Teacher Interview Questions You Might Not Think to Ask
The in-person interview is an important part of teacher recruitment. Interviewing teachers can be different than interviewing for other types of positions. The common questions, like ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ often don’t apply. Yet asking the right questions is the only way to identify the best teacher for the job.
Questions to Ask if You’re the Interviewer
According to Education World, (http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin396.shtml) here are some questions you may not have thought of, but that may give good insight into the candidates you’re considering.
What book is on your nightstand right now? This question will tell you what kind of interests the candidate has, and will confirm that they read for pleasure. If they give you more than one title, and they are different genres, even better.
What is your least favorite subject to teach, and what do you do to teach it well? Nobody likes to teach every subject, but often teachers need to instruct in a subject they’re not thrilled about. The answer to this question will tell you how the candidate will respond if you have to place them where they may not want to be. This question is particularly important for candidates for elementary school positions, where teachers often have to teach multiple subjects.
Tell us about a difficult student you had, and how you helped them. Working with challenging children is where good teachers really shine. Most experienced teachers have a story about a child who struggled but ultimately succeeded with their help. The way the candidate tells the story will tell you a lot about what kind of teacher they are.
How would your students describe you? This question will give you some insight into the way the teacher is perceived by their students, but also into the way the teacher thinks they are perceived. There’s a small but important difference. A teacher who is in tune with their students will be able to tell you what their students think, and how it differs from the way they try to come across.
Tell us about your student teaching experience. For a teacher right out of college, this is an obvious question. But you can ask this question of experienced teachers as well, and follow it up with a question about how it differed from some of their subsequent teaching jobs.
Questions to Ask if You’re the Candidate
A job interview is a two-way street, and you can learn a lot about a candidate by listening to the questions they ask as well. Consider these questions that teachers should be asking you.
Is there flexibility in creating the curriculum? A teacher should want to know if they will have to create the curriculum or if they will be following one that already exists.
Do you have a mentoring program? New and experienced teachers alike can benefit from sharing ideas with other educators. Experienced teachers who ask this question get bonus points.
What do you like best about your school? A candidate should want to know what makes the school special and what the current teachers and administrators like about working there.
Thanks for reading! We hope you found these questions helpful.