Teacher Interview Questions & Answers (Special Education, Kindergarten) for 2020

teacher interview questions

A teacher is a private or public educator that can be found in a K-12 grade level. This accounts for kindergarten to 12th grade, which is high school proficiency and level. Teaching is one of the most popular jobs across the U.S., with more than 1.9 million jobs available each year.

Teachers are questioned by principals, faculty, and other administrators during the interview process. A teaching interview is unique in this sense since other jobs have the interviewer questioned by hiring managers. Here are the things that principals and staff will value from you, the educator or teacher:

Teaching skills and abilities: It’s important for principals and faculty to hire teachers who have classroom experience. Having any previous in-classroom teaching experience is going to help you during the interview. For example, having previous student teaching experience.

Technical abilities: Teachers now engage in technology more than they used to. Whether it’s using smart technology to embrace teaching, using data to help educate, or simply being familiar with technology in order to be more organized.

Subject matter familiarity: Teachers are often hired to educate specifically on English, Science, Language Arts, Mathematics, Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and other subjects. Principals want to know your proficiency in these specific subjects.

Faculty ability: Teachers need to work together to educate students. Faculty members need to hold themselves accountable for working as a universal system. As principals interview a potential teacher, they want to learn how the future staff member can bring solidarity to children's education.

Common Teacher Interview Questions & Answers

Below is a list of each interview question and a sample answer to a question you might receive when in a teacher interview or job interview for a teaching position. These are common interview questions asked when interviewing for a teaching position.

What is your teaching style or teaching philosophy?

Every student learns in their own way. Whether it’s hands-on learning, learning through reading, visual learning, or other. The key is to learn how students prefer to be educated and make sure each student in the classroom has exposure to that style of teaching. The teaching method should transform and mold according to the student body.

What’s your method for classroom management?

General accountability to students can be very helpful. For example, setting deadlines, expectations of what success looks like as a classroom, and setting examples for unacceptable behavior during the classroom experience. My method for classroom management is to ensure that students are familiar with these principals.

How do you prepare students for standardized testing?

Not all students will appreciate testing. It’s important to provide students with multiple methods for improving their testing abilities. Whether it’s educating them on ways to memorize information or to reduce stress during testing, educating students on these methods can be very helpful to prepare all students for a standardized test.

What should all teachers excel at?

All teachers should have empathy and passion for education. This should come out in the form of unique and professional communication skills to the student body. This should be a reflection of the respect that the educator and teacher position has for the students and their education.

How do you deal with a difficult young person?

If a student is misbehaving, they should be pulled aside and reminded of the classroom principals. A veteran teacher is going to recognize that this is the best first step. Then to help the student to understand how their behavior is affecting others. From there, if they continue, obedience should be taken by the principal or senior educators and faculty. This comes in the form of classroom discipline and is set by the district and principal.

How do you follow a lesson plan?

It’s important to comprehend the lessons before and after the lesson plan. This sets the context for what the students need to learn and in the correct amount of time. From there, the methods of ensuring that education is being received can vary. From homework assignments to quizzes or other teaching methods. It’s imperative that I learn and understand the lesson before deciding to execute it for the students. Each lesson should be properly prepared by me in advance.

What was the biggest thing you learned while student teaching?

That all children and students are unique. And that the teaching job requires creative thinking and analytical abilities to ensure students are receiving an education, not simply hearing their education pass them by.

Special Education Teacher Interview Questions & Answers

Below are special questions that you might receive as a teacher candidate for a special needs role. These teaching interview questions and answers would be for those in the K-12 special needs educator positions.

What are your methods for working with special needs students?

Compassion is first. Each student has their own set of disabilities. And it’s important to comprehend what each of those are so as a teacher, I can be sure to manage my own expectations. This can help me to determine a proper lesson plan and teaching method for the student.

Elementary Teacher Interview Questions & Answers

Below are questions and answers that you might receive when interviewing for a kindergarten teacher, preschool teacher, or other elementary education level teaching positions. Prospective teachers should prepare for all of the questions above plus the following.

What is the most important part of the job for the elementary school teacher?

Understanding that children are at a very moldable and young age which requires a great deal of empathy. For a kindergarten teacher, for example, children need to be shown basics first before we can push them further. It’s imperative to really understand the mental development stage of the child.

Kindergarten Teacher Interview Questions & Answers

Below are interview questions specific to the kindergarten teacher role.

How would you handle young infants and young children in the classroom?

It's very important to provide activities as a learning method. And ensure that these activities are ones that can help basic mental development. For example, learning about hygiene or food. Young children like mental stimulation during this time of their life and let that be their main education method. Planning activities in advance and ensuring parents are aware of them can be very helpful to create a world-class classroom experience.

Other Interview Questions for the Teaching Position

Depending on what you’re interviewing for, you may be asked questions specific to the role. For example, if you’re applying for a role as an English teacher, you should expect customized interview questions that speak to literature or writing abilities and teaching methods. Similarly, applying for a role as an ESL teacher, you may be asked questions about languages spoken and your teaching methods for learning new languages. A good answer to any interview question is one that’s customized to what you perceive the faculty member or school system to value.

Aside from the common teacher interview questions provided, you should expect to be asked behavioral interview questions. These are questions where the teacher asks you situational questions. They normally start with “tell me about a time” and may ask about classroom situations that are specific to teaching.

Preparing for a teaching job interview should consist of learning about the faculty system, school system, district rules, and other values that the school system holds. Once you’ve completed your interview, you may be asked to attend a next interview which could be with a faculty member or other teacher to ensure you’re suitable for the role.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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