Interview questions for teachers are usually asked to help the potential employer understand the individual teaching style of an applicant. Depending on the grade level and special needs of the children who will be taught, an employer may be looking for specific qualities in an educator. Typically, queries regarding the level of education and previous experience will help determine whether the candidate meets the initial criteria. The interviewer may then wish to gain insight into the personality traits of a candidate, to determine the type of teaching assignment he or she will be most qualified to fill.
Once an applicant meets the certification and experience requirements of a particular educational institution, interview questions for teachers may include hypothetical situations to see how the individual responds. For example, the employer may ask, “how would you discipline a student who consistently talks in class and causes disruption?” Many times, a potential employer is looking for thoughtful, creative resolutions to common problems. Other times, these questions are asked to see if the candidate is familiar with school policies. It is important to construct such answers carefully, though, because certain responses may create the perception that an applicant is either excessively strict or inappropriately tolerant.
Usually, the interviewer is looking for a teacher who is capable of keeping control over the classroom; garnering the respect of students, parents, and colleagues; and creating a positive and safe environment conducive to learning. In fact, the safety of students and teachers alike is usually of utmost importance. To help create this type of atmosphere, most schools have adopted an anti-bullying policy. Interview questions for teachers might include ones that address this issue. For example, “what would you tell a student who confides in you that he is being intimidated or harassed by peers?”
In addition to helping children deal with jealousy, rivalry, or intimidation among classmates, sensitive issues involving their home lives may also arise, which can sometimes require a teacher to step in to protect a child. For example, interview questions for teachers might include, “what would you do if a child arrived at school with a black eye, and upon questioning him, he told you that his father beats him?” The employer may also ask whether the candidate has ever encountered a similar situation and how it was resolved.
Not all questions are hypothetical ones, or draw on an individual’s past experience as an educator. Sometimes, interview questions for teachers are asked to gain insight into the type of person the applicant is outside the school environment. In other words, “how do you spend your free time?” Hobbies, favorite authors, or extracurricular activities that a person engages in can offer a different perspective as to how he or she views the world. For example, if skydiving is an activity that a teacher enjoys, one might assume that the person is a risk-taker. Alternatively, a teacher who spends free time knitting or bird watching may be perceived as someone with a tranquil disposition.