How to Answer Education Interview Questions

Before your interview for a job in education, you should practice with common teacher interview questions. Understanding the common education questions interviewers ask can help you anticipate any tough questions so you can answer with confidence. Here are some tips to help you answer interview questions for teachers and improve your chances of getting hired. 

Why interviewers ask specific education interview questions

Interviewers ask certain questions during an education interview to test for a wide range of skills and experiences. Schools want to hire teachers who can manage the classroom effectively, create an effective learning environment and understand their school district’s philosophy.

Questions relating to motivation and discipline evaluate your classroom management skills. They use questions about lessons and curriculum to gauge your knowledge and experience as a teacher. Before going to an interview for a job in education, it is important to research the school district to have a better understanding of their requirements. Rehearsing answers to common education interview questions can also help you make a great first impression. 

Common education interview questions

Here are some tips and examples to help you answer education interview questions:

Why did you choose a teaching career?

Schools use this question to determine your passion for the job and their institution. They want to know whether you have a genuine dedication to improving the lives of students or if you just applied to get a job. 

Give an honest answer and highlight the best qualities that make you a great fit for the role. Provide reasons for choosing the teaching profession and how getting hired will help you realize a lifelong dream. 

Try to avoid generic answers that sound rehearsed. A personalized response with detailed descriptions from your past can have a lasting impression on the hiring manager. 

Example: ‘When I was a child, I had difficulty reading and my teacher played a huge role in identifying and solving the problem. She gave me a lot of attention and helped me conquer my fears. She has been as inspiration for me ever since and I would love to enrich other children’s lives.’

What is your teaching style?

Your teaching style, or philosophy, relates to the reasons for choosing an education career. A good answer describes your style of teaching, highlights the results you want to achieve in the classroom and the strategies that will help you accomplish them. 

It’s important that your teaching philosophy aligns with the school’s philosophy, so research the school district before the interview. That way, you can develop a mission statement that is truthful and matches your skills and motivations with the school’s objectives.

Example: ‘I prefer to teach with the Facilitator style. It allows me to know each student better, helps to develop their problem-solving skills and encourages self-learning.’

How do you use technology to improve learning?

School districts want to hire teachers who have IT skills as technological aids become more widespread in the education sector. If you are tech-savvy, this is an opportunity to impress the interviewer. Demonstrate your knowledge of using tech aids for teaching and how it helps to deepen the learning process. 

Example: ‘Technology provides several ways to enhance learning. The internet makes it easier for students to collaborate on assignments, reduces the completion time for homework and makes researching group projects faster and more fun. Virtual Reality and 3D video provide an immersive experience of history lessons. For instance, students can take a virtual tour of the Pyramids of Giza or Venice through VR. Interactive boards also allow teachers to deliver lessons in a visual and more understandable form and share the work of students with the class.’

How do you motivate students?

Schools want to hire teachers who can influence students to do the activities required to achieve educational objectives. This teacher interview question is used to test your creativity, interpersonal skills and how well you understand your students. 

An excellent answer will highlight different strategies you used to engage students to complete lessons, collaborate on projects and prepare for tests. Describe situations where you used these methods to achieve learning goals and keep your student’s motivation levels high. 

Example: ‘I try to understand each student to learn their strengths and weaknesses. A technique I use is to pair motivated students with those who have issues with that subject. I have found that the student who is not doing well tries to match the performance of their peers. I also use competitions and quizzes to boost participation and increase collaboration in the class and this helps to boost confidence.’

How are you developing yourself?

Interviewers ask this question to explore your opinion about continuous learning. School districts expect their teachers to invest their time and efforts in continuous learning to enable them to thrive in a changing education industry. Your answer doesn’t have to apply to the teaching profession, but it should help you become a better teacher. 

You can mention books, conferences, websites, blogs and new skills that have improved your teaching skills and sharpened your teaching abilities. The most important thing is to demonstrate you are making conscious efforts to advance yourself personally and professionally. 

Example: ‘I belong to three teacher associations and attend the annual teacher’s conference organized by my state chapter of the Union of Elementary Teachers. I’m also an avid woodworker and I attend at least one training session of the Guild of Woodworkers. This has helped me to become a better teacher in the woodworking class.’

What frustrates you most about teaching?

This is a common elementary teacher interview question because many people find it difficult to manage little children. Interviewers use it to gauge your enthusiasm and classroom management skills. Try to be honest in your response and describe the different ways of taking control of the class to avoid discouragement. 

Mention situations where your engagement and guidance helped to create an enabling environment where every student could achieve their fullest potential. 

Example: ‘The most frustrating thing about teaching is when I go over a topic several times and some students don’t understand. When this happens, I try to break down the lesson into different components to aid understanding. Then, I use visual aids and ask students that already grasped the topic to explain to the class in their own words.’