Sample Interview Questions


The Michigan State University Recruiting Trends survey, published each year, surveys 93 public elementary and secondary school districts. These school districts' recruiters are asked to respond to the question 'What are your favorite or most often used interview questions?' The following is a summary of their responses, organized by category of questions.

 

Motivation and Personality

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your long range career plans?
  • Why have you selected education as a profession?
  • What do you enjoy most about teaching?
  • What motivated you to enter teaching?
  • Tell me about the teacher you would most like to emulate.
  • What do you feel would be the most significant contribution you could make to our organization?
  • How long would you plan to teach at this district?
  • What is there about you that would cause a district to hire you over others?
  • Are you interested in moving to this area?

 

Academic Preparation/Student Teaching

  • What are your areas of certification?
  • Describe your student teaching experience.
  • Tell me about your class during student teaching.
  • How did you generate the desire to learn in your students?
  • Describe one activity or lesson that you were particularly proud of.
  • Did you have any discipline problems? If not, how do account for that? If so, what behavior modification program did you use?
  • What evidence can you cite of rapport-building in your teaching experiences?
  • Tell me more about your other coursework.
  • Did you enjoy your student teaching? What was the highlight?
  • What was the worst problem you had and how did you handle it?
  • What adjectives would your students use to describe you?
  • How would you judge your success as a teacher?
  • Describe your community and parent involvement.
  • Are you able to teach minority students?

 

Teaching Techniques and Style

  • What approaches or techniques work best for you in teaching?
  • What innovative ideas would you like to use in your classroom?
  • What area would you like to strengthen?
  • What are the traits of a good teacher?
  • What are your greatest teaching strengths/weaknesses?
  • In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  • What lesson components do you include in your teaching?
  • Why should a student take a course in your particular discipline?
  • Explain your style of teaching--strategies, methodologies, techniques.
  • Describe what I would see if I walked into your classroom while school was in session.
  • What is your grading philosophy?
  • Tell me your best/worst teaching experience scenario.
  • How do you feel about the self-contained classroom? Departmentalized upper grades?
  • Do you believe in detailed lesson plans?
  • How would you approach your first assignment?
  • How would you incorporate all aspects of the curriculum in your lessons?
  • How do you accommodate individual differences?
  • What steps would you take to improve a student's self-concept?
  • How would you motivate the hard-to-reach child?
  • What is your philosophy of disciplining? What are your ideas about discipline?
  • Would you feel comfortable teaching the educationally and culturally deprived child?
  • What is the role of the teacher in the school?
  • What are your extracurricular interests and hobbies?
  • How do you receive feedback, appropriate criticism?
  • How would you define teaching as a job? As a profession?
  • What experience do you have with implementing individualization?
  • What techniques would you use to motivate students?
  • What responsibilities will your students have for their learning? How do you effect good classroom management?
  • What is your greatest concern when in a classroom?
  • Why are teachers becoming more militant?
  • Are you willing to accept added responsibilities?
  • How will you appraise your teaching performance?
  • How do you keep current in the field?

 

Knowledge of the Employer

  • What do you think you could contribute to our school system?
  • Why do you want to be a teacher in our district?
  • What do you know about our school district? Town?
  • What do you wish to contribute to our school and our children?

 

Hypothetical Questions

  • What would you do if you caught a student cheating?
  • What would you do if a student seemed to be an outcast in the class?
  • How would you communicate with parents?
  • How will you go about meeting the needs of exceptional children?
  • How would you handle an incorrect oral answer?
  • What strategies do you use to evoke higher order thinking?
  • If money were unlimited, how would you improve education?
  • Please give examples of effective lessons/classroom management/learning styles/teaching methods/interpersonal skills/communication.
  • What would you do if a student never had his/her homework completed?
  • What would you do if you knew a student had a very serious personal problem?
  • How would you start your first day of school with the students?
  • Describe the best teacher you have known.
  • Do you view the role of teacher as instructor or facilitator?
  • How important is it for you as a teacher to assist in the development of a positive self-concept in students? How would you do this?
  • Explain those teaching strategies that have been most successful for you.