Common Interview Questions in Education

If you want a job in teaching, be prepared to answer these questions

Woman at job interview
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Before walking into any job interview, you should take some time to prepare a few answers to common interview questions. You may even want to write out your answers and practice saying them aloud so that they come naturally to you once you're sitting down for your interview. If you're interviewing for a teaching position, you'll want to think specifically about what kinds of education-related questions might come up. At a Title I school, for example, you may be asked, "What do you know about Title I?" If you practice answering these questions now, you won't stumble through them later.

Basic Questions

Expect to be asked a few basic questions about yourself no matter what position you're interviewing for. While some of these questions may seem simple, you still want to be prepared with thoughtful answers. Some common basic questions include:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Experience

Unless you are applying for an entry-level position, you will likely be asked about your background and teaching experience. The interviewer will want to know how well you work with others and what kinds of environments you are most comfortable in. You may be asked some questions along these lines:

  • What experience do you have using computers in the classroom?
  • Are you a team player? If so, please give me an example of a time you worked well with others.
  • What grade level would you be most comfortable teaching?
  • What type of reading program did you use in student teaching?
  • Describe your student teaching successes and failures.

Classroom Management

An employer considering you for a teaching position will want to know how you handle yourself in the classroom and interact with students. Expect to be quizzed on classroom management strategies and other logistical issues. Questions may include:

  • If I walked into your classroom during reading time, what would I see?
  • What methods do you use for classroom management? Describe a difficult incident with a student and how you handled it.
  • How would you handle difficult parents?
  • Give me an example of a rule or procedure in your classroom.
  • If you could design the ideal classroom for elementary students, what would it look like?

Lesson Planning

Once your interviewer is sure that you can keep a classroom under control, they'll want to know how you plan lessons and evaluate student learning. You may be asked any number of the following questions:

  • Describe a good lesson and explain why it was good.
  • How would you go about planning a lesson?
  • How would you individualize a curriculum for students at various levels?
  • How would you identify the special needs of particular students?
  • What methods have you used or would you use to assess student learning?

Philosophy of Learning

Finally, your interviewer may want to know how you think about education more broadly, what you consider to be the qualities of a good teacher, what you know about different learning models, etc. These types of questions may include:

  • Tell me what you know about the Four Blocks Literacy Model.
  • What is your personal educational philosophy?
  • What are the most important qualifications for being a good teacher?
  • What was the last educational book you read?