foundation by touching base to share positive updates and small wins in addition to discussing any challenges the student might be facing academically or behaviorally.”

This question is about showing that you’re curious and believe in continuous learning—qualities that are important in a teacher as well as for a teacher to pass on to students. In other words, Findley says, the interviewer’s asking: “What are some personal interests? How are you developing yourself both within your professional career [and] personal development as well?”

Hopefully, you’re doing something to help yourself grow—it doesn’t have to be extensive or even career-related! Maybe you’re reading a series of books about a topic, taking a class , or practicing a new skill. Use this activity to show that you have an “always learning” mindset and an appreciation for continuing to get better at something.

Here’s what that sounds like: “I used to speak Italian in college, so I’ve recently picked up Duolingo to try to reteach myself some of the basics. I’d love to continue to become more fluent so I can travel to Italy and talk with locals!”

Parents and students aren’t the only people you’ll be interacting with. You’ll frequently need to partner with aides, school staff, and other teachers to help students succeed, so your interviewer wants to know that you can work with just about anyone.

Telling a story about a team situation where things didn’t go perfectly is a great way to show you can communicate and collaborate with others even when times are tough. “But don’t emphasize the conflict—emphasize how you got through the conflict to have something that was effective,” Swartz says. “Even if you’re not a teacher with experience, you can still highlight how you go about your work by giving past examples” from another context.

For example, you could reply: “In my last role as a project coordinator, I had to partner with our account managers to meet a really tight deadline set by a client. We were all a little frazzled because the project required a lot of revisions, but we put our heads together and divided the work, even staying late a couple days to make sure we finished on time. I definitely don’t think we could have accomplished it without working together, and I believe the same is true as a teacher working with other staff—you can’t go it alone if you’re going to successfully foster a learning environment that works for all students and supports them as individuals.”

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Answering Behavioral Interview Questions

Brown says that with either of these questions, the interviewer wants to hear: “When you come across things that are obstacles, how do you overcome them?” In other words, the interviewer wants to see that you can solve problems in an intentional way. Brown also emphasizes that accomplishments and challenges often come hand in hand. So answering this question shows “that drive for achievement” that interviewers want to see in teachers.

Pick a story where you had to stretch yourself a bit, but ultimately got to a successful outcome. Remember to also talk about your problem solving process in addition to the results.

Maybe you could say: “When I was in retail, I dealt with one particularly difficult customer who wasn’t satisfied with their purchase. Most of my team was struggling to connect with them, but I was determined to set things right. So I was patient and took the time to really listen to their complaints without guessing what the problem was or assuming what the solution should be. That not only helped me understand the root of their issue, but helped them see I was going to work with them. In the end, we came up with a solution that seemed like a good compromise for the customer. They left the store in a lot better of a mood than when they entered, and turning someone’s day around felt truly great.”

You might spend hours preparing to teach a particular unit, “but then something will happen and it throws off your whole lesson plan,” Swartz says. So interviewers want to see that you can think on your feet and handle a conflict when it arises.

Share a story that makes it clear you can stay calm, cool, and collected when a situation changes.

You could give the example: “When I was a camp counselor, I often had to keep campers entertained through rainy weather or a blip in the activities schedule. The first time it happened I didn’t really know how to handle the group, so I decided to put together a one-sheeter of activities and games and share it with the other counselors so we could refer to it in the future. I can confidently say no camper was disappointed with the change of schedule—they loved all the games, and the staff was relieved how smoothly things went after that first time.”

Receiving and implementing feedback well is important for your growth as an educator. “This is actually most critical for veteran teachers,” Swartz says. Since they’d be most likely to “communicate a level of, ‘I’ve already gotten this, I’ve already arrived, I don’t need any extra feedback.’”

Consider a time when you got feedback that was tough to take but ultimately made you better at your job. Talk through how you received it (hopefully with an open mind!) as well as how you made the change.

For example: “At my last school, one of the teachers on my team shared with me that students had been talking about how lost they were after a recent math lesson. They were complaining that I went way too fast. It was rough to get this criticism because I ’ d thought this class was happy with my teaching style and learning a lot. But I knew I had to take it to heart. So for all my classes—not just the one that complained—I implemented a color-coded card system. Each student received red, yellow, and green cards, and I got in the habit of stopping every few minutes to ask for cards. Students would hold up red cards for me to slow down, yellow if everything was going well, or green if I could speed up. I ’ d adjust accordingly and over time, I noticed more and more yellow cards as I discovered the best pace for each class. This also had the added benefit of me seeing who was holding up a lot of red cards so I could offer them extra assistance or attention outside of the lesson.”

Depending on the subject matter and classroom you’re signing up for, this question can really vary in how it’s delivered. But “Being able to correctly show a mastery of [course] content versus just the knowledge of the content” is key, Swartz says. Do you *really* understand the material you’re teaching inside and out?

You need to show you can “reverse engineer” the problem, Swartz explains. You’ll want to explain your process for identifying the issue and then your approach for resolving the misunderstanding or difficulty that your students are having in mastering the material.

Take this example question Swartz gives: “What are some of the common misconceptions students might have when solving the problem 31.8 + 0.45? How would you address these?”

A good response might be: “One common problem is that students won’t line everything up by the place value or decimal. They may line the five up right below the eight and therefore get the wrong answer. I would teach them to line the decimals up and then put zeros as place holders so they don’t get confused. I would also encourage them to draw a line from each addend all the way down to their sum to make sure all the decimals are in line. I always remind students to read carefully and double check their work to avoid common mistakes like this.”

The interviewer isn’t just looking for a quality lesson that’s accurate and engaging. They also want to know how you think about planning lessons. “A lot of it’s going to be about debriefing your process, like what went well...and then what are things that you can work on,” Findley says.

This question requires a bit more preparation on your part than a typical interview question. If you have an example lesson from a previous role, that’s great. If not, consider whipping up a quick lesson plan you might like to give. Talk through what it’ll look like from start to finish, why exactly you decided to take that approach, and allow the interviewer to ask questions about your process.

If you’re leaning on a past experience, also highlight the parts of the lesson you would change based on how it went—which will demonstrate your ability to adapt and grow as you teach.

While this might seem like the easiest interview question in the book, it’s one you should actively prepare for with thoughtful questions targeted at the specific interviewer and role.

“Don’t just ask, when can I expect to hear something?” Swartz says. If you do have a question about next steps, make it your last one after you’ve posed others. Until that point, “Ask some serious questions about that school. That’s your opportunity to interview them as much as they’re interviewing you, and they are going to respect that,” Swartz says. “Any question that [candidates] ask where I can see that they’ve done their research about the position is a great question to me.”

Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling, but be sure to come up with your own *specific* questions about the school and role:

Read More: 51 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview

In addition to the questions above, you might get queries like these:

Some extra tips for nailing your teaching interview

Most importantly, “Be confident in what you already know and your experiences prior,” Brown says. Be yourself—or rather, your professional self—and you’re sure to land the right teaching job for you.

Regina Borsellino also contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice to this article.

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Behavioral Interview Questions for Teachers

Interview questions for teachers explore the essential competencies and teacher skills needed for achieving effective performance and desired outcomes in any teaching job.

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The core competencies identified as fundamental for teaching professionals include planning and organizing, adaptability, problem-solving, judgment, communication skills, resilience, high energy levels and integrity.

Prepare for these situational and behavioral-based teaching interview questions and make sure you are ready to successfully handle your teacher interview.

Planning and Organizing

Good planning requires the ability to establish clear objectives and priorities, schedule time, resources and  activities effectively and efficiently and carefully monitor progress and results.

The STAR method and how to answer behavioral interview questions with sample behavioral interview answers.


Situational interview questions for teachers will explore your ability to adapt and adjust your approach to meet different task and situational requirements as well as manage and value diversity in the classroom.

Problem-solving and judgment

As a teacher you need to be able to detect problems and gather all the necessary relevant information, consider all  relevant facts and information and consider all alternatives before deciding on the  most appropriate action.

Resilience and tenacity

Can you handle disappointment and opposition while maintaining effectiveness?

High energy levels

A teacher needs to maintain a high activity level without losing effectiveness.

Motivate and maximize performance

Successful teachers create a learning environment in which students want to and are able to achieve their potential.

They are able to identify strengths and opportunities for student development. Expect scenario interview questions for teachers that include:

Teachers are expected to promote and maintain ethical and social norms within the learning environment including maintaining confidentiality, presenting truthful information and adhering to school policies and regulations. They also need to display honest insight into themselves.

Communication Skills

Teaching requires active and attentive listening skills, the ability to express ideas effectively and present information effectively. Teachers should adjust language and terminology to meet the needs of the students. Expect these sort of situational interview questions for teachers.

Initiative and innovation

These teacher behavioral interview questions explore your ability to be proactive in generating ideas and activities for improvement and finding  creative solutions to problems and issues.

Common Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

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What motivates you to be a teacher?

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Describe your teaching style

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Your strengths as a teacher?

How do you handle discipline in the classroom?

Why do you want to teach here?

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Situational Questions for a Teacher

To help you prepare for your teacher interview, here are 30 situational teacher interview questions and answer examples.

Get More Information About Our Situational Teacher Questions Interview Questions

Question 1 of 30

What is the biggest conflict you have had at work?

How to Answer

1st answer example.

The big conflicts, during work, can stick with a person forever. But, an interviewer wants to see how you have overcome them. Talk about what you have learned and how you have grown from this not-so-fun experience.

"I had to break up a fight one day, at the last school I was at. The fight was brutal. The students were punching, swearing, screaming, and everything in-between. Getting in the middle to cool the students down was a chore to say it mildly. But, when all was said and done, I had respect from the administration, fellow teachers, and students, knowing that I would do anything to keep them safe."

Next Question

30 Situational Interview Questions for a Teacher

1. what is the biggest conflict you have had at work, 2. what situation in teaching makes you feel the least comfortable.

There are things about teaching that people do not like. This can be one of the biggest challenges of the job. But, when you are honest about how you feel, your colleagues and administration can build you up. No school community wants you to feel alone.

"I feel the least comfortable with giving out detentions. I do not feel they are best way discipline students. I would love to be a part of the process by using more positive reinforcement. I believe this would change student discipline a lot."

3. What moment(s) made you want to become a teacher?

Becoming a teacher is not a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. There are moments in one's life that bring out great inspiration. Share with your interviewer what got you to this place in life. Inspiration can help inspire others, so share your story with confidence.

"When I was in 5th grade, I had a wonderful teacher. Mr. Johnson helped me enjoy school for the very first time. He was kind to every student and disciplined in a kind fashion. This is the kind of teacher I want to be."

4. What way does not work for discipline?

Not all discipline methods are treated as equal. Share with the interviewer what way or ways you think are troublesome. Help give the administration an idea of how you would discipline and how you would not.

"Personally, I believe yelling is never a good discipline method. I have witnessed situations where teachers have escalated issues by yelling. So, I try to speak directly, yet calmly to discipline students, rather than the former."

5. What is your favorite grade level to teach and why?

Sometimes, there are multiple grade levels available to teach. The interviewer may ask you which one you prefer. Be open to teach any grade level, but speak to what you want, as well. This is your chance to give priority to something you want.

"I would certainly be willing to teach any grade level. But, if I had a choice, I really enjoy working with the freshmen. There is something about them coming right into high school that I love to be a part of. I feel like I am the kind of teacher who can help bridge the gap for them."

6. Which subject is not fun for you?

As it pertains to teaching, even teachers do not enjoy every single subject. But, any administration needs to do what they need to do in a pinch. If there is an open math position and you have an interest in math, even though you are not completely trained, they may need to place you there. Being a team-player and flexible will get you a lot of jobs in your lifetime.

"I enjoy most subjects. But, art has never been my thing. I have zero skill in the subject. I sure do love looking about art and talking about it. Still, there is no way I would be able to draw something that looks better than what a three-year-old could do."

7. As a student, what organizations and clubs were you connected with?

When you are able to share a part of yourself with the administration, they can start to catch vision for what you could be a part of with their community. Think back to when you were in school. Speak to what extra-curriculars you enjoyed and thrived in.

"When I was in school, I loved being a part of the Madrigal Choir. It was an eight-boy and eight-girl choir where we sang all ranges of music. Some of the best memories I had in school came from this choir, and I have many of the same friendships still today."

8. Would you like to advise or coach at this school?

An administration is always looking for candidates to step up to the plate to fill voids in any schedule. Even if you do not have the experience, it looks better if you are willing to be a team player. Most administrations will work hard to get you the certification and training you need.

"I would be willing to coach and advise at this school. Even though I do not have a lot of experience coaching sports or advising, I am willing to learn and plant myself in this community. This way, I can get to know the students in a different way."

9. What is your preparation like involving standardized assessments?

Standardized assessments show where students stand in a variety of subjects. As a teacher, interviewers want to see how you prepare for the process. Share tips, tools, and tricks that you have used over the years to get students to learn, sometimes without them even knowing about it.

"There was a time where I had to get my students ready for the math section of the ACT. We worked through a variety of problems that got harder and harder in nature. Ultimately, we played a game, involving teams, to spice up the learning. The students loved it and many asked for us to play it more."

10. Describe your experience involving IEPs.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are a purposeful way to help students that need more assistance. Speak about how your have used IEPs before. This way, the interviewer can understand how much you know and what you still need to grasp about backing up the student.

"I have not had a lot of experience with IEPs. But, the one student I taught, who had an IEP, needed tests taken orally. Of course, I could not do this during class-time. Instead, we agreed on times before or after school. This way, the student was still able to be successful in my class."

11. How do you increase participation in the classroom?

Not every student will love every class. But, it is a teacher's job to try to get them to participate in what is going on. Talk with the interviewer about techniques you have used over the years.

"I always do a check for understanding portion to begin classes. I focus on points that were learned in the previous classes. This way, I either call on students, have them complete some kind of assessment, or work in groups to accomplish a goal. In turn, I get students participating the best way I know how."

12. What is your approach in connecting with parents?

Connecting parents is a valuable way to keep students on task. Also, when teachers are proactive with parents, less conversation usually comes back to the administration. Speak to what your way of communication looks like to keep parents up-to-date.

"Parent Teacher Conferences are a great way to connect with parents. But, to me, this is not enough. I am always willing to call, email, and schedule meetings with parents to communicate positive and challenging things about students."

13. How do you support keeping the school a safe-learning atmosphere?

Safety is the number one responsibility of any teacher. By sharing how you keep students safe, the interviewer will know that you care about the subject, as much as they do. Consider evidence of how you have done this over the years.

"Safety has always been something I want to be diligent about. So, I have a policy within my classroom where people treat each other with respect. Rude talk is never acceptable in my class. Students who do not follow this will have consequences for their actions."

14. Share a time you did not see eye-to-eye with school leadership? What was your response?

School leadership can vary from a principal to an athletic director to the Dean of Students. Wherever you have had tension, share it with the interviewer, and explain how the confrontation resolved itself. Healthy habits in communication is what the interviewer is looking for here.

"The Dean of Students and I had some tension, last year. I was frustrated by the fact he was taking students out of my class constantly to tell them about detentions, requirements, etc. I went directly to him and shared the tension I was filling, and if we could try something else than interrupting my class. We came to an agreement that he could come in on Mondays to talk through things with any student he liked. But, that was the only day to limit interruptions. This ended up being good for all parties invovled."

15. How would you describe our school during your first visit?

The interviewer wants to see what you notice when you step in the halls of their establishment. Be honest about the positives that you see. This way, they will better understand what you care about, as they consider you for the position.

"As I walked into your school today, I was greeted by friendly students and staff. It was such a nice welcome from your community. I also noticed the positive quotes littering the hallways. I love that students see positivity wherever they roam."

16. What was a time you failed and how did you handle it?

The interviewer wants to get an idea of something that everyone faces in their lives: failure. Speak openly and honestly about the challenges of the experience and what you learned in the process. This kind of answer will give the interviewer hope that you are malleable and ready to grow.

"During my first year of teaching, I had a major fail. I could not handle a class the first day of school. I was downhearted and hopeless. But, that night, I told myself that I was going to push through, grow as a teacher, and do my very best. This mindset has helped me along."

17. Recall a time you explained something to a frustrated student or parent. How did the process go and what was the response like?

How you communicate during a stress situation can really diffuse things. No matter if you are speaking to a frustrated student or teacher, it is important for the educator to be calm and cool. Talk about how your navigated the conversation to a more positive place.

"I had a student two years ago who was not happy with her grade on a test. She communicated to me, through yelling, that the test was unfair and that they hated me as a teacher. So, I pulled the student aside, and we talked about the class, what was frustrating, and how I could help her along. I kept a calm demeanor. I don't know if the student ever liked me, but we were able to come to an understanding of what I needed from her and what she needed from me. I just wanted her to be successful, no matter what she thought of me."

18. Tell about a time you set a goal and you completed it.

Goal setting should be a habit for all teachers. An interviewer wants to see if you are always looking to improve your profession. Give an example where you had one in mind and what things were like after you had achieved it.

"I had a goal to increase my professional development to become a better teacher. So, I signed up for a summer class to grow in teaching essay writing. I spent two weeks diving into differenct concepts, and I came out with a certification."

19. Share about a difficult colleague you have worked with. What was the experience like?

Another part of teaching is interacting with your peers. Some colleagues can be hard to deal with, but you are still expected to be professional. Speak to what stood out to you in this situation and how you kept pushing the positive.

"There was a teacher once who I was neighbors with. She was frustrated with our hallway during the pandemic because teachers were not helping to navigate one-way hallways to help keep the school open. She called us out in a faculty meeting once, which was quite embarrassing. I wanted to protect myself, but I waited to cool-down. Then, I went over to her after the meeting, and expressed the situation that I was not in my classroom much because of COVID protocol and had to navigate different classrooms around campus. She appreciated my honesty, and I tried more and more to be in the hallways, when I had class next to her. I am glad we had a talk one-on-one, instead of an outburst in front of everyone."

20. Speak to a time you had a disagreement with your boss. How was the situation handled in the end?

Not everyone sees eye-to-eye in every situation. The same can be said with an employee and their boss. An interviewer wants to understand how you overcome a challenge like this. Explain how you are upfront with your boss when things like this arise.

"I had a time, with a boss years ago, where there was a frustrating conversation. I thought one way about how to handle school protocol compared to what the administration was doing. My boss heard me, while we kept the conversation calm and to the point. Ultimately, the protocol did not change. But, I still respected my boss because they were willing to have a heart-to-heart with me."

21. What do you do when you are on a time-crunch waiting for someone else to finish their part of the task?

Time-crunches are a part of any teacher's life. But, when you are waiting on someone else for a joint project, it can be frustrating when they do not complete their end of the bargain. How you react next is what the interviewer wants to understand. Share honestly how you navigate these kinds of rough waters.

"I had a situation, a few years back, where I had to work on accreditation tasks for the school I was at. We were placed with a few teachers to handle the tasks. One teacher, in particular, was supposed to have their stuff in by the end of the day. As we rolled up on the end of the day, I reached out to ask how things were going. The teacher had run out of time and was not able to complete the task. I knew I had two options: allow the situation to unfold with the teacher getting in trouble or doing the work for them. I knew the administration wanted it done, but I did not feel it was fair for me to get put in that situation. Ultimately, I let the situation play out and when the work was not completed, I reached out to the adminstation to complete the missing work. They certainly were thankful that I stepped up to the plate."

22. What are the steps you take to make a difficult decision?

When handling a difficult decision, there needs to be a step-by-step process involved. Dealing with a challenging situation can be frustrating. But, when you have the right protocol in mind, success will come, even in the hardest of times.

"As I make a difficult decision, I always think about the steps to follow. Usually, my first inclination is a good one. But, I always have had safeguards in mind. So, no matter the decision, I talk with another teacher about what they think should be done. Then, I go to a school counselor, as well, for feedback. If need be, the adminstartion joins in, depending on the situation."

23. Describe a time when you had a lot of work to do. How did you handle the situation?

There comes a time, for any teacher, when work starts to pile up. The interviewer wants to get a sense of how you handle things under pressure. Speak about a time when you achieved greatness working a lot.

"At the end of my last quarter last year, I had a lot of essays to grade. It was a struggle to get them in on-time, but I did it. This meant that I brought essays home to grade, stayed late, and went into work early. I know when I have something due, I am going to get it in when asked because that is the expectation."

24. Share about a difficult student you have worked with. What was the experience like?

Difficult students are a part of the teaching job description. But, what is more important is how you, as the teacher, sets the tone for the situation. Even though the student may bring about trouble, doing your best to change the situation into a positive should be the focus.

"A few years ago, I had a student that plagiarized on an essay. This was not the first time either. The first time, I gave the student a second chance, but warned him of his actions. The second time, he got an automatic zero and detention. We talked after and had a heart-to-heart. He shared that he wanted to be a businessman in the future. We talked about tangible ways to make this happen, and our relationship improved because of the intentionality."

25. Tell about a problem you witnessed and how you worked through it.

Problems can crop up at anytime. An interviewer wants to see how you handle these kinds of situations. Ultimately, by seeing your true colors, this will give them a better cue on if they should hire you or not.

"In my last my job, there were two boys fighting in the hallway. I started by separating the two, and we walked to the principal's office. I assisted the principal in getting to the bottom of situation. Ultimately, voices were heard, punishments were handed out, and a bright future for both boys ensued because of the protocols that were followed."

26. What are you most proud of in your career?

There are a lot of things to be proud of as a teacher. But, the interviewer wants you to nail down something that is memorable and worthwhile. Share something that shows your humility, but your value at the end of the day.

"I am most proud of helping a student at the first school I taught. He was a boy with some learning disabilities. We got together after school everyday to make sure that he was up-to-date on his work. The day he graduated was a proud day for him and me."

27. Describe a time when you made a quality impression on someone.

Having a good first impression is what any administration wants from their teachers, whether it involves meeting students or parents. In an interview setting, how you interact with the interviewer will give them an idea of how you do in other similar situations. Be confident and genuine with your answer.

"At the last school I worked at, I had an interaction with parents of a new student. They really appreciated how I greeted them, as they entered the room, and the ease it was to talk with me. This is how I want to be with my students, parents, staff, colleagues, and administration."

28. Speak about a high-pressure experience. What got you through?

Everyone goes through stress in a workplace. The key is how you handle it. An interviewer wants to see your true colors in a situation like this. So, give the full story and how you overcame it.

"A high-pressure experience I had to work through was learning how to teach Yearbook. The administration needed help, so I offered. It was an uphill battle to make things work, at first. But, the more time I put in, the more value I received coming out. This was valuable to me and my students."

29. How would you handle being asked to start a task that you have no experience in?

There are some times where a teacher steps up to the plate, even though they do not know what they are doing. An interviewer is looking for this determination no matter what. A quality administration can resource any teacher that is willing. So, be willing, and you will have a better chance of getting the job.

"I would be willing to start something I have no experience in. Whether it be an advisor, coach, or handling a project, I am open to working hard and getting the necessary training needed. This way, I can work to be more and more effective in my craft, no matter what the task is."

30. Share a time when you worked with someone who you didn't work well with.

There comes a time in any profession where you work with someone and things don't jive. Any interviewer knows this. But, what they want to hear is how you overcame the situation in a positive manner.

"In the last school I was working at, there was a teacher that was very different than me. We were put together on an accreditation project, and it was quite stressful. However, I worked to grasp their working style. By the end, we were able to complete what was expected. It was not easy, but I made it through."

50 Sample Teacher Interview Questions and Answers To Help You Land Your Dream Teaching Job!

problem solving teacher interview questions

Are you trying to become a teacher for the first time, or maybe shooting for a new position in a different school? If so, these fifty teacher interview answers and questions, along with tips for each, will help you prepare and ease any anxiety you have!

The broad range of example questions will provide you with helpful suggestions and reminders regardless of what type of teaching position you're looking for whether it be preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle school, high school, PE teacher, art teacher, special education, etc. 

1. Why do you want to become a teacher?

Sample Answer:   I have always had a passion for teaching, and ever since I was a child, I've wanted to be a teacher. The gift of teaching allows me to be in a true helping profession. After all, the things that I teach the children in my class are the fundamentals that they will need to thrive as adults. There is no higher calling or more noble occupation in my eyes. All of my heroes have been teachers. And besides, I love kids. That’s important. You must love kids if you want to teach; there’s no two ways around that!

Tip:   When asked this question, be honest. Chances are good that you really did decide to become a teacher in order to help others and make the world a better place. There’s no canned answer that can be used here, but in general, most teachers choose their career path because they love children and want to be in a helping profession. They definitely aren’t ‘in it’ for the money!

2. How would you describe your teaching philosophy?

Sample Answer:   My teaching philosophy is simple. I use a hands-on technique and am approachable to my students. I incorporate fun into my lessons when possible. And while my easy-going style is suitable for many subjects and grades, I am also able to adapt my style to the needs of the student. For instance, if I have students that are not comfortable with independent learning, I employ the facilitator style of teaching that calls for a student-centered learning approach. My colleagues generally say that I am fun but tough, and I think their assessment is accurate.

Tip:   The response to this question will vary from teacher to teacher. Be honest about your teaching style, but be sure to indicate that you are able to adopt a variety of different styles of teaching when they are suitable to a particular situation and to meet the needs of the students. This allows the interviewer to see that you are capable of handling a vast array of situations and students and that you have a range of different skills that you can draw from when needed. This makes you more appealing for a variety of different openings within the district.

3. How would you describe a successful lesson?

Sample Answer:   A successful lesson is a lesson where my students are fully involved, listening and interacting with me and each other regarding the material presented. I plan my lessons to be thought-provoking and fun at the same time because I believe that students want to have fun and that they learn more effectively when learning is a pleasure, not a chore. I try to implement this concept into each lesson to the best of my abilities. The true measure of a good lesson, however, is when I can look at tests and quizzes on the material and see a good level of understanding and comprehension on the student’s part.

Tip:   When answering this question, it is good if you can provide examples of successful lesson plans that you have taught, and that you take these examples and focus on how you determined them to be successful. Interviewers know that planning lessons is an integral part of teaching and they also know that teachers who are successful are great planners. Placing an emphasis on the fact that that you are continually analyzing the lessons that you present, looking for weaknesses and strengths, shows the interviewer that you are always open to improvements and that you are constantly working on further developing this skill.

4. What are some of your biggest weaknesses?

Sample Answer:   I have found that one of my biggest weaknesses is time management. I have so many creative and educational activities planned that sometimes I try to get too much in during one class session. It sometimes becomes difficult to incorporate each activity into the lesson, although I know that my students will learn from them. Luckily, I have learned to prioritize my lessons so that I can bring only the material into the lesson that is most beneficial for the students, realizing that I simply cannot, within the time limits given, do everything that I would like to do with my students.

Tip:   This is a great question to use to “sell” yourself to your interviewer, but you want to avoid giving the impression that you see yourself as a perfectionist. Interviewers are human, and they know that everyone has weaknesses. Your response to realizing a weakness and how you rectified that weakness is what the interviewer wants to hear. They don’t expect anyone to be free from weaknesses. You can also turn the perceived weakness into strengths, as the answer above suggests.

5. How would you describe your discipline philosophy?

Sample Answer:   I believe that students must be held responsible and accountable for their actions, and that the ground rules and consequences for acceptable and non-acceptable behavior should be clearly established from the first day of school. My discipline philosophy is founded in the belief that proper discipline will not only facilitate learning but it will also improve relationships and the level of respect between students. Discipline can also help children to be more self-directed and realize a level of accountability in life that will serve them when they reach adulthood. Personally, I believe that negative behavior can be reduced or even eliminated if a teacher offers the student an environment that stimulates them and respects them. For very young children, I believe that the time-out system of discipline is effective because it not only ends the negative behavior by isolating the child into a time-out chair, it also gives the child time to reflect on their behavior without being summarily punished. Because time-out lasts for just a few minutes, the child is often able to correct his or her behavior and rejoin his classmates with a new attitude.

Tip:   For reasons that are obvious, there is no cookie-cutter answer to this question. Your answer should be based on your style of teaching, the grade you will be teaching, and any past experience that you have with disciplining children. What the interviewer wants to see with this answer is that you do have a plan in place, and that you know the importance of discipline in the educational system. Provide a plan for action and back up your plan with clear examples. It can be helpful to learn all you can in regards to the discipline philosophy the particular school district follows and to tailor your answer to show your compliance with this philosophy.

6. What are your greatest strengths that you have to offer?

Sample Answer:   My greatest strength is my ability to run an efficient classroom and to give individualized attention to each student. I am adept at identifying and maximizing the strengths of each student and learning their weaknesses so that I can better help each individual child excel to his or her potential. I am also patient, which is a trait that is a must-have for any educator. My patience allows me to work effectively with even the most challenging students.

Tip:   When asking about your strengths, the interviewer is looking for you to be both positive and honest about where you feel your strengths lie. This is a time to brag about yourself and see yourself in the best light possible. It is necessary to play up your strengths when answering this question, but you don’t want to boast about too many of your strengths or you may seem deceptive – even if you are the ‘total’ package! In other words, don’t make yourself appear to be “too good to believe”.

7. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

This is not really a question, but your response is important. This is one of the most common interview questions and one of the most crucial. Keep in mind that even though the question is about you – the answer that most interviewers are looking for needs to give them a good idea about how you are a good fit for their school system. Keep this in mind when answering. So instead of saying “I’m a mother of three and married to a wonderful man”, you should highlight your greatest assets that you will be bringing to the table as a teacher.

(In fact, keep details of your personal life just that – personal – do not volunteer any personal information unless it is beneficial to the aims or goals of the school district). You can summarize achievements that you have made recently or in the past, you can make allusions to how your future plans fall in line with the goals of the school system and how you can contribute to the students that you will be teaching. Focus on the achievements that you have made that will make the biggest impression with the interviewer and that will make him or her feel as if you would bring something valuable to the table.

8. How would you deal with an angry parent?

Sample Answer:   When dealing with an angry parent, I believe that it is important to remain calm and reasonable.  It just doesn't do any good get all fired up and lose your temper.  In my experience, I have found that by dealing with people in a rational and logical manner it helps to defuse the tension in the situation.  I also think it is really important to always respect other people's points of views, regardless of what they are, and especially, when talking with a parent who is upset and angry.  Parents are naturally sensitive when it comes to their children, so it is important to try to calm the parent down, listen to what they have to say,  and talk with them through the issue, always keeping their point of view in mind.

Tip:   When interviewing applicants, school districts are looking for teachers that are assertive and that are willing to stand up for what they believe in.  Conflict in the classroom is never desirable, and schools want teachers who can get along well with other people.  Yet, they realize that difficult situations and difficult people are likely to be encountered from time to time. A diplomatic candidate that can avoid being argumentative while respecting the other party is much sought-after.

9. What experience do you have working with children of this age?

Sample Answer:   During my student teaching, I was assigned to a classroom that was made up of children of this age, and found them quite fascinating. I think this is the perfect age. Students of this age have an open mind and are more open to learning than older children. During my student teaching, I enjoyed planning and carrying out several lessons under the supervision of the lead teacher.

Tip:   There is no right or wrong answer for this question. The answer to this question will be obviously based on the actual experience that you have, so be honest. In general, the interviewer is looking for applicants that are not necessarily experienced with children of all ages, but that are excited to work with the grade that they are interviewing for.

10. What about our school district intrigues you? Why do you want to work for us?

Tip:   For this question, you must do a bit of legwork and research before the interview in order to tailor a custom response that will show the interviewer why you are interested in the particular school or school district, and what might have sparked this interest. If you have personal experience working with the district or school, you can include information about that.

For example, if you were hired as a substitute teacher for the district prior to getting your certification, then you could talk about that and how much you enjoyed your capacity as a substitute. You can also talk about different initiatives that the school has in place or is planning that interest you, or the extracurricular activities that the school offers that you find appealing. The interviewer in this case will be looking for something that validates why you want to work in their district.

11. What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Sample Answer:   Why the children, of course! I believe all good teachers became interested in teaching because they love children. And I also believe you have to love children and enjoy being around children in order to love teaching. I enjoy helping to mold students into what they have the potential to become. I feel like teaching, being a helping profession, is more of a calling than a career choice. Teachers do truly have the power to change lives; I’ve experienced that myself firsthand through the teachers that have helped me over the years. Other than enjoying being around children and helping them to become well-rounded adults, the summers off aren’t that bad either!

Tip:   This is the perfect answer for this question because it reinforced what may truly distinguish a great teacher from a good one – the love of children. Educating children is never an easy job, but it must be undertaken by someone who loves kids, and school districts know this. Showing that you love teaching, that it is not just a career to you, is a good way to get your foot in the door.

12. How would you encourage creativity in the classroom?

Sample Answer:   I believe that encouraging the creation of ideas and allowing students to assemble their own ideas and thoughts is a good way to promote creativity within the classroom. I challenge my students to be free-thinkers and am always open to suggestions from them. Uniqueness and originality are rewarded. My classroom is one where freedom of expression is encouraged and honored and where the student is taught to analyze and think for themselves.

Tip:   School districts are always looking for teachers who foster creativity within the classroom, so this answer is perfect. It is also a good idea to be able to provide examples of how you would help children to develop their creativity.

13. Do you consider yourself an empathetic person? If so, give an example.

Sample Answer:   I do consider myself to be empathetic to many people and situations. Because of my upbringing, I believe I am able to appreciate some of the harder situations that we many times find ourselves in, and to show empathy and pity for others. For example, because we were not wealthy when I was a child, I am able to empathize with those students who cannot afford designer clothes and $100 sneakers. Because I don’t consider math to be one of my strongest subjects, I can empathize with those who struggle with math. I think empathy is important in a broad number of instances in our lives. It makes us more personable and more approachable.

Tip:   School districts want to hire teachers who can be empathetic towards others, whether it is students, parents, or other teachers. Demonstrating your empathetic side shows them that you are a person who can relate to others. Nearly everyone has an empathetic side; if you don’t, you may be in the wrong field.

14. If a student hits another student or even you, what would you do?

Sample Answer:   I would immediately try to de-escalate the situation and protect the children involved. If possible, I would restrain the child and ask for the principal or security official at the school to escort the child out of the classroom. If I have been assaulted, I would immediately report the incident and document the event. That type of behavior is absolutely not acceptable, and it needs to be dealt with quickly.

Tip:   School districts typically have a plan in place for handling situations where a child hits another child or teacher. Nonetheless, districts want to see that teachers can think on their feet to deal with these instances of violence within the school. Like many other questions, this one also depends on the age of the students you are teaching. Obviously if a two year old hit you that's really not the same as a 10 year old slugging you or another student! But regardless of the age of the student discipline is necessary.

15. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Sample Answer:   Teaching, of course! I have wanted to be a teacher all my life, since I was a child. I have never imagined doing anything else. In five years, I hope to have settled into the community and become a staple in your teacher’s lounge! I also hope that in five years I will have found my "niche" within this school system and community. I would really like to find where I can best be used outside of the classroom as well, whether it be as a coach or head of a club. No matter where I am, I hope to be doing what I love five years, ten years, even twenty years from now.

Tip:   Interviewers want to hire teachers who plan to stick with it. The process of recruiting and hiring qualified teachers can be cumbersome on already over-burdened human resource offices. If they think you’re just looking for a job for a year or so until you move to another location, they may decide to go with someone else.

16. How would you handle a student swearing or using inappropriate language?

Sample Answer:   Students who swear and use inappropriate language can be a challenge, and this type of behavior at school is never acceptable. I think that diffusing the situation without causing it to escalate further is important. In this instance, I would remain calm and avoid losing my temper. Because I am the authority figure in the room, it is important that I maintain order in order to make sure the other children feel safe. I would then escort the student to the office to see the principal regarding their language.

Tip:   Maintaining order and control within the classroom is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers today. When interviewing for a teaching position, interviewers want to see that you have a plan in place to deal with possible scenarios like the one described in the question. They also want to know that you will be able to keep your cool and avoid losing your temper.

17. Would you consider yourself a risk taker? If so, what are some examples?

Sample Answer:   I guess it really depends on what you consider a risk taker to be.  If you think of a risk taker as someone who jumps out of airplanes and goes bungee jumping, then the answer is no, I am definitely not a risk taker!  I was brought up to be a careful, cautious person who values my life and my family too much to take risks like that.

However, I am not the kind of person who is afraid of failure.  I am willing to put myself out there and take risks to achieve the goal that I am after.  I do not look at failure as a bad thing.  Sure, it may be disappointing to fail at something, but I look at every failure as another experience in my life that I can learn from.  And I think that attitude is the right attitude to have.  You just can't go through life worrying about all of your failures, or worse yet, being so afraid to fail that you never take any risks.

Tip:   While you may not think you need to be much of risk taker to be a teacher, it is important to be willing to put yourself out there a little bit.  The only time we grow as people is by putting ourselves in situations we may not be all that comfortable with.  Doing that, stretches us, and a lot of times shows us that we are capable of things we never even dreamed we could do.

So, I think it's important to note for this question that you don't have to be willing to sky dive or swim with sharks to be a risk taker.  But if you are the kind of person that gets in their comfort zone and stays there at all costs, I would challenge you to look for situations where you can put yourself out there just a little bit!

18. Have you ever used differentiated instruction, and if so how?

Sample Answer:   Yes, I have. Differentiated instruction can be wonderful for both gifted children and children who are struggling with a particular concept. For the gifted student, differentiated instruction allows them to be challenged by material that is at a higher level than their classmates. For the struggling student, allowing the student to revisit particular concepts allows them to catch up with their grade level.

Tip:   Many schools and school districts are promoting the ideal of differentiated instruction because it allows for the student to work at their level rather than teaching from a perspective that all kids in a particular grade are actually on the same level. Showing that you understand the concept of differentiated instruction is valuable when interviewing in these districts.

19. What teaching methods do you use besides lecturing?

Sample Answer:   I have found that there are a plethora of ways to teach other than simply lecturing. I love to do hands-on activities like experiments and crafts that help to reinforce a concept that I have lectured on. I also like to take my children on field trips, both real and virtual, in order to take a more in-depth look at the subjects that we are covering in a particular unit. Learning can be, and should be fun – and making it fun allows me to reach students in ways that I cannot by lecturing.

Tip:   School districts are always looking for teachers who employ more than simple lectures when presenting lessons. This shows the talent of the teacher and that the teacher is willing to put in the extra work that is needed to motivate students to learn.

20. If I were to randomly walk into your classroom one day, what would I see going on?

Sample Answer:   You would see children being challenged to do their best and a teacher that interacts with them on a level that they can understand. I believe in a lot of hands-on teaching, so you could expect to see me up at the Smart Board, demonstrating how to solve a problem or walking around the room, helping individual students. I believe in active, not passive teaching. I can accomplish very little in a seated position behind my desk! I want to get out there with my students, on the front lines, so that I can help each and every child to be the best they can be.

Tip:   This answer gives the interviewer a glimpse into what your expectations are and how you would handle teaching on a day-to-day basis. The interviewer wants you to be able to envision yourself in the role of teacher and to relay what you see back to them.

21. In what ways do you prepare students for state and/or standardized tests?

Sample Answer:   I find that using practice exams and sample questions throughout the year is a great way to prepare students to get ready for state or standardized testing. I try to implement questions that are similar to what the student will be answering on the test into my lessons whenever possible. To prepare the students for the writing requirement on standardized tests, I usually ask my children to write various pieces during the school year and then grade those pieces based on the criteria that will be used during state testing.

Tip:   State testing and standardized testing is important to school districts because it not only measures the proficiency of students, but the results of these tests are also taken into consideration when federal money is disbursed to each district. Interviewers want to see that you are “on board” with prepping your students for testing all year long.

22. What are your classroom rules and how do you make sure your students know them?

Sample Answer:   I am a staunch believer that ground rules must be laid down in the classroom from day one if I plan to maintain order and control in the classroom.   I keep my rules simple and make sure that they are in a format that the student can understand. The rules aren’t lengthy – so as not to overwhelm the students or confuse them. I give each student two copies of my classroom rules on the first day of class; one he or she will sign and return to me, the other is for their reference.

The rules are – raise your hand when you need help – keep your hands to yourself – walk don’t run – treat others as you would have them treat you – follow directions. It’s that simple. These rules may seem simplistic, but they can cover a lot of incidences that might occur.

Tip:   Keeping order is important, and school rules aren’t enough. Each teacher needs their own set of rules that govern their classrooms. It is important that you demonstrate that you understand this concept. Be sure to taper the rules to the grade you are teaching.

23. Describe your college experience(s)?

Sample Answer:   Aside from taking the required classes to receive my teaching certification, I was also employed by the campus tutoring center where I worked with students who were struggling in various subjects, including algebra, calculus, and geometry. I think that gave me a great foundation when I began my student activities during my last semester.

Tip:   Again, not a question, but a statement that is intended to prompt you for a response! While questions that require a “yes” or “no” answer may be easiest, it is this type of open-ended question that gives you the opportunity to give a thoughtful and intelligent response. This is your time to shine! And remember, being asked about the past is usually an attempt to predict future behavior. School districts ask you to describe your college experience so that you can highlight the achievements that you made, the organizations you were involved with, and the extra-curricular activities you participated in. Focus on the things that you did in college that make you a good fit for the position.

24. What methods do you use to handle classroom discipline?

Sample Answer:   I think that the discipline that is handed out must match the child’s age and maturity level in order for the child to understand why he or she is being punished – and to make the punishment fit the offense. For example, disruptive third graders might receive a timeout or lose recess privileges for the first couple of offenses – and then future offenses might require a visit to the principal’s office. By developing ground rules and making those rules understood from the first day of class, my students will know what is acceptable and what is not. They will also know what disciplinary action will be taken if they don’t obey the rules.

Tip:   Again, maintaining control while complying with school district’s policies regarding discipline is what he interviewer will be looking for when judging your response to this question. You may want to use an example of a real situation in which you have had to discipline a student tin order to show your expertise in this touchy area. Explain in your example why the discipline was appropriate and why it was effective.

25. What types of positive reinforcement do you use?

Sample Answer:   There are various positive reinforcements that I use that can prompt a student to perform and to attend class. First of all, I think that the reinforcement should fit the task and the age of the student. For example, if I am teaching first grade, giving stars on a chart is a good reinforcement. But stars may not be a welcome reward for a fifth grader, who might be more willing to perform as expected for a reward like an extra recess or a homework pass. I also have used positive reinforcement of allowing a student to be class leader for a day, leading the class to lunch and bathroom breaks for the entire day for a job well done. For students who have perfect attendance for the grade period, a pizza party is a great positive reinforcement.  I try to use a variety of positive reinforcements depending on the age of the children I'm teaching.

Tip:   Interviewers want to see creativity in ways that you can motivate your class. By showing that you understand positive reinforcement and that you have plans of using it in your classroom, you demonstrate your effectiveness as a teacher.

26. How much experience do you have working with computers?

Sample Answer:   I have lots of experience working with computers.  During college, I actually took some online classes that helped me to further expand my knowledge of computers and the Internet.  I am familiar with both Mac and Windows formats, and can easily navigate both operating systems.  I also have extensive experience with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  I also maintain my own blog.

Tip:   Today’s schools have evolved to the point that many things are done online or via computer.  Many schools have digital lockers that allow students to complete their homework and turn it in online.  To keep up, teachers must demonstrate a working knowledge of computers and cyberspace.  If you are not that familiar with computers it definitely wouldn't hurt you to get a book or two, and maybe do some research online to learn how to better utilize technology in your classroom and get familiar with popular programs like Microsoft Office.

27. Are you a patient person? Give some examples of how you are or aren't patient.

Sample Answer:   I believe that I am patient person to the point that it might even be considered a fault.  We all have our own level of patience, and I believe that anyone who works with children must be patient.  While I have little tolerance for misbehavior and will look to get to the root of the problem quickly, I find that I am more patient with other things, like waiting on a student to grasp a concept.  Children can’t be rushed to learn; they learn at their own pace.   If I want my students to be successful and to learn from me, I have to accept that they might not master a particular concept as fast as their peers – but that they still have the potential to do so, with my help.  I am very patient with students as long as they are giving their best effort and they show a desire to learn and grasp the concepts being taught.

Tip:   The ideal teacher has mounds of patience. Without it, they would quickly find themselves in a new career.   In exhibiting patience, you are letting the interviewer know that you know what to expect and that you are prepared for it.

28. What do you use to measure student performance?

Sample Answer:   I believe that it is important, both for the student and the school district, that teachers use standardized methods of measuring student performance. I mirror my student’s performance during the school year by formatting their tests, assignments, and so on, by the achievement testing that they will complete at year’s end. This gives students a heads-up on testing so that they are more comfortable and prepared for standardized tests each year. This is not only good for the student, but is also good for the district’s rankings.

Although most school districts have an established policy that teachers and educators must use to measure the performance of their students, some districts allow teachers to formulate their own guidelines. Since the amount of federal funding that public schools receive is based in part on their performance, showing that you want to promote higher performance levels on standardized testing makes you a more appealing candidate.

29. What are your goals in life?

Sample Answer:   My goal is to spend my life teaching! I plan to pursue my M.A. on down the road. I don't see myself as one of those people who will change their career path five times before they finally find something they enjoy. And I'm definitely not someone who constantly has to change what I'm doing in order to stay interested in my job. I absolutely loved student teaching, and have always dreamed of being a teacher! On a personal level, I see myself at some point having a family and basically living the American Dream.

Tip:   When hiring a teacher, school districts want to hire individuals that appear to be rooted to the community. This will increase the likelihood that the teacher will teach for many years. Having concrete and rational goals shows that you are this type of person and makes you appealing as a candidate!

30. What plans do you have for continuing your professional growth as a teacher?

Sample Answer:   I plan to continue my education and pursue my master’s as soon as possible. Although I feel that I am adept for a career as an educator, taking additional training above and beyond what is necessitated will help me to be more effective.

Tip:   This is the right answer. School districts want to see teachers continue their education, and they want to see teachers achieve rank. This shows your desire to better yourself and that you put a lot of stock in the educational process.  If you aren't planning on getting your master's degree I would look into other programs that you can get involved in to continue learning and developing your skills as a teacher.  It's not absolutely necessary, but it's something schools do look at.

31. How do you feel about team-teaching?

Sample Answer:   I believe that team teaching can be advantageous in many ways. The biggest advantage of team teaching is that it fosters a supportive environment for the teacher that allows for the development and implantation of new teaching strategies while aiding teachers in feeling isolated. It can also increase the likelihood of a sound approach to dealing with problematic students while having other teachers nearby that you can use as a sounding board to be able to share both the joys and frustrations of individual class sessions. Further, when there is a collaboration of teachers in one classroom, it is simpler to come up with solutions for motivating and teaching students, as well as for establishing expectations for behavior.

Tip:   Many school districts are going with a team-teaching/'team player' approach, so establishing that you can handle the pressures and unique challenges of the team-teaching method is a good way to show your versatility and flexibility for the district’s needs. Like any employer, the school district wants to hire teachers that have a “can do” attitude as opposed to an attitude of “I don’t do windows”. Being adaptable and accommodating will make you more approachable and valuable to school administrators, increasing the likelihood of being hired.

32. What would the ideal school look like to you?

Sample Answer:   The ideal school would be a clean, safe, and well-maintained building that is filled with supplies, materials, and equipment that can foster a great learning environment. I have been in schools that appear to be crumbling to the ground, and I think that reflects on the students’ attitudes and their performance. A school that students can be proud of is one that they will want to come to each day.   I would also say that the ideal school wouldn't have small classrooms with as many students packed into them as possible. I think it's important to keep classrooms well organized and to have a smaller number of students in each of them so their can be more one-on-one attention with the teacher if need be.

Tip:   In asking this question, interviewers are looking for insight into what you think the school and surroundings should look like for students. Most districts pride themselves on the look of their schools, but many are left with little funding for school improvements. Interviewers want to see that you appreciate a well-maintained school building and grounds; this shows that you will work to keep it that way and encourage your students to do so, too.

33. As a student teacher what was the most frustrating thing you had to deal with?

Sample Answer:   Although I loved the student teaching experience and I learned a lot from the teachers that I worked with, there were some frustrating moments. Some of the teachers that I worked with were very experienced and I found their teaching styles to be in conflict with my own style that I have adopted from training in college. For me, that was probably the toughest part of the whole experience. I never had any real trouble with any of my students.

Tip:   It’s okay to admit frustration during the interview process. This positions you as a real person. Anyone who says that some aspect of the student teaching process was not frustrating was either very patient or a very good liar. No interviewer for any job will believe that you don’t have weaknesses and are immune from frustration. So while admitting your downfalls makes you human, you don’t want to focus on them.

34. How would you keep communication open between you and the parents of your students?

Sample Answer:   I have always felt that communicating with parents is vital to the student’s success. At the beginning of each year, I make a point to talk to all parents, including those that don’t attend “open house”, whether I have to call them, email them, or reach out to them in some other way. I also send home frequent notes on how the student is performing and goals that are expected to be met. I have also thought about starting a class website with access to only students and parents so that the parent can see more of what the children are doing in the classroom. I also make sure that parents know how to contact me during my planning period in the event that they need or want to discuss something with me. If parents aren’t encouraged to participate in educating their child, the child suffers as a result, which is why the inclusion of the parents is so important to me.

Tip:   School districts crave parent involvement, which is why they would love this answer. Teachers that encourage parents to communicate with them are becoming a commodity, and parents are participating less and less in their child’s education. Districts want to see teachers making an extra effort to get parents involved.

35. What questions do you have for us?

Sample Answer:   I would like to integrate computer technology into my classroom – do you have the resources for doing so in this school? What opportunities for professional development are available? Are the parents at this school fairly active in classroom participation? What is the next step in the process of being hired? When will I know if I am hired?

Tip:   It is important that you always ask three to four questions at this point, but be careful not to ask more than that as you may overwhelm your interviewer. Ask only those questions that you cannot get by researching the question on your own. You may even want to consider writing down the questions that you want to ask on an index card and bringing it along on the interview.

36. Do you agree or disagree that you should demand respect?

Sample Answer:   I do believe that teachers should be respected, and that they must demand respect from their students, but demand it in a respectful way.  Now, more than ever, students are not taught respect at home, and school remains their only outlet for receiving instruction and guidance in how to be respectful.  If we as teachers do not require that students respect us, some students may never learn to be respectful at all.  Respect is also essential to maintaining control in the classroom. If students don’t respect you or their fellow students, they certainly won’t feel compelled to behave or follow directions, or even hand in their homework.  Showing respect to every student and getting respect back from them is definitely important in every classroom.

Tip:   Most school districts believe that teachers should be respected, and they realize that a good teacher who is in control of their classroom and their students will demand respect.  Districts don’t want to hire teachers to “be friends with” students. They want to hire teachers who can help to mold the student into a successful and productive adult.

37. What do you dislike about teaching?

Sample Answer:   One thing that discourages me about teaching is the lack of funding in the public school system.  There are so many things that teachers need to purchase that have to come out of their own pocket, and there never seems to be enough money to buy everything.

With that being said, I also understand the fact that money doesn't just grow on trees!  When things get tough, schools need to cut back just like everyone else, and they need to find ways to be more efficient.  I don't know what the solution to the problem is, but it would be great if schools could do something to increase their revenues in order to purchase supplies for their teachers.

Tip:   Good answer. Although you should never go into an entire list of things that you don’t like about teaching, it is never good to point out more than a thing or two or you risk looking as if you don’t really like your job at all! Selecting something like lack of funding is a safe choice when it comes to things that you don’t like as it is universally “not liked” by teachers and school districts alike.

38. Would you say you make learning fun, and if so how?

Sample Answer:   Yes, I do. I firmly believe that students learn more freely when they are having fun instead of doing a chore. By making learning fun, I am able to reach a greater number of students than if I have a serious and stern attitude. My students are able to see me as a peer, which helps to facilitate the relationship between teacher and student.

I incorporate fun into the classroom in a variety of ways. In the past, I have used art projects, plays and skits, films, and other media as a way to be hands-on with the students to drive home skills, while having a good time in the process.

Tip:   Most educators recognize the fact that children are more open to learning when they are having fun at the same time. The ability to bring fun to a lesson while keeping it effective is a sought after skill!

39. Have you ever been responsible for taking care of someone? Did you enjoy it?

Sample Answer:   In my role as student teacher, I was often left in charge of the classroom and students. I enjoy being in a supervisory position and working with children. I think that my leadership skills make me a natural caretaker, and I very much enjoy being in charge.

I am now also responsible for taking care of my mother. She is getting older and without my dad around anymore she needs help with pretty much everything. It's definitely been challenging, but I really do enjoy being able to care for her and spend that extra time together.

Tip:   School districts and interviewers are looking for teaching candidates that have a “take charge” attitude. Likewise, they want to see that you are comfortable taking responsibility for others. And while teaching is more than “glorified babysitting”, being able to take care of your students and supervise them appropriately is a necessity, and ideally, you should enjoy doing just that.

40. How much homework will you assign?

Sample Answer:   I try to keep homework to a minimum as much as possible, and I don’t ever overwhelm my students with hours of homework. For students to be well-rounded, they need to have time after school for family, friends, hobbies, sports, and more. There are times, however, when it is necessary to assign more homework in order to practice a concept.

For example, if I am teaching long division to my students, I may ask that they complete thirty problems each afternoon in order to practice and become proficient in this important mathematical skill. I try to taper larger homework assignments so that I don’t give two long assignments in one afternoon. Homework, in moderation, is important.

Tip:   Good answer. More and more school districts are realizing that over-burdening a child with homework is not only a stressor on the child, but it can also cause them to stay up late and not get a sufficient amount of sleep. This can impact the child’s health, school performance and more.

41. If one of your students told you that you were the worst teacher they have ever had, how would you respond?

Sample Answer:   Being insulted is never fun, and that would definitely “sting”. I believe that I would counter their insult by letting the student know that I’m sorry they feel that way, and that I am doing my best to live up to their expectations. I think that dealing with a situation like that would need to be on a case-by-case basis and that my response to the student would be tempered by the type of relationship that I had with the student and the time and place that the comment was made. I believe that remaining in control and not losing my temper is the most important thing in instances like this.

Tip:   School districts want to see that a teacher is able to handle unruly or rude students, as these types of students are found in every modern classroom. The interviewer wants to see above all that you can remain calm and in control in the face of adversity. This is important for maintaining control of the classroom.

42. If a student kept complaining about an assignment you gave, how would you handle it?

Sample Answer:   In a situation of this type, I would find out if the student needs extra help or further clarification on how to do the assignment. I would encourage the student to complete the assignment, and if necessary, explain to the student why the assignment is important to the unit being presented or the concept that they need to master. Students will complain about work that they have to do from time to time, but this is a trait that everyone shares, both young and old. Following through and requiring the student to complete the assignment, with help if needed, will help to instill responsibility in the student.

Tip:   This is a great answer to this question because school districts and interviewers want to hire teachers who not only plan their lessons well, but who expect students to perform no matter the case. This shows control of the classroom and effective teaching skills.

43. If one of your students wasn't completing their work, how would you handle it?

Sample Answer:   Motivation is a big part of teaching, and motivating students who do not complete their work is an integral part to helping the student achieve success. To address this situation, I would confer with the child to find out if there is a barrier to completing the work that I can help with. If they don’t understand the concept, my job is to help them understand. If there is some other personal barrier that needs to be addressed, I can point the child towards the help that they need by consulting with the guidance counselor or other official. The important thing is to get the child on the right track and to overcome the obstacle that they are facing.

Tip:   School districts and interviewers want to see that a teacher is willing to work with students who may be falling behind. The school district’s success and funding are dependent upon student progress and performance. By going the extra mile to work with struggling children, teachers are doing their part to help the entire district succeed.

44. Do you typically have a positive outlook on things? If so, give some examples.

Sample Answer:   I definitely have a positive attitude when it comes to most things.   I have always found that a positive attitude is very contagious, and inversely, so is a negative attitude. I believe that staying positive is important in the classroom. It facilitates the learning process and helps you to develop a great relationship with your students and fellow teachers. I have never achieved anything with a negative attitude. I prefer a ‘can-do’, positive, and upbeat atmosphere in the classroom, both for learning and teaching. Positive teachers yield positive students – and positive students are effective learners.

Tip:   Obviously, school districts want teachers with positive attitudes. And really, when you think about it, what interviewer doesn't want someone with a positive attitude?   I don't think I've ever been in an interview where they asked, "Do you generally have a positive attitude and outlook on things?" and you answer with an enthusiastic, "YES!" only to hear them say, "Well... I guess you're not really what we're looking for then.  We were hoping to find someone that could be a real downer.  You know, someone that could consistently bring down those happy, positive people who are always looking at the bright side of things."

Obviously, that was just a joke, but you get the point that having a positive attitude is favorably looked upon.  By portraying a positive attitude, you will be seen as having the ability to better and more effectively do your job. Positive teachers are more successful and are a hot commodity!

45. How would you handle a child who causes distractions and problems, but seems very gifted?

Sample Answer:   I think that when a child causes distractions and problems that they are doing what they can to attract attention, and there’s a reason for that.  There is something going on with the child that needs to be addressed.  I would pull the child aside and have a talk with them to see if there is an issue that can be resolved with my help. I would also make it a point to give the child some extra attention, and to point out their strong suits and encourage them with positive feedback. Sometimes misbehavior is nothing more than a cry for help. As teachers, it is important that we recognize this.

If students are simply bored with class because they "get it" and it shows in their grades, then I may give them some additional things they can work on to challenge them.  I think it's important to continually challenge students.  No matter what age group you teach, there are always going to be some students ahead of others in terms of learning the material.  Rather than just give them free rain, I think it's beneficial to both them and the other students to give them additional assignments.

Tip:   Handling children who are troubled or who are simply disrupting class because they are bored, is a big part of any teacher’s job and it is certainly a challenging undertaking. When hiring a teacher, interviewers want to know how a teacher would handle such children because these issues arise all the time. By showing empathy and concern for the child, you demonstrate your willingness to involve yourself on a deeper level with your students, which means that you’ll likely be an effective and caring teacher.

46. Would you be interested in getting involved in after school activities? If so, which ones?

Sample Answer:   Yes, absolutely. I have lots of skills that can be applied to after school and extracurricular activities for the students at this school. From coaching or helping to coach the academic team to sponsoring the cheerleading squad, I would love to get involved wherever I am needed. I believe that being involved with students beyond the three o’clock bell is important for establishing rapport and trust, and besides, it is so much fun!

Tip:   School districts are always on the lookout for those teachers who are willing to give more of themselves than what their paychecks provide. Coaches, sponsors, leaders – they’re all needed and in vast numbers. It is also a good idea to be willing to attend school events, like ball games or track meets. This shows that you support the school.

It's important to note that while getting involved in extracurricular activities is often favorably looked upon, it is not necessary to get the job. If you are the kind of person that just wants to get your feet wet and get used to the whole teaching thing before deciding if you can take on more responsibilities, that is perfectly fine. As always, it's best to just be honest.

47. If you've heard students constantly complaining about another teacher what do you do?

Sample Answer:   I would ignore it! I realize that not all teachers are going to be popular with their students, and it is not my job to intervene or to question someone else’s teaching style as long as it doesn’t interfere with the health or well-being of my students. I think that teachers must respect one another in that regard, and while advice should be doled out when asked for, it is not proper to question another teacher’s abilities or skills as a teacher.

Tip:   Bingo. Nothing is more disparaging to school districts than conflict between teachers and they have far bigger issues to deal with. By showing that you’re willing to be a vigilant watchdog for your students while at the same time tempering your watchfulness with minding your own business is a good thing. School districts don’t want to hire individuals for any position if they feel that the individual will overstep their boundaries. In short, school districts don’t need teachers to police one another.

48. If we sat down right now and discussed goals for the upcoming year, what would they be?

Sample Answer:   My biggest goals for the year are to prepare my students to meet their core competencies by the end of the year.  I believe that every teacher should set a goal of recognizing where individual students are struggling and then finding a way to get each student up to speed with where they need to be.  I also believe that students should demonstrate the ability to perform at grade level before going on to the next grade.  It is my intent to have all my students reach their goals before being promoted to the next level in school.  I also want to make sure that my students are in school and ready to learn every day, and have plans of implementing an attendance incentive to encourage them to come to school.

Tip:   All school districts have goals that must be met in order to qualify for federal funding dollars. School districts and interviewers want to see that you are on board with their goals, and under the No Child Left Behind Act, those goals are similar.  Each child should be able to demonstrate the core competencies for their grade level.  If they don’t, schools lose money.

49. Obviously, don't name any names, but who has been your most challenging student and why?

Sample Answer:   The most challenging student to me is a student who won’t listen, which is often the case with students who suffer from ADHD. I had a little boy in class once who had ADHD that was somewhat controlled by medication. He was very inattentive and would often stare into space while his classmates were busy doing worksheets or reading. I felt almost powerless to help him while dealing with twenty other children at the same time. I had to dedicate specific time to this student each day in order to help him catch up with his peers.  He didn't really disrupt class or anything, I just found it very challenging to give him the attention that he needed while still helping other students.

Tip:   Interviewers know that you’re not Mary Poppins, and admitting weaknesses and challenges shows your honesty and integrity. All teachers are presented with challenging students, but not all will admit that they had a struggle on their hands. By showing that you found the student to be a challenge, and then discussing how you handled it, you show yourself as an intuitive and effective teacher.

50. If one of your students told you that none of the other students liked them, what would you say?

Sample Answer:   I would say, “That can be really tough, but did you know that everyone feels as if they don’t fit in at some point in their lives, even adults, including me.  And there are other kids in this very classroom who are going through the same thing.  I know it feels like the end of the world, but this feeling won't last forever. If you ever need to talk, I’m here for you.”  I think that as a teacher, the role that can be taken is to coach and reassure the child. Children who feel like they don’t fit in feel unsafe and vulnerable, and they are often prone to teasing or bullying.  I would make a special effort to include the child in group activities with other students, and to foster group activities whenever possible, fitting the activity to the grade level.

Even the act of positioning the children’s desks so as to encourage interaction between a group of girls or a group of boys can help a child to fit in.  There are lots of ways a teacher can promote friendship among students.

Tip:   When hiring an effective teacher, interviewers are looking for teachers who can handle and overcome this all-too-common problem.  Showing that you have thought about this potential issue positions you as a nurturing and caring educator!

BONUS: Even More Common Teacher Interview Questions To Prepare You For Your Teaching Interview

51. how will you handle students with disabilities / special needs students, 52. do you consider yourself to be a 'team player', 53. what is your teaching mission statement, 54. how do you stay up to date on the latest trends in education, 55. what is your least favorite subject to teach and why, 56. how would you describe your classroom management philosophy, classroom management.

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Common Teacher Interview Questions and Preparation Tips

A teaching job candidate shakes hands with an interviewer.

Landing a teaching position requires preparation. But how can teachers separate themselves from the other well-dressed, enthusiastic, articulate job candidates? Researching potential employers and preparing thoughtful responses to common interview questions for teachers helps job candidates put their best foot forward.

Typically, teachers can expect three types of interview questions: questions about who they are personally, questions about their teaching methods, and questions related to teaching’s social aspects.

Personal Teacher Interview Questions and Tips

Personal interview questions help interviewers discover a teacher’s unique passion. These questions allow teachers to share what motivated them to get into the profession. The following are some typical personal questions for teacher interviews and tips for how to respond:

What Made You Decide to Become a Teacher?

Teachers should be able to confidently explain who they are as educators and what they have to share. Discussing how they decided to become teachers is their opportunity to shine.

Tips for Answering

Teachers can share what inspires them about teaching and offer personal stories about what drew them to the profession, such as recounting an experience with a special teacher who made them see the power teachers have to affect other people’s lives. Teachers should also express their purpose for teaching. What do they hope to accomplish? Sharing goals and plans with interviewers shows that the teacher has a vision and has thought about how to accomplish it. By taking time before the interview to list their long-term goals and detailing how they plan to achieve them, teachers will be better prepared to answer this question clearly.

What Are You Currently Learning About and Interested In?

Schools want educators who are excited about their own learning. This question gives teachers a chance to describe their personal love of learning and show that they have a curious nature, a quality they can then pass on to students. The question also presents an opportunity to showcase the ways teachers are taking the initiative to develop themselves personally and professionally.

From books and podcasts to volunteer commitments and online courses, teachers should consider both the formal and informal ways they’re engaged in their own learning. For example, teachers may talk about:

Regardless of the particulars, job candidates should use their examples as a means to express their personal dedication to growth and development, as well as their excitement about lifelong learning.

Describe a Time You Solved a Problem in a Team

Educators often collaborate in teams to plan and address schoolwide initiatives and issues. Interviewers may ask candidates to describe a time they solved a problem in a team to determine how well they work with colleagues to get a job done.

When answering this teacher interview question, teachers can discuss an obstacle or a challenge they and their team members faced and how they worked to resolve it. Discussing challenges allows teachers to highlight the communication skills and problem-solving techniques they’re adept at using.

Interview Questions About Teaching Methods

Teaching method questions focus on strategies, philosophies, and practices teachers rely on to guide their instruction. The questions give teachers the chance to show the careful thought they put into their learning activities, assessments, and projects.

Moreover, they can demonstrate how they approach issues such as increasing diversity, integrating technology in the classroom, or promoting positive outcomes for special education students. The following are some common teaching method questions, plus tips for answering them:

How Do You Identify and Address Learning Disabilities?

General education teachers play an important role in identifying students who need individualized education programs. When replying to the question “How do you identify students who need individualized education?” they can describe not only how they identify students with learning disabilities but also how they differentiate instruction.

Teachers should demonstrate familiarity with different types of learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, and their common indications. Additionally, they can describe the differentiated teaching strategies they use in their lessons. For example, they may discuss how they use grouping as a tool to offer focused teacher attention to students who need specialized support.

Describe a Typical Lesson

Schools want teachers who deliver well-structured, high-quality lessons. An interviewer’s request for candidates to describe a typical lesson allows candidates to not only describe their lessons’ components but also share their thinking about how they structured those lessons.

When describing a lesson, teachers should start with how they engaged students with the topic. Next, they can discuss the activities and the assessments they used to check student learning along the way. They can also describe how they may tweak an in-progress lesson to address gaps in understanding. This demonstrates a teacher’s ability to respond in the moment to student needs and use student input to mindfully drive instruction.

How Do You Motivate and Engage Students?

Today’s schools value student-centered learning. The question “How do you motivate and engage students?” allows teachers to highlight how they embrace the concept and incorporate it into their teaching.

Teachers can describe how they make space for student voices in the classroom and create opportunities for students to direct their own learning. For example, they can discuss how they offer students’ choices, whether it’s allowing them to select their own role in group work or letting them choose which questions they’ll answer on an assignment.

Additionally, teachers can describe their techniques for building lessons around student interests, engaging students in reflection about their own learning processes and helping students connect what they learn in the classroom to the real world.

Teacher Interview Questions About Social Relationships

Building trust and creating meaningful relationships lie at the heart of successful teaching. Schools want to know that the teachers they hire can bond with students individually; build healthy, supportive communities in their classrooms; manage discipline issues; and work effectively with parents. The following teacher interview questions give teachers a chance to show how they accomplish those things:

What Is Your Method for Dealing with Difficult Parents?

This question seeks to understand how teachers manage uncooperative, unsupportive, or dissatisfied parents. When replying, teachers can explain how they steer clear of avoidable problems and defuse tense situations with parents. The question also allows for a discussion about cultivating partnerships with parents.

The key to working with parents involves listening and empathy. Teachers can describe how they would listen to parents’ concerns and get clarification about what troubles them, expressing their shared interest in meeting children’s needs. Next, they can describe how they would invite parents to work with them to arrive at a satisfactory solution. Additionally, teachers can describe their strategies for staying in regular communication with parents, such as in-person meetings, online gradebooks that parents can check, newsletters, and phone calls.

How Do You Handle Disruptive Students?

Teachers inevitably encounter disruptive students, so schools want assurances that teachers have effective methods for dealing with them.

Disruptive behaviors can have many causes, from student anxiety to boredom. A good response to an interview question about handling disruptive students should discuss how teachers identify and appropriately respond to the causes of disruptive behaviors. For example, a teacher may describe pulling aside a disruptive student to discuss what the problem may be. This shows the teacher’s ability to meet students where they are and the ability to use a collaborative approach to handle disruptions.

How Do You Cultivate Positive Relationships with Students?

A question about how to cultivate positive relationships with students allows teachers to describe how they approach classroom management. Schools want to know how teachers nip disruptive behavior in the bud and how they encourage student cooperation.

Teachers can discuss their strategies for establishing, maintaining, and restoring relationships. For example, teachers may describe greeting students at the door to make them feel welcome and to get a sense of their moods. Teachers may also describe how they offer student-specific praise, schedule one-on-one meetings, or plan check-ins with students. When describing how they repair relationships, teachers can highlight how they use empathy and a solution-focused approach that separates the behavior from the student.

How to Prepare for a Teacher Interview

Having a successful interview isn’t solely about knowing how to answer teacher interview questions. It takes a good deal of preparation to optimally engage during the interview process. Using several tactics to proactively get ready for the interview experience can allow teachers to provide specific details about themselves during the interview experience that can help them stand out in a competitive field. These details can often show the prospective employer that the candidate truly cares about pursuing a role as a teacher; this in turn may assure the school that its students are in good hands.

The key steps a person can take to prepare for a teacher interview include the following:

Questions to Ask Interviewers 

At the end of the teacher interview questions, it’s common for the interviewer to ask job candidates if they have any questions. This provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate preparedness for the interview, passion for the teaching profession, and a commitment to helping students achieve their educational goals. It’s best to use this opportunity to ask effective, targeted questions that pull the focus away from the candidate. These questions can be grouped into the following categories:

Explore a Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

Interview questions for teachers help schools evaluate a teaching candidate’s level of thoughtfulness, expertise, and motivation. With the right advanced education degree, aspiring teachers can develop the knowledge and skills they need to approach interviews with confidence, thoughtfulness, and perspective.

Explore how American University’s Online Master of Arts in Teaching program prepares students and current teachers to thrive as educators and transform lives in the classroom.

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How to Become an Online Teacher

Teacher Salary With a Master’s: Maximizing Your Earning Potential

Child Mind Institute, “Tips for Recognizing Learning Disorders in the Classroom”

Education World, How to Answer the Tough Questions

Indeed, “16 Teacher Interview Tips”

Indeed, “32 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer in a Teacher Interview”

Learning Disabilities Association of America, Support and Resources for Educators

Prodigy, “20 Differentiated Instruction Strategies and Examples (+ Downloadable List)”

Reading Rockets, “Building Parent-Teacher Relationships”

TeachThought, “Why You Teach: Developing a Teacher Mission Statement”

The Muse, “25 Common Teacher Interview Questions—and How to Answer Them”

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Most Common Teacher Interview Questions & Answers in 2023

Most Common Teacher Interview Questions & Answers in 2023

Tom Gerencer, CPRW

As seen in:

You’ve got a job interview tomorrow. And you’re terrified of the teacher interview questions they could come up with. You need to walk in cool and ready , and prove you’ve got the skills .

Don’t worry. A little prep can turn the world around! You’re about to see the top 25 teacher interview questions and answers, so that you can have the perfect responses handy.

This guide will show you:

Can’t land an interview in the first place? Your teaching resume might be to blame. Fix it with the help of these guides:

Want to land more job interviews? Create the perfect resume in our builder:

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here .

sample teacher resume

Sample resume made with our builder— See more resume samples here .

Looking for more interview questions for a teacher? Here are the most common job interview questions and answers:

25 Most Common Teacher Interview Questions [1–10]

These teacher interview questions and answers will make the interviewers ask you a question:

“When can you start?”

They cover popular high school interview questions, special education teacher interview questions, substitute or assistant teacher interview questions, and more.

Why do you want to be a teacher?

“Why did you become a teacher?” is the most common of all interview questions for teachers.

Administrators want to know you’re motivated to work through inevitable frustrations. And believe me, they’ve heard every generic answer in the books.

“Because I want to help people” won’t work. Find something specific that shows you’re motivated like no other.

Example Answer

I had trouble reading as a child My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Paulette, introduced us to an amazing list of short stories and books. She read to us and worked with us on reading comprehension. Her care switched on an unquenchable thirst that led me to read thousands of books on topics as diverse as history, biology, sociology, and nature. Mrs. Paulette’s attention forever changed my outlook on life. Since then, I’ve known I wanted to do exactly what she did—to give children tools to last for their entire lives.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Teacher interview questions like this ask, “Are you a good fit for our school?” It’s the teaching equivalent of “ tell me about yourself .”

Don’t answer elementary teacher interview questions for an unstructured school with, “I believe in structured learning.”

Take the time to learn the school’s philosophy before the interview.

I believe in teaching to each student’s passion. For instance, in one kindergarten class, my students had trouble with punctuation. I observed that one student, Mary, suddenly got excited about apostrophes. I fueled her passion with a big book on punctuation. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and soon the entire class was asking bright and animated questions. Whenever possible, I try to deliver structured lessons in an unstructured way like this.

That answer uses the S.T.A.R. approach to teaching interview questions. It shows a Situation, a Task, an Action, and a Result.

How much do you want to know about your students in order to be most helpful to them?

This is another of those interview questions for teachers that depends on the school’s philosophy.

One administrator might think it’s crucial to know every detail. Another might say, “A doctor doesn’t need to know her patient’s favorite ice cream flavor.”

Be honest, but find common ground, as in this teaching interview questions answer:

I need to know a student’s learning styles, passions, and challenges. One difficult student, Tim, was disruptive in class. I joined him on the playground on and off. It turned out he was being bullied after school by his brother’s friends. I spoke with Tim’s parents, and they had no idea. Tim became my star student, and as a result, my whole class got quieter and easier to teach.

How to Prepare for a Teaching Interview:

Why do you want to work for our school district?

Administrators want to know if you really want this job .

So—find things you love about the school.

Talk to teachers who work there. Check out the school’s website, mission statement, and “About Us” page.

Finally, take some time to think of how you fit.

I respect Snowy Peaks High’s belief in teaching to the whole child. Your focus on academics, character, community, and nature fit perfectly with my own philosophy. It’s easier to teach well-rounded students. The best lesson plan in the world can’t help a child who’s struggling in all other areas of life.

How can you help our school/students?

Teacher interview questions like this don’t have to make you blink.

Take the time to learn the school’s needs first.

The example below is for a school with a high percentage of disruptive students.

I’ve talked to several of your teachers and heard about their challenges with classroom management. My own classroom management skills are highly developed. I’ve taken 18 continuing education credits in class management from the University of Phoenix’s online program. I was commended at my last school after fully engaging a class with over 25% disruptive students. I used a mix of nonverbal cues, transition cues, timeouts, and several other kernel-based strategies. I believe I can be just as effective here.

What do you find most frustrating about teaching?

Teaching interview questions like this attempt to see if you are easily discouraged.

So—your answer has to show your inner strength.

I get very frustrated with bright kids who become overconfident and don’t apply themselves. There’s nothing sadder or more common than wasted potential. At my last position, I worked with several children who weren’t trying. I implemented a research-based program to incorporate student ideas into the lesson plan. The addition of their thoughts created more complete engagement. Test scores went up 15% in just two months.

Pro Tip: Teaching is frustrating. Many common interview questions for teachers focus on that pain. Don’t minimize it. Instead, explain your skills at working through it.

Why should we hire you to teach here?

This is the teacher interview questions equivalent of the old standby, “ Why should we hire you? ”

The example answer below is for a school that wants technology in the curriculum.

I’m well aware of your new technology initiative. We were tasked with the same challenge at my last school. Thanks to my strong tech background, I was able to add online quizzes easily. The students loved them, and they cut administrative processing by 25%.

How would you get your classroom ready for the first day of school?

This and similar teacher interview questions look at your preparedness.

First steps create a first impression. Your plan for first steps says a lot about your teaching skills.

I want my classroom to be welcoming and nurturing. I also make the ground rules obvious. A welcome sign and labeled desks help students feel at home from day one. Engaging posters and other visual aids help create a sense of excitement. Beyond fun, a large list of rules and consequences at the front of the room helps the class start on the right foot.

Why do we teach (science, math, French, etc.) in school?

Why does your subject matter to you?

If you say, “So they can get good jobs,” you’ll flunk common interview questions for teachers like this.

Think why you care about the subject at a gut level.

I’ve always believed our future depends on regular people using science in day-to-day decisions. Science is at the core of a sense of wonder for our natural world. That wonder can drive students to improve their learning skills. It can take them places they never thought they’d go.

Paula Bean

How do you evaluate your students?

Common teacher interview questions like this examine how you measure your performance.

As usual, avoid generic answers. Cite an accomplishment and how it helped your students.

I evaluate students with formal and informal methods, including quizzes and tests. I also grade in-class activities like reports, recitations, desk work, and group activities. One student, Terry, showed a strong grasp of concepts during in-class activities, but performed poorly during testing. Through working closely with him, I uncovered an undiagnosed vision problem. Terry got corrective lenses and his test scores rose to match his in-class comprehension.

Beware. Teaching interview questions like the above may look for whether you use assessments vs tests.

15 Less Common Teacher Interview Questions [11–25]

The next 15 interview questions for teachers aren’t on the A-list.

As one of my teachers used to say, prepare for them anyway because they may be on the test.

You never know which teaching job interview question you might face. More prep = less chance of a flub.

Those are the top 25 teacher interview questions and answers. Want one more question to rule them all? That’s coming in a second.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a  professional resume template here for free .

Create the perfect resume

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

The Most Important Interview Question for Teachers

Here’s the ultimate teacher interview question:

“Do you have questions for me?”

Why’s that earthshaking?

So, do a little head-scratching in advance.

Which of the reverse-teaching interview questions below fit the job opening best?

Which ones show you as the strongest candidate?

Questions to Ask in a Teacher Interview

Any of those questions to ask in a teaching interview will show you know your way around a lesson plan.

Todd Mercer


That’s it for our list of 25+ common interview questions for teachers. Want more reverse-teacher interview questions? See our guide: 65+ Best Questions to Ask in an Interview & Land Top Jobs

Teacher Interview Tips

You walk into the teaching interview. You sit. You’re sweating buckets.

They start asking questions. You umm and ahh .

Suddenly you realize you’re in your underwear.

Sound familiar?

Before we wrap up the top 25 teacher interview questions and answers, let’s take one minute to prepare.

The teacher interview tips below will jack your confidence up to the ceiling tiles.

Teaching Interview Tips

What to Bring to a Teaching Interview:

Aleah Denny

In a teaching interview, you may face situational interview questions. Those usually start with “Tell me about a time...” Need help prepping? See our guide: 20 Situational Interview Questions and Answers to Nail Your Interview

Want more interview tips for teachers and other jobs? See our guide: 50+ Successful Interview Tips, Advice & Guidelines

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Here’s a recap of common teacher interview questions and answers:

Do you have questions on how to answer interview questions for teachers? Not sure how to describe your past experience? Give us a shout in the comments! Let's get you hired now.

Tom Gerencer, CPRW

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Problem-Solving Interview Questions And Answers (With Examples)

Find a Job You Really Want In

How to Answer a Problem-Solving Interview Question

Eight examples of common problem-solving interview questions and answers, interviewing successfully, curveball questions, problem-solving faq.

Summary. Problem-solving questions are used to focus on a candidates past experience with managing conflicts and overcoming obstacles in the workplace. When answering these questions, be sure to make your answer relevant to the position that you are applying to and be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to provide examples from previous experiences. Are you in the process of searching for a new job ? If so, you might be getting ready to meet with a hiring manager or a recruiter for a job interview. And if you’re like the majority of job candidates, this stage of the job search process is probably making you feel a fair bit of trepidation. And no wonder! The interview is a completely necessary step for any job search, but that doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking to meet with a prospective employer and answer questions about your personality , skills, and professional background. Key Takeaways: Being able to solve problems is a skill that almost all job positions need. Problem-solving questions assess a candidate’s ability to think on their feet, handle pressure, and find creative solutions to complex problems. Make sure your answer to a problem-solving question tells a story of you as an effective team player. What Is a Problem-Solving Interview Question?

A problem-solving interview question is a question that focuses on a candidate’s past experience with managing conflicts and overcoming unexpected obstacles in the workplace.

Problem-solving questions can come up in many different forms. As a general rule, however, they will be aimed at uncovering your ability to handle stress and uncertainty in a wide variety of contexts.

When you’re answering problem-solving interview questions, there are a few important tips to keep in mind:

Make your answers relevant to the position that you’re applying to. Always bear in mind that the fundamental goal of any interview question is to provide a hiring manager with a glimpse inside the mind of a candidate.

By asking you a problem-solving question, your interviewer is trying to understand whether or not you’re the type of person that could be relied upon under pressure or during a crisis. Every role, furthermore, comes with its own particular type of pressure.

Be honest about your strengths ( and weaknesses ). Hiring managers tend to be quite good at reading people. Therefore, if you give them a bogus response, they’re very likely to see through that – and to subsequently consider you to be untrustworthy.

Of course, it can be tempting at the moment to fabricate certain details in your response in the attempt to make yourself seem like a better candidate. But inventing details – however small – tends to backfire .

Tell stories that will portray you as a team player. Hiring managers and employers are always on the lookout for job candidates who will collaborate and communicate well amongst a broader team.

Be sure to provide examples of moments in which you took charge. Leadership skills are another key quality that hiring managers and employers seek out in job candidates. And being presented with a problem-solving question, as it turns out, is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your own leadership skills.

Now that we understand the basic principles of problem-solving interview questions and how to respond to them, we’re finally ready to break down some real-world examples. So without any further preamble, here are eight examples of common problem-solving interview questions (as well as some examples of how you might answer them):

Can you tell me about a time when you encountered an unexpected challenge in the workplace? How did you go about dealing with it?

Explanation: With this question , your interviewer will be attempting to get a sense of how well you’re able to adapt to unexpected difficulties. The critical thing to remember when you’re answering this question – as we briefly discussed above – is to recall an incident that will be directly relevant to the role and the organization that you’re applying to.

Here’s an example of a high-quality response to this question:

“I remember a particular day at my previous job when an important deadline was pushed up at the very last minute. As the project manager , it was my responsibility to implement the necessary steps that would enable us to meet this new and truncated deadline. “Many of my peers began to hang their heads, resigning themselves to their belief that there was no hope to meet the new deadline. But I’ve always prided myself on my ability to adapt and thrive within a dynamic and quick-paced work environment – and that’s precisely the personal skill set that I channeled on this occasion. In the end, I reorganized my team’s priorities so that we were able to accommodate the new deadline.”

How would you say you typically respond to problems in general, and in the workplace in particular?

Explanation: This question is primarily designed to gauge a candidate’s ability (or lack thereof) to remain cool, calm, and collected under pressure. The ideal response to this question, in other words, will include a brief personal anecdote that illustrates your level-headedness and your ability to make rational, clear decisions during times of uncertainty.

“I would say that one of the primary qualities that sets me apart from the crowd of other candidates is my ability to remain calm and centered when conditions in the workplace become chaotic. “Looking back, I think that I first began to cultivate this ability during my tenure as a product manager working with a major Silicon Valley start-up. That was a particularly stressful period, but it was also quite instructive – I learned a great deal about staying positive, focused, and productive after an unexpected challenge presented itself. “These days, when I’m confronted by an unexpected problem – whether it’s in my personal life or in my professional life – I immediately channel the conflict management skills that I’ve been honing throughout the duration of my career. This helps a great deal, and my skills in this regard are only continuing to improve.”

Can you tell me about a time when you’ve had to settle a workplace dispute between yourself and a manager or colleague?

Explanation: Always keep in mind that one of the fundamental goals of any problem-solving question is to help a hiring manager gain a clearer sense of a candidate’s ability to work with others.

This question, in particular, is designed to give your interviewer a clearer sense of how well you’re able to communicate and compromise with your colleagues. With that in mind, you should be sure to answer this question in a way that will display a willingness to be fair, empathetic, and respectful to your teammates.

“I recall an incident in my last job in which one of my colleagues felt that I had not provided him with adequate resources to enable him to be successful in a particular project. I was acting as team leader for that particular project, and so it was my responsibility to ensure that everyone in my team was equipped for success. Unfortunately, I had to learn through the proverbial grapevine that this particular colleague bore some ill will toward me. I’ve never been one to participate in idle gossip, and so I decided to speak with this person so that we could begin to find a solution and address his grievances. So I crafted an email to him asking him if he would be interested in joining me for coffee the following day. He accepted the invitation, and during our coffee break, we were able to talk at length about the damage that he felt had been done to him. We devised a mutually agreeable solution on the spot. From then on, we had no significant problems between us.”

Are there any steps that you’ll regularly take during the early stages of a new project to ensure that you’ll be able to manage unexpected problems that occur down the road?

Explanation: This question, above all, is designed to test your ability to plan ahead and mitigate risk. These are both essential qualities that employers typically seek out in job candidates, particularly those who are being vetted for a management or leadership role.

When you’re answering this question, it’s important to emphasize your ability to look ahead towards the future and anticipate potential risks. As with the previous examples that we’ve already examined, the best way to communicate this ability is to provide your interviewer with a concrete example from your previous work history.

“I live my life – and I conduct my work – according to a single, incredibly important motto: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” I’m a firm believer, in other words, of the primacy of careful planning. Without it, projects are almost always doomed to fail. “In my previous role as a marketing content writer with a major software company, I strived to apply this motto to my work every single day. “Here’s an example: About a year ago, I was responsible for overseeing and launching a new content strategy aimed at driving up consumer engagement. From the very outset, I understood that that particular project could be run off the rails if we did not take into account a considerable number of factors. “I won’t bore you with all of the nitty-gritty details, but the point is that this was a particularly sensitive project that required diligent and careful risk assessment. “Having realized that, my colleagues and I devised a comprehensive and flexible strategy for managing many risks that we envisioned would be awaiting us down the road. That initial step – looking ahead towards the future and mapping out the terrain of potential hazards – proved to be an essential measure for the success of the project.”

Do you consider your problem-solving capabilities to be above average?

Explanation: Hiring managers are always on the lookout for job candidates that stand out from the crowd. It’s even better when they can find a job candidate who knows that they stand out and who expresses that knowledge by being confident in their abilities.

At the same time, it’s never in a job candidate’s best interests to come across as egotistical or arrogant. When you’re responding to a question like this (that is, a question that’s focused on your ability to assess your own talents), it’s important to do your best to come across as self-assured but not pompous.

“Yes, all things considered, I would say that I have a talent for risk assessment, problem-solving, and risk mitigation. “That said, I can’t claim complete ownership over these abilities. In most cases, my demonstrated success in managing risk and solving problems in the workplace can be attributed at least as much to my team members as it can to me. For me to be able to be a successful problem-solver, it helps to be surrounded by colleagues whom I can trust.”

How would you describe your typical immediate reaction to unexpected challenges? Do you prefer to jump straight into the problem-solving process, or do you more commonly take some time to analyze and assess the problem before you dive in?

Explanation: This question is aimed at gauging your patience levels. This one can be a bit tricky because employers will sometimes prefer different responses – it all depends on the type of position and employer you’re applying for.

If you’re applying for a role in a quick-paced working environment that demands swift action , it will benefit you to describe your problem-solving strategy as unflinching and immediate.

If, on the other hand, the role you’re applying to does not demand such immediate action, it will probably be better to describe yourself as a more removed and relaxed problem solver.

But as always, you should never lie to your employer. Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle of these two types of problem solvers and will thereby have no difficulty painting ourselves honestly as one or the other.

However, if you’re definitely one type or the other, then you should describe yourself as such. This will make it much more likely that you’ll end up in a position that will be maximally rewarding both for you and for your employer.

“In most cases, my response to an unexpected problem will entirely depend on the nature of the problem at hand. If it demands immediate action, then I’ll dive right in without hesitation. “If, however, I determine that it would be more beneficial to take a step back and analyze the nature of the problem before we begin to meddle with it, then that’s exactly what I’ll do. “Generally speaking, I would say that I prefer the latter approach – that is, to take a step back and think things through before I begin to try to find a solution. In my experience, this makes it much easier for everyone involved to arrive at a practical and sustainable solution. “That said, I’m also perfectly capable of jumping straight into a problem if it demands immediate attention.”

Can you tell us about a time in which you had to explain a technically complicated subject to a client or customer? How did you approach that process, and how did it turn out?

Explanation: Strong communication skills are essential in the modern workplace. That means that employers tend to seek out job candidates that communicate well with their colleagues and individuals who have varying professional backgrounds and skill sets, including clients, customers, and third-party professionals.

“I recall an incident from many years ago – while I was working as a software engineer for a prominent robotics company – in which I found myself in the position of having to describe incredibly complex engineering details to a client. “This client had no prior experience in software engineering or artificial intelligence, so I had to relate this esoteric information more or less in layman terms. “Thankfully, I was able to employ some useful metaphors and analogies to communicate the information in a manner that this client could appreciate and understand. We went on to establish a successful collaborative partnership that flourished for four years.”

How would you rate your ability to work and succeed without direct supervision from your managers?

Explanation: Employers always tend to place a high value on job candidates who are self-motivated and can maintain high levels of productivity without constant supervision.

This is especially true now that the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly made it necessary for so many millions of employers to transition to a remote workforce model. This question is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to stay focused and motivated while working remotely or without supervision.

“I’ve always considered myself – and my resume and references will support this – to be an exceptionally self-motivated individual, even when I’m working from home. “In fact, like many employees, I often find that my productivity levels tend to increase when I’m working remotely. I strive to set a positive example for my colleagues, even when we’re not all working under the same roof.”

Generally speaking, the best strategy for success in interviewing for a new job is doing your research beforehand. That means that you should be intimately familiar with the role, department, and company that you’re applying to before you step into the room (or log on to the Zoom meeting ) on the day of your interview.

When you preemptively take the time to carefully research the organization as a whole – and the responsibilities of the job opportunity in particular – you’ll minimize your chances of being caught off guard by an unexpectedly difficult question .

Still, there is only so much background information that you can uncover about an organization and a role before a job interview. No matter how carefully you prepare and how much background research you conduct, there are very likely going to be curveball questions during your job interview that you can’t predict.

In fact, many employers prefer to ask curveball questions (in addition to more run of the mill job interview questions) because they provide an insightful glimpse into a job candidate’s analytical thinking skills – not just their ability to memorize and recite answers to more common interview questions .

To that end, many hiring managers will ask job candidates to answer one or more problem-solving questions during a typical job interview. In contrast to traditional interview questions (such as: “Why do you think that you would be a good fit for this role?”

Or: “What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement up to the current moment?”), problem-solving questions are specifically designed to assess a job candidate’s ability to think on their feet, handle real pressure, and find creative solutions to complex problems.

They’re also commonly referred to as analytical skills interview questions because they’re designed to gauge a candidate’s ability to make analytical decisions in real-time.

What are problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving skills include skills like research, communication, and decision making. Problem-solving skills allow for you to identify and solve problems effectively and efficiently. Research skills allow for you to identify the problem.

Communication skills allow for you to collaborate with others to come up with a plan to solve the problem. Decision making skills allow you to choose the right solution to the problem.

Why do interviewers ask problem-solving interview questions?

Interviewers ask problem-solving interview questions to see how candidate will approach and solve difficult situations. Interviewers want to see how you handle stress and uncertainty before hiring you for a position. Problem-solving is an important part of the everyday workday so they need to be sure you are capable of solving problems.

How do you solve a problem effectively?

To solve problems effectively you should first break the problem down and try different approaches. Breaking the problem up into different parts will help you have a better understanding and help you decide what your next step is going to be.

Once you see the different parts of the problem, trying different approaches to solve the problem can help you solve it faster. This will also help you determine the appropriate tools you need to solve the problem.

U.S. Department of Labor – Interview Tips

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Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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Teach To Love Learning

How to Answer the Teacher Interview Question “Tell Me About a Time When…”

How to answer the teacher interview question “tell me about a time when…”.


So you are at your teacher interview, and you just KNOW they will ask you one question that is somewhere along the line of, “Tell me about a time when…”

-Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a co-worker

-Tell me about a time that a lesson didn’t go as planned

-Tell me about a time that you would have changed one of your lessons

-Tell me about a time when you were proud of one of your accomplishments

The list goes ON AND ON.

problem solving teacher interview questions

Teacher Interview Sample Questions

Good news! There is a simple formula you can use to answer any type of question that I like to call “Tell me about a time when” questions.

The first step comes with interview preparation (you can find more information about this in my 6 ways to ace your interview FREE notebook- linked here!). When you are preparing for your teacher interview, you want to think of 3-5 versatile stories that are connected to teaching experiences that you have had. Think of stories that can be used to answer several questions at your teacher interview.

After you think of a story, you are going to want to use the STAR interview method to answer these interview questions. The STAR interview method is a behavioral interviewing technique that you can use to MASTER teacher interview questions. It stands for:

S: Situation

Give the people who are interviewing you some background information on what happened, or as I like to say, “Set the scene.”

Tell them what you were tasked to do.

What action steps did you take to complete the task or solve the problem?

What happened? What are you going to do differently next time? How did you solve the problem? At least one of these questions needs to be answered to finish answering your teacher interview question.

problem solving teacher interview questions

Teacher Interview Answers

Here is an example question and answer:

Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a co-worker.

S: When I was student teaching, I was partnered up with a teacher who used a non-evidence-based method of teaching reading instruction (and that a method that I did not prefer to use).

T: She had asked me to take over small group reading time, and the expectation was that I would teach the students using the method she had implemented in her classroom.

A: I told her that I had been learning about this innovative, evidence-based method of teaching reading, and that my teachers said that if we had any opportunity at all to implement it, that we should. I asked her if I could tell her more about the method, and if she would be okay with me trying it out with her students.

R: After we talked, she said that she was excited to implement something new, and allowed me to implement this new practice with my reading small groups. She liked it so much, that she started to incorporate pieces of it into her reading instruction even after student teaching was finished for the year.

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problem solving teacher interview questions


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