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Education Interview Questions

  • Click here for more education interview questions.
  • Use the STAR Technique to answer behavioral questions.

Preparing for Your Teaching Interview

Preparing for a teaching interview is similar to preparing for any employment interview. Your research and preparation for interview questions will be more specialized, however, and should focus on the particular school to which you are applying, your past education-related experiences and teaching methodology.

Research the School/Board

  • What will be the interview format (length, number of interviewers, presentation)?
  • Who will be interviewing you and what are their positions?
  • What is the school like (programs, size, special recognition)?
  • What do you know about the surrounding community (ethnic groups, housing, services, socio-economic make-up)?
  • What local agreements and board policies exist (noon hour supervision, evaluation of teachers, professional development)?

Possible Interview Questions

  • What is the role of the teacher in the classroom?
  • How would you describe your last principal?
  • What principles do you use to motivate students?
  • Describe effective teaching techniques that result in intended learning.
  • How has your education and life experiences prepared you for this position?
  • What is the most exciting thing happening in the area of education?
  • Describe an ideal curriculum in your area of study.
  • Describe the physical appearance of your classroom.
  • How did you make use of your spare time during university?
  • How much time do you devote to the lecture approach?
  • If you could choose to teach any concept in your area, which would you select and why?
  • What rules have you established for your classroom?
  • Describe the format you use to develop a lesson.
  • What should schools do for students?
  • How do you handle the different ability levels of students in classes?
  • How would your students describe you?
  • What is the toughest aspect of teaching today?
  • What is the role of homework?
  • What has been your most positive/negative teaching experience?
  • What activities will you sponsor if you are hired for this position?
  • What is your system for evaluating student work?
  • How would you handle a student who is a consistent behavioral problem in your class?
  • How would you handle a student sleeping in your class?
  • What would you do if a student has been absent from your class for several days?
  • What are your practices in dealing with controversial subjects?
  • What curricular materials have you developed?
  • What do you like most about teaching?
  • What aspects of teaching do you like least?
  • How do you involve parents in the learning process?
  • In your opinion, can a school be too student-oriented?
  • Why do you want to be a teacher?
  • What can you do for this school board?
  • What did you get out of your internship?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would you respond if a parent said that you marked too hard?
  • How do you implement career education concepts in your class?
  • Define current curriculum trends in your area.
  • Describe independent study projects your students have completed.
  • In what professional associations do you hold a membership?
  • Could a student of low academic ability receive a high grade in your class?
  • What five words would you use to describe yourself?
  • What provisions have you made for the gifted?
  • In what areas do you feel you need improvement?
  • What is your opinion of holding students after school for detention?
  • Do you like laughter in your classroom?
  • Describe an assignment that you recently gave to students.
  • How do you assist in preventing the destruction of school property.
  • What is the role of the student in your classroom?
  • What units would you include in teaching?
  • Have you supervised student teachers, interns or practicum students?
  • Cite the criteria you would use to evaluate a textbook for possible adoption.
  • What field trips have you arranged for your class in the past year?
  • Describe a lesson plan that you have developed? What were the objectives?
  • A student tells you they have been experimenting with marijuana. What would you do?
  • How have your classes made use of the library?
  • What should your students gain from taking your class?
  • How would you change the school-system if you could make any changes?
  • How do you cope with stress?
  • What two books, concepts or experiences have influenced you most in your professional development?
  • What question have I not asked that you wish I would have raised?
  • If you are selected for this position, what can we do to help you become successful?
  • In what kind of environment are you most comfortable?
  • How do you individualize learning in your class?
  • How would you motivate the hard to reach child?
  • Describe how you made a contribution in the last job or activity you were involved in.
  • Why did you choose to attend the U of S, and specifically this particular college?
  • Do you consider your education as a valuable experience? Why?
  • How did you spend your summers? Why?
  • Are your grades indicative of your ability?
  • What changes, if any, would you make to your education?
  • What type of person do you not get along with?
  • How do you handle jobs/tasks that you do not enjoy?
  • In less than two minutes, describe yourself.
  • What values are most important to you?
  • How would you define teaching as a job? As a profession?
  • How do you receive feedback? Criticism?
  • How will you appraise your teaching performance?
  • What do you base student evaluation on?
  • Describe a situation in which you had difficulty in getting along with someone and how you overcame it.
  • What are your prominent work habits?
  • What limitations do you have that would impact your performance in this position?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • If you were hiring a graduate for this position, what qualities would you be looking for?
  • What failures have you experienced and what did you learn from them?
  • What extracurricular activities have you participated in and what did you gain from them?
  • Tell me about a recent problem you have experienced and how you went about solving it.


Questions YOU can ask:

You should always have questions for the interviewer. Donít ask questions that have been answered in the interview or that you should know from your research. These can be asked in the middle of the interview if they connect to a question asked of you.

  1. What is the teacher/student ratio in your district?
  2. Do you encourage teachers to earn advanced degrees?
  3. How many classes a day will I be expected to teach?
  4. Tell me about the students who attend this school.
  5. What textbooks does the district use in this subject area?
  6. Do teachers participate in curriculum review and change?
  7. What support staff members are available to help students and teachers?
  8. What discipline procedures does the district use?
  9. What kind of parental/community support does the school have?
  10. Do your schools use teacher aides or parent volunteers?
  11. Does the administration encourage field trips for students?
  12. How are teachers assigned to extra-curricular activities? Is compensation provided?
  13. Does the district have a statement of educational philosophy or mission?
  14. What are the prospects for future growth in this community and its schools?
  15. What is the ethnic composition of your student body?
  16. What is the average tenure of teachers at this school?
  17. What would you describe as the ________ departmentís strongest classroom program or activity?
  18. When will this position be filled?
  19. May I tour the facilities, including_______________
  20. Why is this position vacant?

Note: You can use the print button on your browser to print this list for later reference.


Teaching/Education Philosophy Statements

Why did you become a teacher? What do you believe about students learning? How do you see the role of teachers in a community? All of these questions, and more, are clarified in your statement of educational philosophy, a document you likely wrote in your credential program and haven't examined in awhile. If you never defined your philosophy in the first place, here's how to do it and an example of how it's done. While studying to be teachers, you are often asked to write out our personal educational philosophies. This is not just an empty exercise, a paper only meant to be filed in the back of a drawer. To the contrary, your educational philosophy statement should be a document that serves to guide and inspire you throughout your teaching career. It captures the positive aspirations of your career and should act as a centerpiece around which all of your decisions rotate.

When writing your educational philosophy statement, consider the following:

  • What do you see is the grander purpose of education in a society and community?
  • What, specifically, is the role of the teacher in the classroom?
  • How do you believe students learn best?
  • In general, what are you goals for your students?
  • What qualities do you believe an effective teacher should have?
  • Do you believe that all students can learn?
  • What do teachers owe their students?
  • Your educational philosophy can guide your discussions in job interviews, be placed in a teaching portfolio, and even be communicated to students and their parents.

Sample Portfolios:

  1. Sample Teaching Philosophy-I believe the fundamental goal of teaching is to foster learning. Learning takes place in many different circumstances and contexts. Although everyone is capable of learning, a student's desire to learn is a vital pre-condition to effectively mastering new concepts and skills. Humans have multiple learning styles: some learn best in lecture atmospheres, some are motivated by discussion, and others absorb best when they read and reflect on what they have read. The classroom setting can encourage or inhibit learning depending on the dominant learning style of each student. Accommodating different learning styles creates an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Students take many of their learning habits from the instructor. If the instructor doesn't show interest in the subject and a passion for learning, students are less likely to put forth the effort to learn in that class. An instructor must convince students of his or her knowledge and expertise before they will show a willingness to learn.

    My job, as an instructor, is to create an atmosphere that fosters learning. I am an instructor because I have a passion for guiding students through the learning process, in addition to a passion for the material I present. One of the best ways to foster learning is to demonstrate those feelings to my students. I encourage learning by creating a relaxed environment for students, stimulating conversation about concepts being presented and organizing material in a way that makes it easiest to understand. I treat subject matter as interconnected, emphasizing that everything students are learning fits together into a holistic understanding of the world, from which they develop their personal worldview. I believe this is best accomplished when I am demonstrating general research methodology. I demonstrate that learning how to find information applies to all areas of life and I use topics and examples that are multidisciplinary. Finally, I believe that respect for my students is one of the most important things I can show - not only to encourage their openness to the material I am presenting, but also to inspire them to respect each other and all other humans.

    One of the most important concepts I hope to impart to students is that learning is a process that never ends. For me, the learning process includes improving myself professionally. I want to read more about formal learning theories to expand my understanding of how learning takes place. As I continue to instruct classes, I also aim to enhance my ease and confidence in front of classrooms and audiences. Finally, I plan to experiment with different methods and means of presenting information to classes in order to improve the learning atmosphere I create for students.
    Education opens the door to a world of opportunities. As an educator, I see my role as a guide, leading my students in a quest to obtain the key (education) and encouraging them to utilize it to unlock the door to a bright future. To that end, I strive not only to share my knowledge but also to ignite in my students a passion for learning that will last a lifetime. Ultimately, my goal is for each one of my students to become a productive citizen of our world and to reach his or her full potential in life.

    In teaching world languages, I facilitate the learning of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in order to prepare my students to begin communicating in a foreign language while nurturing an understanding and appreciation of other cultures. The basic, fundamental skills they master in my class will enable my students to continue learning languages at the next level and beyond. Being a passionate, life long learner of languages myself, I strive to make my passion contagious. To that end, I endeavor to make my lessons engaging, tapping in to the interests and strengths of my students as often as feasible by allowing them to decide what direction to take on various assignments.

    Each child is a unique individual whose learning style and attitudes may reflect his or her own interests, strengths and challenges, background, beliefs, experiences and personality. Taking the time to talk with my students, to listen to them, and to observe them in the classroom prove invaluable tools for me in evaluating their individual learning styles and attitudes. In turn, the knowledge I gain aids me in reaching them on an individual level.
  2. Teaching Philosophy
    Keeping the diverse needs of my students in mind, I utilize a variety of approaches for presenting the material I teach. For example, I may introduce a concept through a short lecture with notes on the board, include pair work or a group activity, and then follow up with a song or game to review the material. I am a strong believer in the value of homework, as it not only reinforces the day's lesson but also allows the student the opportunity to evaluate his or her mastery of the material and to determine which concepts need more attention.

    In assessing progress toward reaching the high expectations I hold for each student, I offer each child multiple opportunities for success. Taking into account their diverse learning styles, I provide students outlets to demonstrate their mastery of the subject through presentations, projects and writing assignments in addition to homework, quizzes and tests. I am flexible to employ various methods of assessment which will allow my students to demonstrate their learning accomplishments, as I truly desire for every student to enjoy success in my classroom.

    While I guide my students on their learning path, my students will have the best opportunity for success in life when our entire learning community--teachers, parents, administrators, and state officials--works as a team to provide them the best possible education. Collaborative efforts allow us to learn from each other, to improve as guides on our quest to educate, and to offer the most relevant education possible for our students. When we accomplish our goals to instill a passion for learning, prepare all students to become productive citizens and to reach their full potential, the door to opportunity will open wide for every student.
  3. Teaching Philosophy Statement
    I believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is my desire as a educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. There are three elements that I believe are conducive to establishing such an environment, (1) the teacher acting as a guide, (2) allowing the child's natural curiosity to direct his/her learning, and (3) promoting respect for all things and all people.

    When the teacher's role is to guide, providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information, the students' search for knowledge is met as they learn to find answers to their questions. For students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunity to discover for themselves and practice skills in authentic situations. Providing students access to hands-on activities and allowing adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lesson being studied creates an opportunity for individual discovery and construction of knowledge to occur.

    Equally important to self-discovery is having the opportunity to study things that are meaningful and relevant to one's life and interests. Developing a curriculum around student interests fosters intrinsic motivation and stimulates the passion to learn. One way to take learning in a direction relevant to student interest is to invite student dialogue about the lessons and units of study. Given the opportunity for input, students generate ideas and set goals that make for much richer activities than I could have created or imagined myself. When students have ownership in the curriculum, they are motivated to work hard and master the skills necessary to reach their goals.

    Helping students to develop a deep love and respect for themselves, others, and their environment occurs through an open sharing of ideas and a judicious approach to discipline. When the voice of each student is heard, and environment evolves where students feel free to express themselves. Class meetings are one way to encourage such dialogue. I believe children have greater respect for their teachers, their peers, and the lessons presented when they feel safe and sure of what is expected of them. In setting fair and consistent rules initially and stating the importance of every activity, students are shown respect for their presence and time. In turn they learn to respect themselves, others, and their environment.

    For myself, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth. One of my hopes as an educator is to instill a love of learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong, and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. In our competitive society it is important for students to not only receive a solid education, but to work with someone who is aware of and sensitive to their individual needs. I am such a person and will always strive to be the best educator that I can be.


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