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Teacher interview questions and answers

Looking for teacher interview questions? Use our sample questions and tips to determine what to look for in candidates.

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.


Teacher Interview Questions

Your interviews with potential teachers for your grade school, middle school, or high school should be tailored to the needs of each classroom. Ask questions that zero in on proven experience with the grade level and subject matter as described in the job description.

For example, if you’re looking for an English teacher, use specific english teacher interview questions (e.g. where would you begin teaching english to first-time students in the english subject?) Other possible interview questions for teachers who specialize in specific subjects would revolve around their own experience and motivation regarding this subject (e.g. “What was the latest piece of French literature you’ve read?” would assess the motivation of teachers of the French language).

Also, when you want to hire teachers who work with very young children, you might need to further tailor some of the popular teacher interview questions. For example, here are child care teacher interview questions, kindergarten teacher interview questions, preschool teacher interview questions.

In the United States, state, local, and national standards are increasingly important. Same goes with standardized tests. Outstanding candidates will bring in sample lesson plans and show you exactly how their teaching strategies are tied to these standards.

Generally, when you’re choosing questions for teacher interviews, think how you can evaluate what can’t be found on the candidates’ resumes. You want to find out why they’re interested in your school, what unique qualities they can bring to your team, and what motivates them to do well as educators. This is also a way to get a sense of their relevant interpersonal skills such as how they would discipline students, communicate with parents, and work with leadership to create a positive learning environment for students.

To help you evaluate these critical skills, we collected a set of effective teacher interview questions to ask candidates. Keep in mind that most of the questions in this list can also be used as substitute teacher interview questions, since the same standards apply to those teachers as well.

Operational and Situational questions

Check out these common teacher interview questions to prepare for a teaching interview with your best candidates:

  • When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this profession?
  • Why do you want to teach this grade level?
  • What do you like about teaching [subject]?
  • What’s your least favorite subject to teach? How did you overcome your lack of interest in order to teach this subject well?
  • What clubs or organizations did you belong to as a student?
  • Are you interested in coaching or advising any extracurricular activities? Which ones and why?
  • Describe a recent lesson plan that you put together. How does this guide your teaching?
  • How do your lesson plans help you teach to state standards?
  • How do you prepare students for standardized assessments?
  • What methods have been effective in teaching your subject matter to this grade level?
  • What’s your experience with IEPs? How do you ensure that you’re meeting the needs of a student with an IEP?
  • How do you encourage classroom participation?
  • Describe a time you had to discipline a student. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a time you had to calm down an angry parent.
  • What’s your approach to communicating with parents? What methods have worked well for you?
  • As a teacher, how would you support building a positive and safe learning environment for your students?
  • Describe a time you disagreed with a major decision made by school leadership. How did you respond?
  • How did you find your visit to our school? What makes you want to work here?
Ready to fine-tune this interview kit?
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