Potential Interview Questions

Background Questions

  • Describe your educational background. What are your educational goals?
  • What five adjectives describe you? Your teaching style?
  • What do you know about our school/district? What part of your background matches our goals?
  • What new ideas would you bring to our school/district?
  • How would you describe your last principal? Department head? Cooperating teacher?
  • Tell me about your student teaching experience. What was most effective? What have you learned in your experiences? What kind of problems did you have?
  • How have you involved parents in the learning process? Describe how you would establish and maintain positive working relationships with parents.
  • What curriculum materials have you developed? How have you used (or would you use) teacher's aides in your classroom?
  • What books, concepts, or experiences have influenced you the most in your professional development?
  • How have you contributed toward the development of the total school program in your current position?

Subject Area/Grade Level Questions

  • What do you feel is your strongest subject (or teaching) area? What subject is the most difficult for you?
  • How would you teach reading (math) (science) in your classroom? Describe a typical lesson.
  • What activities do you use with your independent workers during reading?
  • What supplementary reading (or other subject) materials do you find most helpful? What resources do you use other than the basal text?
  • What do you feel are the most important things students should learn at your grade level (in your classroom, subject area)?
  • Why is your field important for a student to study? How do you view your subject in relation to the total school curriculum?
  • How do you motivate a group of slow readers?
  • How do you use math manipulatives?
  • Describe an ideal curriculum in your area of study.
  • Discuss a critical issue in your subject area.
  • How have you emphasized the development of basic skills?
  • What skills do you feel are most important at this grade level (or subject)?
  • What math series are you using? Reading series?
  • How have you used computers in your lessons?
  • Elementary: Can you handle instruction in physical education, art, and music?
  • Secondary: Can you handle three or more preparations at the secondary level?

Teaching Technique/Motivational Skills Questions

  • There are times when you may have an extra five or ten minutes at the end of the period. What types of activities do you use to make the best use of this time?
  • Define cooperative learning and give an example of how you have used it.
  • How would you individualize instruction to meet the needs of all your students?
  • Describe a teaching strategy you used to maximize the learning potential of all students.
  • Share with me a recent learning experience you developed for your students and how you organized that experience to enhance each student's success.
  • What role does active participation play in your teaching techniques?
  • Name three effective ways to motivate students.
  • What innovative ideas would you like to initiate in your classroom?
  • What strategies would you use to aid students in developing creativity?
  • What extracurricular activities are you willing to supervise?
  • How have you stressed the development of cognitive skills within your classes?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with your students?
  • How do you reinforce self-esteem in your students?
  • Describe your typical teaching style. What teaching techniques do you use?

Classroom Control/Management Questions

  • What is your philosophy of discipline?
  • What classroom management system do you use?
  • Explain the structure of your discipline plan. What rules do you establish in your classroom?
  • How do you handle discipline problems?
  • What is the toughest aspect of discipline?
  • How would you handle a student who is a consistent behavioral problem in your class?
  • How would you handle cheating?
  • How would you handle a student who refused to do what you asked?
  • If students tell you they have engaged in some illegal or unethical activity, what would you do?

Classroom Organization/Lesson Planning Questions

  • How is your classroom organized?
  • What type of learning environment do you try to create? How?
  • If I visited your class, what would I see that would indicate your program is meeting the needs of each student?
  • Do you use heterogeneous or homogeneous grouping? Why?
  • How would you work with a mainstreamed learning disabled student?
  • Describe independent study projects your students have completed.
  • How do you structure your class to achieve maximum benefit from teacher/student contact?
  • How do you handle the different ability levels of students? Different cultures? Gifted students? English language learners?
  • How would you help a student who is having difficulty?
  • Are you well organized?
  • How do you use lesson plans? In lesson planning, how do you organize and prepare your material?
  • Describe the specific components or steps of an effective lesson plan.

Philosophy of Education Questions

  • What would be your ideal educational philosophy of a school/district?
  • What do you consider an ideal class size?
  • What is your philosophy on homework?
  • What are you looking for in a school/district?
  • What is your philosophy on team teaching?
  • What is your position on behavior modification? Special education? Learning centers' use of cooperative learning groups? Computers in the classroom? time-out discipline methods? Competency based instruction? Career education? Sex education? Open-space classrooms? Individualized instruction?
  • What is your philosophy on grading, report cards, classroom management?
  • What are your practices in dealing with controversial subjects?
  • Describe the role of the teacher in the learning process.
  • What is the most/least satisfying aspect of teaching?
  • Why did you become a teacher?
  • What are some of the challenges facing educators today?
  • Describe some of the characteristics of an outstanding educator.
  • What are your concerns and outlook for the future of public/private education?

Evaluation Questions

  • How will you appraise your own teaching performance?
  • How will you determine if your students are learning?
  • What evaluation techniques do you use? Do you grade on ability or effort? Why?
  • How do you communicate with parents about a student's progress?

Professional Activities/Knowledge Questions

  • What do you think about the current events in education?
  • In what professional organizations do you hold memberships? What have you gained from those memberships?
  • How have you recently improved you professional skills? What are your plans for future improvement of skills?
  • Comment on some leaders in education.
  • Cite several authorities in your subject and comment of them.
  • What professional journals do you read regularly?
  • Do you plan to continue your education?

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