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Career Services

Teacher Candidate Interview

What Kinds of Questions Might a Teacher Candidate Be Asked?

In preparing for the educational employment interview, consider the kinds of questions that the interviewer may ask you. Most interviews will ask questions that fall in four major categories:

  • Personal qualifications and backgrounds
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • The teaching-learning process
  • Professional qualifications and experiences

Questions about personal qualifications and background

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • Why did you decide to teach?
  • What do you think of yourself?
  • What is your best quality?
  • What is your concept of a good life? Do you believe you have been living one?
  • What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
  • How would a friend or acquaintance describe you?
  • Do you see yourself as a competitive person?
  • Do you feel your grades should be considered a statement of your abilities? Why or why not?
  • Are you, or do you consider yourself a perfectionist?
  • What do you enjoy doing with your leisure time?

Questions about interpersonal relationships

  • List and explain on a scale of 1 to 9 how you would rate yourself on the following items:
    • communicating with people older than yourself
    • getting along with student-age individuals
  • In past jobs, what was your relationship with your employers?
  • How do you respond to criticism? How do you tell the difference between constructive criticism and just plain old criticism?
  • What kind of student really "gets to you"? Why?
  • To what personality types are you attracted?
  • What personality types rub you the wrong way? Did you have any of that type in your students? How did you get along?
  • What difficulties, if any, have you had in getting along with fellow students and teachers?
  • What kind of relationship would you like to have with students, your fellow teachers, and administrators?
  • What techniques do you use in developing rapport with students?
  • What quality in other people is most important to you?

Questions about the teaching-learning process

  • What did you find to be the hardest thing about or during your directed teaching?
  • What would you do if a student started swearing at you? And if that did not work, then what would you do?
  • What would you do or how would you treat a student who refused to do the work you assigned? And then what?
  • How do students react to your teaching?
  • Did you have any disciplinary problems during your student teaching? If yes, what and how did you handle it?
  • What is the most important thing in the school building? Why?

Questions about professional qualifications and experiences

  • Briefly, what is your philosophy of education?
  • How would you describe yourself as a teacher?
  • Which grade level would you prefer and why?
  • What level (high, middle, low) of students do you want to teach? Why?
  • How do you run your classroom in terms of discipline?
  • What do you see your relationship to be with the parents of the students in the classroom?
  • How would you work with aides and parent volunteers?
  • What procedures work best for you in maintaining discipline?
  • What do you believe your role and obligations to be toward other faculty members?
  • Do you criticize constructively?
  • When would you send a student to the office? Why? Have you ever had to send a student to the office?
  • What do you think of individualized teaching?
  • Are you interested in team teaching?
  • You are assigned to five classes (two different subjects). What do you do the first day?
  • Why will you make a good teacher?
  • What do you think is the job of the building principal?
  • What is the most effective teaching technique you have used in your directed teaching?
  • What do you think of the letter grade system? If you didn't use a report card, what system would you use?

Miscellaneous questions

  • How do you plan to go about getting a job?
  • What was the most traumatic ethnic experience you have had in the classroom?
  • What do you think is the most interesting part about being a teacher?
  • What are the qualities of some of the best teachers you studied with? Do you share any of their qualities?
  • Why should I hire you instead of other applicants?
  • What was your most important learning experience during your student teaching?
  • What was your most important learning experience outside of school?
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