Generally, the interviewing process takes an extended period of time. Rarely will you be offered a contract after only one interview. The interview procedure varies from district to district, so be flexible. They are seeking articulate candidates who can clearly express their professional abilities and goals.
Your personal appearance is part of creating a good impression while interviewing, so shine those shoes and wear clean and neat clothing! Attention to details such as this suggests you have made an effort to create the best impression possible! The hiring committee usually expects to see male candidates in a coat and tie and women in dresses/suits. Be sure to wear a smile!
See the section below for sample interview questions. We not only suggest that you read them, but also discuss them with a colleague so you are well prepared and comfortable in the interview situation.
Check out the Career Center interviewing section for more information.
After each interview, you should send a thank-you letter, so it is important that you have the names and address information for the people who have interviewed you. If you cannot get the names of everyone, send it in care of the head of the interview committee. The thank-you letter can be an e-mail, a handwritten card or letter, or a typed letter. Express your appreciation for the opportunity and anything else that was particularly helpful to you. Finally, restate your interest in the position. If you are not interested in the position, it is up to you whether you send a thank-you letter or not.
Accepting a Job Offer
When you receive a contract or notice of employment, be sure of your decision before accepting a contract either verbally or in writing. A contract is legally binding. Please contact the Career Center regarding any position accepted.
Sample Teacher Interview Questions
Curriculum / Subject Knowledge
- If you were hired to teach starting this September, how would you go about setting up your reading program?
- What reading programs do you have experience with? What do you like or dislike about them?
- How would you decide on groups in mathematics?
- Do you prefer homogeneous or heterogeneous grouping? Why?
- What do you understand the inquiry method to be in science or social sciences?
- What does individualized teaching mean to you?
- How can you tell students are learning? Evaluation techniques?
- How would you individualize the learning process in your classroom?
- Name some ways that a student in a group can show you he has the concept?
- In which curriculum area do you feel particularly strong?
- What goals do you hope to achieve in your subject?
- If you were asked to get in-service experience in one area of the curriculum, which area would you choose?
- What are the various ways for materials to be presented to students such as in social science?
- Describe what diagnostic and proscriptive learning means?
- How would you go about setting standards at the beginning of the year?
- How do you get students to do what you want them to do? Describe your system of classroom management.
- How do you get students to develop in self-discipline? Can you teach this?
- Who should be responsible for the discipline in the school?
- If you have a student disrupting your classroom, what steps would you take to solve this problem?
- What is your attitude towards individual vs. total class punishment?
- Compare negative and positive reinforcement and describe effects of each.
- Describe an elementary child (junior high/senior high) at a grade level of your choosing— his personality, study habits, or attitude toward learning and behavior characteristics.
- What steps would you take to get a student who has been tardy to be more punctual?
- What would I expect to see in your classroom's physical environment?
Parent Relations / Communications
- Describe some ways you can inform parents of what is going on in your classroom.
- Tell me some ways you would involve parents in your classroom.
- How do you let parents know the progress of their child?
- In your opinion, how effective are parent conferences in solving student problems?
- Imagine that you replace a teacher during the year. Describe how you would become acquainted with parents and students.
- What would you tell a parent who complained about his/her child not having enough homework?
Personality /Personal Attitudes / Professionalism
- Why do you want to teach? Describe an "ideal" teacher.
- Why do you want to teach in our school district?
- What is wrong with education today? What is right?
- What do you expect from the school principal, psychologist, and superintendent?
- What would you say if your first grade student asked if there really was a Santa Claus?
- Describe what your closest teaching associate would say about your getting along with adults? With children?
- What are the greatest teaching strengths you would bring to a teaching position?
- If you have yard duty and the teacher that relieves you is constantly late, what would you do?
- Why should you be selected for this position rather than someone else?
- What were you hoping we would ask you but didn’t?
- What talents do you bring to this position?
- If your friend was describing you, what three adjectives/descriptive phrases would he/she use to describe you both personally and professionally?
- What do you believe is the major purpose of teacher evaluation?
- What are some personality characteristics you find unbearable in people?
- You have heard students complaining constantly about another teacher. What would you do?
Typical Questions Asked on a Certificated Questionnaire
All certificated applicants must complete this questionnaire in order to be considered for employment. The following questions are a very important part of the screening process. Please reflect upon them carefully, and give your candid responses on a separate sheet of paper.
- What are your three most important reasons for wanting to be a teacher?
- How much do you want to know about your students in order to be most helpful to them?
- What three things do you most want to know about your students?
- What do you need to know in order to begin your lesson planning for a class?
- What four key components do you believe you must include in your plan?
- When you think about your students, in what major ways do you most want to influence their lives?
- What two core teaching strategies do you most use to achieve this result?