Top 10 Teacher Interview Questions [Example Answers Included]

By Mike Simpson

Being a teacher can be one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet…but getting those first jobs teaching can be a nerve-wracking experience.

As a teacher, it’s up to you to pass on valuable skills to your students, but when it comes to learning how to nail that interview for your dream job, it’s up to us to teach you exactly what to say…and like any good study session, it’s going to require a bit of practice!

Interviewing for a job as a teacher is similar in many ways to interviewing for any other job. You need to do your research ahead of time and practice your answers before you get to the interview.

There are, however, a few small subtle differences, and knowing how to tackle those curveballs can mean the difference between scoring the job and flunking out of the interview.

The first thing you need to do when preparing for a teaching interview is to get comfortable answering behavioral questions. As we’ve covered before, behavioral questions are questions that are asked specifically so the interviewer can learn about your past behaviors in specific situations.

These answers will help them better understand how you might behave when confronted with similar situations in the future. In essence, they want to know that you’ve got what it takes to be successful not only with the students you’re teaching, but also with their parents, as well as the rest of the teachers and the school administrators.

Whew! That’s a lot of people to impress.

Luckily, we’ve pulled together some easy tips for you to keep in mind while prepping for your teaching interview.

BUT WAIT! Have you ever stopped to consider that there are hundreds of other interview questions you could be asked in your interview?

It’s true!

Our studies have shown that teacher interviews are not only made up of teaching-related questions, but also of both traditional and behavioral interview questions commonly found in a non-teacher interview.

But don’t worry, because we’ve put together a foolproof PDF cheat sheet that will outline the most common interview questions you can expect to be asked:

Get Our Job Interview Questions & Answers Cheat Sheet!

FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET: Get our "Job Interview Questions & Answers PDF Cheat Sheet" that gives you "word-word sample answers to the most common job interview questions you'll face at your next interview.


Top 6 Tips For Answering Teacher Interview Questions

1. Get personal.

As a teacher, you’re going to be directly involved in the lives of your students and their parents, especially if you’re teaching early education. Teacher interview questions are meant to find out more about you as both an educator and a person.

Make sure when you answer the questions that you’re giving actual personal answers and not an easily memorized generic response. Use your answers as an opportunity to highlight your skills and your background as well as your experience and how you would apply those to situations you might encounter in the future.

2. Get specific.

This relates directly to the behavioral questions and how you should answer them. Use examples from your own past and skills to illustrate exactly how you have done things in the past.

Start with a description of the example, explain the situation, and then explain what you did in response to that situation. ( The  STAR Method)

Remember, only relate successful stories that put you in a positive light. Wrap up with what you learned and how you would apply that knowledge in future situations.

3. Get coordinated.

Just like any other job, do your research beforehand and make sure you draw attention to specific skills you have that are directly listed in the job description. Before you head into the interview, make a list of the desired qualifications based on the job description and match those up with the skills you possess.

Use that list as a guideline for building your answers. Not only will it help you reinforce to them why you’re the perfect candidate, it will help make answering those questions easier as you’re already prepared.

4. Get educated.

We’ve already said it once, but we’ll say it again…do your research ahead of time. Look into the school you’re applying to as well as the school district overall. Do you know anyone working there already? Do you have friends who have children who are students at the school?

Any and all information you get ahead of time will not only help you determine what sort of environment is at the school, but if you want to actually work there or not. On top of that, coming into an interview with knowledge ahead of time about the academics, curriculum, sports, and school programs shows initiative and enthusiasm.

5. Get cozy.

Be prepared for a possible panel interview. Education interviews are often conducted by multiple individuals and may include the principal, teachers, parents, and members of the administrative staff.

In some instances, there are education committees set up specifically to interview and screen potential teachers.

6. Get honest!

We’ve said this probably a hundred times already and certainly in almost every blog post we’ve ever published, but it’s so important we’re going to just keep saying it: BE HONEST! Don’t ever lie your way into a position. You’ll only end up hurting yourself in the long run.

Now that we’ve gone over these tips, let’s take a look at the 5 most common interview questions for teachers. We’ve listed them below and included a brief explanation with each one. Think of them as a study guide to help guide your own answers…but remember…no copying! Make them your own!

5 Common Teacher Interview Questions And Answers

1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?

This is probably the most often asked teacher question which means whoever is interviewing you has probably heard just about every story in the book… Giving a standard “because I love helping people learn” isn’t going to cut it here.

You want to give an answer that is heartfelt and genuine and really illustrates why you chose this field. Take time before your interview to really reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing. Was there someone in your past who inspired you and you want to pay that forward and inspire others? Draw from specific examples. Make your response thoughtful, genuine, and honest.

Example answer: When I was in third grade I struggled a lot with reading. I could never keep up with lessons and I was always terrified of being called on to practice my reading out loud. I started to doubt my own intelligence and was convinced that the bottom line was I was stupid. It ended up affecting my grades and I started to fall behind. Rather than give up on me, my teacher Miss Emily sat me down one day at lunch and really talked to me about what was going on. I told her how hard it was for me to read and we discovered together that I wasn’t stupid, but was having vision problems. She moved me to a desk that was closer to the front, made sure I was able to see, and met with my parents to discuss options. Because of her my parents took me to a doctor and my astigmatism was diagnosed. Because of Miss Emily I began to love learning again. I want to be that teacher…the one who takes the time to really discover why students are struggling and give another little girl like me an opportunity to learn to love learning again.

2. Why do you want to teach at this school?

This question is another common teaching interview question and a perfect example of why preparing and practicing your answers before you get to the interview is critical! Use this opportunity to provide specific reasons why you’re interested in the school by drawing on the information you gathered during your research.

Whoever is interviewing you is genuinely interested in knowing if you’re actually interested in the position or if you’re just sending out resumes and showing up for whoever calls you no matter where they are. Having specific answers tailored to your audience shows enthusiasm, initiative and dedication, all qualities that are valuable!

Example Answer: I’ve spent a lot of time researching schools within this district and I’m very impressed with what you offer here. Between an award winning teaching staff and a district that is very involved, your school has a teacher-to-student ratio that I think really allows for personalized education. Smaller classroom sizes, like the ones you maintain here, make it possible for me to give each child the one-on-one attention they deserve. On top of that, your after-school science program is exciting to me and I would hope, should I get hired here, that I might be able to become involved in that as well.

3. What can you bring to our school that makes you unique?

This question is pretty straight forward, and the perfect opportunity for you to really let your unique qualities shine. Talk about activities you’ve participated in or passions you have that can easily translate into teachable moments and classroom activities that fall outside the usual curriculum that is currently being enacted. Don’t criticize what they’re doing, but explain how what you’re bringing will augment and compliment what they’ve already got in place.

Example answer: I love science and exploring the natural world beyond the borders of the classroom. For that