28+ Most Common Interview Questions for Teachers

November 10, 2023

14 min read

Practicing interview questions for teachers before your interview is an absolute must.

If you have an upcoming interview for a teaching role, one of the best ways to prepare is by looking at the most common interview questions for teachers. This can help you know what to expect during the interview and help you formulate good responses for these common queries.

We’ll explain the types of interview questions for teachers, as well as specific things the interviewer is likely to ask during your conversation. Lastly, our guide will cover some common red flags to look out for to make sure the school and position you’re interviewing for is worth your time.

How to Prepare for a Teaching Job Interview

Preparing for a teaching job interview doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it’s the preparation that’s key for boosting your confidence before the interview. 

Here are five ways to prepare for a teaching job interview. 

1. Research the teaching position and the school you applied to. 

One of the biggest mistakes applicants make is not researching the teaching position nor the school beforehand. Before your interview, take time to study the job description and requirements so you can be sure to successfully pitch yourself as the best person for the role. This will help you better relate your past teaching experience to the exact requirements they’re looking for. 

Be sure to also thoroughly research the school you applied to. For example, get familiar with the school’s curriculum, mission statement, and values. To do so, check out any official social media pages associated with the school, the school’s homepage, and any local news articles that mention the school. If you want to go a step further, you can even reach out to former or current teachers who taught there. 

2. Make sure you dress professionally for your teaching interview.

When interviewing for a teaching job, you want to make sure you make a good first impression, especially if this is your first interview for the position. A huge part of doing so is dressing appropriately for the interview. 

Usually, business attire is a safe bet. For teaching interviews, sometimes business casual is also acceptable. 

3. Be sure to arrive on time for the interview, whether it’s in-person or online.

Above all else, ensure that you show up on time for your interview. Showing up late or missing the interview completely is seen as unprofessional and could even disqualify you from continuing the interview process.

Worse comes to worst, if you do happen to be running a little late, it’s a good idea to go ahead and call either the school (if it’s an in-person interview) or your interviewer. If you don’t have a  phone number, email would be the next best thing. 

4. Create a portfolio to showcase your best teaching work.

One tip that some candidates don’t think about is putting together a portfolio of your teaching work. This will be a selection of all your most impressive teaching work that you can then show to interviewers, recruiters, or any other possible employers. 

The goal of putting together such a collection is to showcase and illustrate your teaching capabilities, knowledge, and skills. 

Some items that you might want to include in your teaching portfolio include items like: 

  • Letters of recommendations
  • Past lesson plans, homework, assessments, exams, or other assignments
  • Samples of your past students’ work

5. Practice some common interview questions for teachers. 

Perhaps the most critical way to prepare for the interview is to practice some interview questions for teachers. 

The easiest way to practice is by using an interview simulation tool like Yoodli. After downloading Yoodli right to your desktop, you can use the AI-powered interview flow to answer common interview questions for teachers. Here’s how it works. 

Using generative AI technology, Yoodli simulates a real interview right from the comfort of your own home. You can choose which type of interviewer you want to practice with — from a light-hearted, friendly interviewer to one who’s more serious or even skeptical — and personalize the simulation. This makes the interview even more realistic, as you can practice with different types of interviewers to get the best practice. 

You’ll be prompted to answer questions, as well as real-time follow-up questions to keep you on your toes. The best part? As a communication coach, Yoodli gives its users individualized, actionable feedback and suggestions for improvement. 

This tool shows your personalized insights and metrics: data gathered based on an analysis of your speech and speaking patterns pulled right from your responses. For example, some of this data includes things like your: 

  • Word choice (including any non-inclusive language you might accidentally use)
  • Speaking rate (AKA, how slow or fast you speak)
  • Filler word usage (such as which fillers you usually use and how many times you use them)

You’ll also get a timestamped, complete transcript of how you answered any common interview questions for teachers. 

Yoodli leverages these metrics and insights to give you pointers for how to improve. If you tend to use lots of filler words, the coach might suggest you slow your speaking rate or implement a few natural pauses. If your response was too lengthy and borderline monologuing, Yoodli might recommend a more concise way to answer the question. 

Learn more about how this interview flow works and how you can use it to practice interview questions for teachers below: 

Yoodli offers a great way to practice interview questions for teachers.

When prepping for your upcoming interview, keep in mind that there are multiple types of interview questions for teachers that you could be asked. 

Types of Interview Questions for Teachers

In an interview for a teaching job, you should be prepared to answer all types of questions. Some of the most common types of interview questions for teachers include:

  • General questions
  • Classroom management questions
  • Curriculum and content knowledge questions
  • Questions about grading and homework processes

General interview questions for teachers

The most broad category of interview questions for teachers is the “general” everyday interview questions. Usually, this type of question will cover your educational background and your work history. For example, one of the most common prompts from an interviewer is, “Tell me about yourself.” 

Some interviewers use general questions to gauge a candidate’s soft skills, too. 

Classroom management and organization questions

Questions about how you manage and organize your classroom are another really popular type of interview questions for teachers.  

For example, interviewers may ask questions regarding how you: 

  • Establish an inclusive, positive learning environment for students
  • Handle classroom behavior that’s disruptive or distracting
  • Implement successful transitions from activity to activity
  • Plan to ensure you’re meeting the needs of all students 

Curriculum and content knowledge interview questions for teachers

A large aspect of teaching jobs revolves around curriculum, which makes it another popular type of interview question for teachers.

With this subtype of interview questions, you could be asked about things like how you:

  • Use learning and development technology in your curriculum
  • Plan to meet the needs of different types of students
  • Keep up with the most recent content and curriculum standards for your grade
  • Ensure your lesson plans match the current curriculum standards 

Grading and homework questions 

Both grading and homework assignments are crucial for classrooms. As such, many of the most common interview questions for teachers relate to those two aspects. For example, an interviewer may ask you how you: 

  • Show student progress through grading assignments 
  • Plan to give students chances to boost their grades
  • Create policies for grading and homework that are fair to students

28+ Interview Questions for Teachers

No matter what type of teacher you want to be, you’ll likely be asked some of the same general questions. Not all interviews are the same of course, but many recruiters and interviewers tend to ask similar questions for all teaching positions.

Here are the most common interview questions for teachers:

  • As a teacher, what are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you encourage creativity and imagination in your classroom? 
  • What expectations do you have for your students?
  • How do you help students transition smoothly from activity to activity?
  • What’s your teaching philosophy? 
  • How do you plan to provide feedback to students and parents?
  • Outside of the classroom, what will you bring to the school community?
  • How do you make sure your classroom’s learning environment is both inclusive and positive for students? 
  • Throughout all your years of teaching, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself as an educator?
  • How will you work with students who are still learning English or new to learning English?
  • How do you plan to collaborate with other teachers and staff at this school? 
  • As an educator, what’s your biggest regret?
  • How do you plan to deal with student behavior that may be disruptive, distracting, or disrespectful?
  • How would you describe your style of teaching?
  • Teaching students how to think critically can be especially difficult. How do you plan to tackle this?
  • What are your expectations for parents and parent-teacher relationships?
  • How do you plan to teach and hone in on students’ problem-solving skills? 
  • How will you implement and carry out classroom rules?
  • Do you have any stress management techniques that you plan to introduce to students?
  • How will you make sure that your lesson plans are aligned with the curriculum and school standards?
  • Why do you want to become a teacher? Why do you want to teach at this school?
  • How will you communicate with students and their parents? What methods of communication do you plan to use?
  • Have you ever worked with students with special needs before? In what capacity?
  • What’s your proudest moment as an educator?
  • How will you assess and measure student progress?
  • For this next year, what are your specific goals as a teacher?
  • How do you plan to handle criticisms or complaints from parents?
  • For students who may be struggling in the classroom, how do you plan to keep them motivated and engaged?

There are also more specific questions you may be asked depending on the role and what grade you plan to teach.

Interview questions for preschool teachers

If your goal is to become a preschool teacher, there are other questions that might be more relevant for that position that you might want to prepare for. For example, some more specific interview questions for preschool teachers include:

  • When did you know you wanted to become a preschool teacher? Why?
  • Implementing a nurturing, positive environment is extremely important for young children. How do you plan to do this?
  • How do you plan to measure and assess the progress of preschoolers?
  • What experience do you have teaching preschool-aged children?
  • How will you create and enforce classroom rules in a way that’s appropriate for children under the age of 5?
  • How do you plan to create a curriculum that would be appropriate for preschoolers?
  • How will you encourage emotional and social development in the classroom for preschool-aged children?
  • What will you do to collaborate with parents to support at-home learning? 
  • How do you plan to make sure your preschool classroom is culturally inclusive?
  • What’s your understanding of the milestones and developmental needs of children under the age of 5?
  • Supporting the development of literacy and language skills for this age group is especially important. How do you plan to do so? 

Middle school teacher interview questions

For middle school teachers, questions can get a bit more specific or go beyond the typical teaching questions. Some common middle school teacher interview questions include queries like:

  • How do you plan to create a curriculum that pairs with the interests of middle schoolers? 
  • Why do you want to teach middle school students?
  • How do you plan to build and foster relationships with your students?
  • Let’s say one of your middle school students is struggling academically. How would you handle this?
  • How will you prepare your middle schoolers for high school?
  • What’s your work experience teaching students in middle school? 
  • How will you handle middle school student behavior that’s destructive, disruptive, or disrespectful?
  • Bullying is unfortunately common in middle school. How would you handle a student who’s bullying another student? 
  • How would you plan to team up with other teachers at this middle school to create a comprehensive behavior management plan that’s applicable to the whole school? 
  • What would you say are the most important developmental needs of students in middle school?
  • How will you communicate with middle school students and their parents?
  • How will you tailor your lesson plans to accommodate students of all learning levels?

PE teacher interview questions

In terms of PE teacher interview questions, these can get a bit more granular, especially as the position is closely tied to health and physical activity. If your goal is to become a physical education teacher, prepare to answer some common PE teacher interview questions such as:

  • What experience do you have teaching physical education?
  • How will you create a safe learning environment for PE students?
  • How do you plan to work with students who have disabilities to make sure that they can be active participants in PE class?
  • What’s your understanding of the National Standards for Physical Education?
  • How do you plan to manage student discipline and behavior?
  • What are some ways you plan to educate students about the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship?
  • How will you make sure each student is engaged and interested in physical education?
  • What types of technology do you plan on introducing to your PE students?
  • How will you encourage healthy habits, physical fitness, and activity in your students?
  • Why do you want to be a PE teacher?

Questions to ask at a teacher interview

Although they may not outright say it, you should definitely prepare and practice some interview questions for interviewers. After all, recruiters or other interviewers expect you to come to the meeting with questions. 

Some questions to ask at a teacher interview include things like: 

  • What are some of the school’s strengths and opportunities for growth? 
  • How would you describe the work culture and environment at this school?
  • What are the school’s expectations for educators with regard to community engagement, personal and professional development, and extracurricular involvement?
  • For students in this grade and subject area, what are the school’s expectations? 
  • How do educators usually collaborate with each other across grade levels?
  • What kinds of technology does this school offer for students and teachers?
  • What metrics does the teaching staff use to measure student success?
  • What would you say are the most significant obstacles for a teacher in this role?
  • How does the school’s curriculum line up with national and state standards?
  • What types of instruction methods are supported and encouraged at this school?
  • What support does the school offer for teachers?

Interview Questions for Teachers: Red Flags to Look Out for 

During your interview for a teaching job, you should also be on the lookout for any potential red flags. Not every school functions the same and it’s important to be able to recognize any warning signs for a toxic work environment

1. The school community lacks diversity and inclusion.

If there’s a lack of DEIB in the school community (or a lack of DEIB initiatives), it’s not a good sign. Some common signs that the school might lack diversity include things like the:

  • Curriculum doesn’t reflect the diversity of the students who attend the school
  • Code of conduct for the student population disproportionately targets students with disabilities and students of color
  • Staff and faculty is mostly white and middle class
  • School doesn’t offer any clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities that celebrate and encourage DE&I 

2. There seems to be a focus on the ‘negatives’ of the role. 

If the interview questions for teachers that you’re presented with seem to highlight the negative aspects of the role — such as high workloads, high stress levels, and low salaries — this should be considered a red flag. 

For example, an interviewer concerned with the negative parts of the job might say things like:

  • “The workload can be intense.”
  • “Our students are very… challenging.” 
  • “We don’t get much funding.” 
  • “The admins ask a lot of us.” 
  • “The pay might not be what you’re looking for.” 

3. The interviewer doesn’t show much respect for the students nor teachers.

If you start picking up that the interviewer doesn’t show much respect for the students nor teachers, this isn’t a good sign either. For example, the interviewer might complain about the student population, the administration, the staff, the teachers, or the school itself. 

This points to a toxic school environment

Signs that the interviewer doesn’t respect the staff or students include complaints and comments about: 

  • Student academic performance or behavior
  • Low “success rates” among students
  • Teachers and students who are “lazy,” “unintelligent,” “disrespectful,” or “useless”

4. The interviewer isn’t being transparent about the teaching job nor the school.

One of the biggest red flags when answering interview questions for teachers is an interviewer who doesn’t seem to want to give you information about the position nor the school. 

In this case, you might notice that the interviewer:

  • Doesn’t directly answer your questions (or answers them in a very vague way)
  • Can’t give you info that adds up (for example, they might say one thing and then say the opposite later in the conversation)
  • Can’t provide any actual examples to support what they’re saying
  • Won’t let you meet with other staff or teachers, or tour the school 
  • Makes promises that don’t seem realistic (or seem “too good to be true”)

The Key Takeaway

If you have a teaching interview coming up, there are lots of things to consider, from how to prepare to how to identify red flags during the conversation. However, practicing interview questions for teachers is one of the best ways to prepare. 

Luckily, you can use Yoodli to skip the guesswork and improve your interview responses. The most important thing to remember is how capable you are of getting a teaching position. 



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