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Interview questions and tips for special education teachers

Last updated on July 31st, 2018 at 05:31 am

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 committee (or a school principal, if they lead an interview with you) 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

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

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?

 

Continue your interview preparation – answers to the questions

So, did you know how to answer the questions?

If you struggle with good 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 teaching jobs. 

In his eBook you will find brilliant answers to 28 most common interview questions for teachers, and much more. Glen has worked with us before, and we highly recommend all his websites, services, and books.

 

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

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