40 Substitute Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Substitute teacher interview questions and answers. During your substitute teacher interview, the hiring manager will almost certainly ask you specific questions to ascertain your critical thinking abilities and capacity to interact with children of all ages.

To ensure that your comments are meaningful and impress the hiring manager, it can be beneficial to practice your responses prior to your interview.

Detailed responses might assist the interviewer in determining whether you are a good fit for specific grade levels and classes.

substitute teacher interview questions

Tips for answering substitute teacher interview questions

Tips on creating an ideal interview answer:

  • Highlight your teaching methods.
  • Mention the different learning styles of students.
  • Include handling a disruptive student in the classroom.
  • Mention how you collaborate with the regular teacher.
  • Include reference to how you handle following the teacher's curriculum.
  • Be aware of how substitute teachers can assist the school principal and school district.
  • Reference how you communicate effectively to students.

Related: Substitute teacher job description

General questions

Numerous hiring supervisors can conduct basic or generic interview questions to ascertain your qualifications and characteristics. Consider the following often asked interview questions:

  • Tell me anything about yourself.
  • What are your advantages?
  • What are your flaws?
  • What would your colleagues describe as your strongest attributes?
  • Why are you interested in becoming a substitute teacher?
  • What is your proudest achievement?
  • What do you want to accomplish in five years?
  • In five words, describe yourself.
  • What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
  • What are your hours of availability?

Related: Teacher interview questions

Experience and educational background

To determine if you have the necessary experience and education to work as a substitute teacher, the interviewer can ask the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in teaching?
  • Which grades do you like to teach?
  • Why did you decide to seek a degree?
  • Which classes were your favorites?
  • What qualities do you believe constitute an excellent substitute teacher?
  • How would you characterize your teaching experience?
  • How do you keep track of your substitute teaching responsibilities?
  • What do you enjoy most about your job as a substitute teacher?
  • Take me through your experience as a substitute teacher.
  • Which subjects are your favorites?
  • How many hours of college do you have?

Other questions

To ascertain your capacity to deal with a range of classroom settings, the interviewer can ask you the following questions:

  • How would you discipline a pupil who disobeys the rules?
  • Describe your usual weekday.
  • How do you handle the curriculum and assignments of the teacher?
  • Describe a moment when you were responsible for resolving a classroom issue or obstacle.
  • How do you keep pupils interested as a substitute?
  • What do you do if a pupil becomes ill?
  • Describe your process for preparing reports for the permanent instructor.
  • How do you remain current with substitute teaching techniques?
  • How do you educate a course in which you have little prior knowledge?
  • Describe your strategy when you are unable to instantly respond to a student's question.
  • What other school districts have you worked in?
  • What is your teaching mission?
  • How would you handle an emotional student?
  • What are the three main learning styles?
  • What's our policy on handling disruptive students?

Substitute teacher interview questions and answers

The following are five substitute teacher interview questions and sample responses to assist you in developing your responses:

How do you deal with a belligerent student?

Substitute instructors can face pupils who struggle to follow classroom rules or maintain concentration. This question allows you to demonstrate your ability to apply problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities to maintain order in the classroom. You can utilize the STAR technique to create a thorough response that details your approach to overcome obstacles.

Example/sample answer

"I understand how critical it is to intervene promptly to bring the student's action or behavior to a halt in order to preserve a pleasant learning environment. In one instance, when I was presenting a lecture, I had a student who was always attempting to communicate with their friends. I first requested them to keep silent while I taught and that they can speak with their friends during the next break. Following that, they continued to converse, and I informed them that if they continued to disturb the class, I would have to send them to the principal's office.

The kid did indeed cease speaking following the warning, and they took the opportunity to speak with their friends during the break. I included a brief remark in my report to the usual instructor in case the student disrupted sessions on a frequent basis."

Related: How to become a grade school teacher

Describe a moment when you were required to handle a difficult classroom.

Substitute instructors can encounter a range of classroom difficulties depending on the students, supplies, and students' learning styles. The hiring manager wants to ensure that you are capable of overcoming a variety of difficulties that you will almost certainly experience on a daily basis. Consider a specific problem and provide a thorough solution using the STAR interview approach.

Example/sample answer

"I was once called in to teach a middle school history class in the absence of the usual instructor. Because the teacher lacked a thorough lesson plan, I had just over an hour to develop one that adhered to the curriculum.

I began by reviewing the teacher's prior notes and lesson plans to see what had been covered previously. Then, using the textbook, I drew a broad outline of what I hoped to cover throughout the session. I searched online for additional materials to supplement the blueprint. I was able to produce enough material to keep kids engaged throughout the day, and I left thorough notes and an outline for the instructor to understand precisely what I did."

Are there any subjects that make you uneasy to teach?

Substitute teachers can work in a number of school settings and teach a range of subjects. Interviewers want to ensure that you possess the fundamental teaching abilities essential to adapt to a variety of classroom settings and subjects. You can clarify any unfamiliar subjects in your response and indicate how you're striving to study and grow in those areas.

Example/sample answer

"At the moment, I lack expertise teaching calculus. I took a calculus course in high school, but haven't studied or applied the subject since graduation. To familiarize myself with the topic, I enrolled in an online calculus course that begins next month. I believe that taking this additional course will help me brush up on my knowledge and improve my ability to educate pupils."

Describe how you would go about evaluating a teacher's lesson plan and instructing a classroom using that plan.

One of the primary aims of substitute teaching is to ensure that you assist students in mastering the content and remaining on track. Hiring managers want to ensure that you are capable of comprehending a variety of plans and delivering useful courses. Describe how you typically understand a teacher's lesson plan and prepare for the day.

Example/sample answer

"I usually read the teacher's plan twice to ensure that I have absorbed all of the information and directions. When I reread it, I make my own notes to assist me in preparing for the day. I check for any unique instructions, such as if I need to accommodate or monitor kids with special medical requirements, or whether I need to stress a certain job or objective. Then I double-check that I have all of the materials or equipment necessary for the day, such as a television or monitor.

When it comes time to educate a classroom, I strive to adhere to the directions as precisely as possible to ensure that pupils get the necessary knowledge. If a student has a question, I will do my best to answer it. I'll conduct a brief online search if I need further information, but if I can't find a satisfactory response, I'll write a note for the instructor to address when they return."

How do you maintain student engagement?

Keeping pupils motivated and attentive is one of the most difficult tasks for substitute instructors. It's critical to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you wish to keep students engaged in order to aid in their learning of the course material. Create an answer that demonstrates your concern for students' growth and explains how your teaching style encourages participation from a variety of pupils.

Example/sample answer

"I realize that maintaining student engagement is a critical component of learning. I employ a variety of strategies to engage kids, depending on the classroom and grade level. In primary school, I often require children to stand and conduct a little physical exercise every 20 or 30 minutes to provide a break and expend some energy. I attempt to foster dialogues in middle school to get pupils talking. I frequently approach high school students like adults by speaking to them directly yet casually, to which they typically respond positively."

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur (Profile), Dice.com, WorkWise, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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