They will try to understand whether you have the right personality for this job, whether you understand what will be expected from you at school.
They will also try to assess your attitude to special needs students, and to various situations that happen in a work of a teacher assistant on a daily basis.
Screening, behavioral, and technical questions (all of them related to the job of a teacher assistant) will help them to create a good picture about you, and to decide whether it makes sense to hire you. Let’s have a look at the questions.
List of common questions
- Why teacher assistant, and not a teacher? (You can refer to shorter education program, your preference to individual work with students, or your desire to work with special needs students.)
- Why do you want to work at our school, and not at another one? (Focus on their reputation, goals and values, study programs, the location of the building, etc.)
- Why this grade, and not another one? (Tell them that you believe that you have the right personality to work with elementary/secondary/other students, that you understand their world perfectly.)
- What teaching methods do you prefer and why? (You can say that you prefer individual approach to every student, because that is mostly what you will do–helping individual students during the classes.)
- What do you consider the main duties of a teacher assistant at our school? (Job description should help you to find a good answer. Mention many duties, demonstrating your proactive approach to work.)
- How do you feel about special needs students? Do you have any experience working with them? (In many cases, you will work primarily with special needs children. Tell them that you feel for them, try to understand how to work with them in a best way, and actually look forward to working with them.)
- Is there any subject you do not like to teach?
- Describe a conflict you had with one of your colleagues (students). How did you solve the conflict?
- Describe a time you didn’t know what to do in the classroom (problems with discipline, etc). (Focus on the lesson you learned while facing the problem, and how it helped you to become a better teacher).
- Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants for this job?
- Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? How would you address them?
- What do you expect from the administrators and from the principal?
Answers, presence, connection
People at schools are not professional interviewers. They won’t analyze your interview answers, they won’t use score sheets or personality testing in an interview with you.
More often than not, their personal preferences will play a major role. If they feel good with you, if they can imagine sharing the staff-room with you, and if you give them as least some decent interview answers, they will hire you.
If you struggle with the interview answers, however, we recommend you the teacher-interviewquestions.com website, from Glen Hughins, a reputable interview coach who specializes in helping job seekers who try to get jobs in teaching and education administration.
Glen will show you how to answer every question you can possibly get, and how to make a great impression on your interviewers.