Last updated on June 4th, 2019 at 06:00 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, for one simple reason: you will compete with no more than two other applicants for the job. 

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 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, behavioral, and technical (job-specific) 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 goals would you set for yourself in this job?
  • Why special needs students? Why do you want to teach?
  • What is your philosophy when it comes to inclusion, integration, and segregation? Please share your opinion with us.
  • What do you expect from the administrators and other staff in school/district?
  • What do you consider the most difficult aspect of this job?

 

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, or you can also ask about in an interview–especially when they do not talk about it 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?
  • What would you do if a student was complaining about an assignment you’d given?
  • Imagine that father of one of your students complained about something which was untrue. How would you react?
  • 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?
  • A refugee comes to your class in the middle of the year, a new student. You can see that they have special needs, but they are not diagnosed. What would you do?
  • …..

 

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?
  • Have you ever written an individual lesson plan?
  • In your opinion, what is the impact of integration on general ed students? How would you deal with this phenomenon?
  • What do you expect from the administrators and other staff in school/district?
  • Is there any kind of student (disability) you’d find it difficult to work with?
  • ….

 

teacher interviewing at school, the interview is led by a principal and a school counselor.Answers to all difficult questions

Did you manage to answer the questions?

If you struggle with the answers, or simply need help, have a look at the new eBook I wrote for you, called Special Ed Teacher Interview Guide (sold exclusively on InterviewPenguin.com). 

In the eBook you will find brilliant answers to 25 difficult interview questions for special ed teachers, and also a guide on how to make the best possible impression on the hiring committee.

Some questions are answered directly on the eBook page, so even if you do not want to buy anything, you can at least use these answers to help you in an interview. Check them out here. Thank you!

 

Alternatively you can continue your preparation with one of the following articles:

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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