What questions to expect in a teaching interview

Without too much of talking, let’s have a look at some questions you will have to deal with in your teaching interview. 


Q1: Why do you think you can be a good teacher?

Say that you believe that teaching is a mission, not a profession. Say that you strive to be a good role model for the students, and that you understand young people and their outlook of life. You can also say that you constantly try to improve your knowledge and teaching methods, to become a better teacher.


Q2: Why do you want to work here?

Try to find a reason for your choice other than the location of the school. A good reputation, study programs that resonate with you, their values and goals, simply anything you can compliment, anything that resonates with you. A good research you do before an interview should help you to identify something you can compliment them for.


Q3: Describe your teaching experience

Whether you apply for your first job, or have ten years of experience under your belt already, you should find something positive about your teaching experience.

Tell them that you enjoyed teaching, you can even tell them a story (story is something the hiring committee will remember) about how you helped a particular student in their life. Try to focus on value you brought to the life of the students, and to the educational institution you worked for.


Q4: What are your salary expectations?

Most school follow salary tables. Unless you apply for a teaching job at a private institution, you can not negotiate a better salary in your interview. Check how much do teachers earn in your locality. You can also stress that salary is not a deciding factor for you.


Q5: What are the current trends in Mathematics (Physics, Chemistry, Literature)?

A good mathematician is not necessarily a good teacher (regardless of their math skills). To know the subject and to know how to teach the subject are two very different things.

Nevertheless,  you should demonstrate that you strive to improve on both your teaching skills and knowledge of the subjects you teach. Check the latest trends, read something about teaching methods, and get ready for this question.


Other interview questions for teachers

  • If you teach a lesson and your students don’t seem to be “getting it,” what do you do?
  • How would you win a heart of your students?
  • What are your expectations for the students?
  • What do you expect from the administrators and from the principal?
  • What value can you bring to our team?
  • How would you approach the students of the first class, on their first day at school? What would you say?
  • How do you measure student performance in your classroom?
  • What teaching methods do you prefer and why?
  • Describe a situation when you felt pressure in work.
  • Describe a conflict you had with one of your colleagues.
  • Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants for the job?


Glen Hughins, a reputable interview coach with a background in education administration, has started a website that specializes only in teaching interview. To see more questions with answers, check his website at http://teacher-interviewquestions.com. Alternatively you can have a look at our interview preparation section.