Last updated on January 21st, 2019 at 08:50 am

A teaching job candidate shakes hands with his interviewer, an assistant principal from the school.Job interview for this position does not belong to the most difficult interviews. The reason is simple: you will compete with no more than two other applicants. 

Sometimes you will actually be the only person who applies for the job.

If you have the qualification, and if you can convince the hiring committee of your right attitude to work, and if you demonstrate some knowledge about their school and about the things they try to achieve with special needs students, they will hire you.

The members of the hiring committee (or a school principal, if you interview in front of one person only) will ask you some personal and some behavioral questions. 

They do so to understand your personality, attitude, as well as your readiness for this beautiful and difficult job. We will have a look at the questions on the following lines.


Personal questions and your motivation

school children are playing outside , two boys and one girl, we can see grass beneeth them. They are from India.To work with children with special needs is a rewarding job, but also a challenging task.

The interviewers will ask you questions about your motivation and goals, trying to understand whether you will enjoy doing the job for a long time, or burn out quickly, and leave the school.

Expect to answer some of the following questions:

  • What motivates you to become a teacher?
  • Why special needs students? Do you have any reason for your preferences?
  • What do you want to accomplish on this position?
  • Do you have experience with special needs children?
  • What do you consider the most difficult aspect of this job?
  • What is your opinion on inclusion and segregation?


Behavioral questions to test your attitude

A young teacher is looking in the classroom. We can see blackboard with math calculations behind him.Asking about certain work related situations, the interviewers try to see how you would act in your daily job, and if you know what is expected from you.

Your answers should correspond with the philosophy of their educational institution (you can learn more about their vision and philosophy of teaching while researching about the school, something you should do prior to the interview with them, or you can also ask about in an interview–especially when they do not publicly talk about their vision and goals on their website).

Let’s have a look at the questions:

  • Special needs students lose their motivation easily. How would you motivate them in the class, day after day?
  • If we came to the classroom in the middle of your math lesson, what would we see?
  • Teaching is a demanding job. How do you plan to handle the pressure?
  • Imagine there was a conflict between two students, and one of them was disabled. How would you approach such a specific situation?
  • How do you teach and encourage socially acceptable behavior from your students?
  • One of your pupil has down syndrome. Some children from the class are making fun of them, but the special need student does not realize that they are making fun of them. What will you do in this situation?


Technical questions

Once they tested your motivation, and your attitude to various work related situations, they will inquire about the technical aspect of the job, meaning the teaching methods, lesson plans, and other things that relate to this job. You can get the following questions:

  • What teaching methods do you prefer and why? What teaching methods would you not apply with a special need student?
  • Have you ever written an individual lesson plan?
  • What games would you play with your students?
  • How are you going to ensure that each student feels engaged, and a part of a class?
  • Are there any other staff members you plan to co-operate with when progressing with your special needs pupils?


teacher interviewing at school, the interview is led by a principal and a school counselor.Continue your interview preparation – answers to the questions

So, did you manage to answer all questions?

If you struggle with finding great answers, you can have a look at an excellent eBook from Glen Hughins, called Teacher Interview Guide (link to a discounted copy). Glen is a reputable career coach from Philadelphia who specializes in helping people to get jobs in teaching and in education administration. 

In his eBook you will find brilliant answers to 28 most common interview questions for teachers, and much more.


Alternatively you can continue your preparation with Interview Penguin, your best job interview coach since 2011:

Glen Hughins

Glen Hughins

Recruitment Consultant and Interview Coach from Philadelphia, Glen had worked as a school principal for fifteen years, before he started his career in recruitment consulting and interview coaching. He contributes to Interview Penguin with articles about careers and interviews in teaching, and in educational administration.
Glen Hughins

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