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Teacher Interview Questions

Hi, everyone!  I had the first required interview with the Department of Education on Monday.  I was so nervous!  I'm glad that part is over and that I passed the interview.  Now I wait to see if any principals out there might want to interview me.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you guys some of the questions I was asked during the interview.  It's so hard to put yourself out there and try to sale yourself.  I can't remember them all (there were over 20!) and these are paraphrased, but it might help some other people looking for teaching jobs.

Interview with Department of Education:

*What can you bring to a school besides teaching (i.e. coaching, drama, art, singing)?

*You see a student is cheating during a test.  What do you do?

*You are teaching a new class.  What do you need to know before you begin lesson planning?

*A bright student is refusing to do any work for you.  What do you do?

*A student asks why they have to learn this stuff anyway.  What do you do?

*A parent wants to talk to you about all the great things her student can do.  The student is only average academically.  How do you handle the parent?

*Do you think it's important to have a good relationship with parents?  How do you go about having one?

*How do you know what kind of relationship you have with your parents?

*You give your instruction and then assign your students to work independently on an assignment.  You notice a student is sitting by themselves and crying.  What do you do?

*Some people say that it's easy for some teachers to keep their students engaged and not easy for others.  Do you agree with this?

*Some people say that kids today are less motivated to learn than kids from 10-15 years ago.  Do you agree with this?

*A coworker is very needy and needs a lot of time and reassurance from you.  How do you handle this?

*Do you think it's important to have a good relationship with colleagues?  How do you manage this?

*Do you think it's important to tie your instruction into real life situations? How do you this?

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head!  I was also lucky enough to be on the interview committee at my old school in FL and help interview the applicants who wanted to take over my position since I was leaving.  :(  Here are some of the questions we asked, but I can't remember all of them either.

Interview questions for ESE applicants replacing me:

*Please describe your experiences working with ESE (what FL calls special ed) students.

*What does your behavior management plan look like?

*What interventions would you use for a student struggling in reading?

*How would you monitor and track students' progress for IEP goals/progress reports?

*Have you ever been responsible for scheduling, writing, and coordinating IEPs?

*A gen ed teacher is having a difficult time keeping an ESE student on task.  What would you recommend?

*Describe the major parts of an IEP.

The job hunt is moving along.  I had the opportunity to interview for a special education teacher for grades K-1 on 12-21-12.  Here are some of the questions (again paraphrased) that I remember them asking.  Of course now I'm thinking of a ton of other things I could have said.  

Interview questions for a special ed elementary K-1 position:

*Describe your teaching experience.

*Explain your philosophy on teaching.

*Have you had any experience administering Fountas & Pinnell assessments?

*Have you ever used ______ math curriculum?

*Explain how you would handle behavior management and an unruly student.

*What hobbies do you have or interests that you can bring to our school?

*Have you ever been part of a data student team/study?

*Describe what professional development you have attended.

*Did you have opportunities to collaborate with the other teachers in your school?  How you do you feel about collaborating with others?

*How do you feel about standards based teaching?

*We sometimes have family activities after school.  Will you be able to attend those?

*What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?

*The million dollar question - Why should we hire you for our school?

I've typed these up and put them in a printable document in case anyone would like to print them off.  Click on the picture to download yours.
Hopefully this will help others that are on the job hunt!  Keep your fingers crossed for me that I start getting some interviews at schools here in Hawaii.

And I'll leave you with this beautiful picture I took at a beach on base last week!


  1. What a lifesaver post this will be for me when I am out jobhunting! I have it bookmarked! And that beach looks heavenly! Enjoy Hawaii and sending good luck your way that you find a job soon!
    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

    1. Hi, Ash! It's definitely easier if you can think of potential questions beforehand! Interviewing can be really stressful. I have another interview scheduled for Friday afternoon. So I may be back to add more questions.


  2. I find it interesting reading these at how much my answers have changed to them over the years. The gift of reflection and experience I guess. Beautiful picture!


    1. Emily - That's such a good point. I believe my answers would have been much different a few years ago, also. Experience teaching some lessons that you just can't get any other way.


  3. Good luck job hunting! I know how stressful it is. I just interviewed this summer for new positions. If you feel comfortable, mention your involvement in the blogging/TpT world. The interviews I mentioned it during, loved it. Later, I found out the one interview committee I didn't mention it to, had stalked me and found it. In hind sight I wish I had initiated conversation about it, so they could have been reassured of my intentions with blogging. You have a lot of great experience to bring to any school...and don't forget to let your enthusiasm shine through:)

    We are ALL Special!

    1. Karlie - I've been wondering if I should bring this up or not mention it. How did you go about bringing it up? I love that it was a positive experience for you. Thanks for your support!


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