Arlington Va Teacher Interview Questions

Why do you want to be a teacher?

“You have to know who you are as an individual and as an educator, and you have to know what you can bring to the school,” says Calvin Brown, Senior Recruiter at Alignstaffing, an education staffing firm. This question gets to the heart of that passion and self-awareness.

Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult challenge.

Brown says that with either of these questions, the interviewer wants to hear: “When you come across things that are obstacles, how do you overcome them?” In other words, the interviewer wants to see that you can solve problems in an intentional way. Brown also emphasizes that accomplishments and challenges often come hand in hand. So answering this question shows “that drive for achievement” that interviewers want to see in teachers.

Walk me through a typical lesson.

The interviewer isn’t just looking for a quality lesson that’s accurate and engaging. They also want to know how you think about planning lessons. “A lot of it’s going to be about debriefing your process, like what went well…and then what are things that you can work on,” Findley says.

Tell me about a time when someone gave you feedback and how you handled that.

Receiving and implementing feedback well is important for your growth as an educator. “This is actually most critical for veteran teachers,” Swartz says. Since they’d be most likely to “communicate a level of, ‘I’ve already gotten this, I’ve already arrived, I don’t need any extra feedback.’”

Teacher Interview Questions About Social Relationships

Building trust and creating meaningful relationships lie at the heart of successful teaching. Schools want to know that the teachers they hire can bond with students individually; build healthy, supportive communities in their classrooms; manage discipline issues; and work effectively with parents. The following teacher interview questions give teachers a chance to show how they accomplish those things:

What are hiring managers looking for when interviewing teachers?

No matter the specific role or workplace, hiring managers look for common themes in qualified teaching applicants:

  • Teaching skills: Unsurprisingly, how you work with students on a group and individual level is crucial. “Do they know how to have an effective classroom where all kids are learning and engaged?” says Dan Swartz, Managing Director at Resolve Talent Consulting, LLC, a firm that specializes in education recruitment.
  • Data proficiency: In today’s modern school system, data is also incredibly important, Swartz says. He wants to know: “Have you been able to master or are you proficient at the use of data?” So whenever possible, give examples of how you used data to guide you. For example, have you gleaned insights from individual test scores or overall class performance metrics?
  • Subject matter expertise: Candidates have to show that they’re adequately knowledgeable about the content area they’re looking to teach, whether it’s history or science. “[A lot] of times there are state standards,” Swartz says. So when it makes sense, try incorporating “how much you know about the standards or how much you can use the standards for your instruction,” he says.
  • Teamwork: Being a team player when it comes to working with other teachers, administrators, aides, and staff means you’ll help not only students but also the entire school thrive.
  • Organization and accountability: Candidates who are on top of deadlines and can meet classroom goals will go far. “As an administrator, I need to know that I’m going to be able to get lesson plans from you,” says Rob Sheppard, an ESL teacher who started his own online English school, Ginseng English.
  • Commitment to students: If there’s one thing that can’t be taught, it’s care for students—so interviewers want to know you have it. “The rest of the stuff, educators can teach.” Swartz says. “They can teach you content, they can teach you how to be a more effective teacher delivering your lessons, but they can’t teach the belief in students.”
  • Keep these themes in mind as you prepare for your teaching interview and look for opportunities to communicate them whenever possible—especially in response to these common questions.

    Need some tips for writing your teaching resume? Find a full guide here.


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