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Teacher Interview: Questions and Answers

Teacher Interview: Questions and Answers

Interviews for the post of a teacher are quite different from other corporate positions. Take a look at certain commonly asked questions that may come up during the interview. As they say, being prepared is half the battle won!
Komal Bakhru
A teacher's job is an important one in society. The candidate should be passionate and committed to teaching and improving the knowledge of the younger generation. He or she should be comfortable with kids, especially if the position is for the lower grades. The person should display qualities of leadership, honesty, trust, and dedication. This list of questions and suggested answers should help you to score well in the interview; however, it is important to note that there may be other questions asked, which will be very specific to the particular job that you are applying for. Therefore, it always helps to read through the job description carefully and anticipate what other things may be asked during the interview.

Why did you choose to get into this profession?
This is the most evident of all questions asked at such an interview. Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer, but it is advisable to steer clear from being diplomatic. Most people who get into this profession have an affinity towards children and do not find more joy in anything other than spending their time in providing these little ones the opportunity to grow. Another reason for a lot of people to want to devote their life to this field is an inspiration from an old teacher who left a lasting impression on them, to the extent that they want to get into the same profession.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
This question demands extreme honesty when replied to. Being truthful will be proof of your integrity and add to your credibility, thus, doing no harm to your chances of getting the job. While you may be someone who is ambitious and driven, don't go to the extremes when putting forth your ambitious streak. Also, try not to sound narcissistic. Remember, the fact that this position requires putting the students before oneself. There is absolutely no place for an inflated ego in a profession like this. At the same time, do not sound overly negative when discussing your weaknesses. That won't really help your cause either.

Tell us about your past achievements.
Here, you should talk about any notable achievements in your previous employment and most importantly, what was your contribution in that initiative. You can highlight positives like ensuring your entire class received a high grade, or organizing some kind of an event in school, or even writing a research paper on a subject, which was appreciated by the school management. If you do feel disappointed about not having much to your credit, you could well tell the interviewers that you are looking to change your track record, and that all you need is a chance to prove yourself. This kind of optimism could help you score the job way more than faking some achievement.

What do you think is the right approach towards ensuring discipline?
Obviously, you must be aware that this position demands being a disciplinarian too. While being friendly and approachable towards your students is always a good idea, it is also important to know where to draw the line. The sanctity of the teacher-student relationship must not be broken. Respect is important, so you must make sure you create a respectful image while standing before the students. Another factor to be kept in mind is that at no point can you turn biased. As far as punishments are concerned, corporal punishment is a strict no-no. Your response should come across as being balanced, instead of leaning on one of the extremes.

How do you handle criticism?
This is usually a tricky one, to find out if the individual can handle criticism well, despite it being one of his prerogatives to criticize students where necessary. It is essential that your response comes across as that of someone who is able to take constructive feedback from the superiors, and able to improve oneself. You can probably focus on the fact that your teaching style is open to change if needed, and that you are keeping the school's interests above yourself.

The aforesaid was a general idea of the questions and answers. Some other questions that may be posed are:
  • Why do you want to work for our school?
  • Are you comfortable with using various kinds of technology as a teaching tool?
  • Would you be able to handle a child who is socially isolated?
  • Why should you get hired when there are other candidates who are equally or better qualified than you are? What sets you apart?
  • How would you communicate with the parents of a difficult student?
  • Who according to you is a successful teacher?
  • How would you handle a student who is constantly late to class?
  • Who or what in life has been your best teacher?
Leave no stone unturned to prepare for the interview and be confident about yourself. Remember, many a time the interviewer is focussing more on your non-verbal response rather than what you actually say.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative/reference purposes only, as some of the questions may vary according to the area, country/state laws, and cultural norms.