Teacher interview questions and answers
The role of a teacher remains unchanged in the society and teachers are looked up as molders of the young minds who grow up to become good citizens of the nation. The fast development that the world is witnessing with the advancements of science and technology has made the role of a teacher much challenging.
Educational institutes look for teachers with not only a good command on the subject but also the ones who have a positive attitude to learn and share the knowledge on a continuous basis. Interviewers would try to understand the various skills the person possesses and assess whether the interviewee would be a right fit to their institution.
“Tell about yourself” would be the first question to break the ice and get into further discussion. Here are some of the questions other that can be asked in a interview for the position of a teacher.
What qualities in you made you choose teaching as a profession?
Education is the key for the development of the society and teaching is profession where a continuous learning and sharing of knowledge happens. Personally am a very enthusiastic learner and a good communicator with a strong zeal to do contribute to the society. Hence chose this profession to enlighten the young minds and drive them for a better life.
How many years of experience do you possess in teaching and what are your competencies?
I possess X years of experience in teaching subjects like X, X, X and X. My main competencies are in handling students with different intellectual capabilities and designing a customized model of teaching for each class. At the same time, I can enthuse the students towards the subject by giving them practical overview of the concepts. And, I hold a track record of teaching students who have then always scored above 60% of marks. Why are you looking for a change from your current institution? I have been working with the current institution for the last X years and it has always been a learning experience all the while. But feel that I am entering the comfort zone and hence change is a must to ensure there is some professional development. Looking for a new and challenging work environment where enhancing my existing skills is a must.
Every teacher will have a different style in teaching. What is your style?
Demonstrative style of teaching is what I follow where it involves lot of preparation for the class. Text books collate all the information and put it at one place for the students and hence the role of a teacher is to explain the concepts in a way that students understand and remember. Organising practical sessions and showing the videos pertaining to the subject helps students better.
In your opinion what do students look for in their teacher?
Students look at their teachers as role models and person who can guide them better for a bright future. As a role model the teacher should infuse positive attitudes towards life and encourage them to be good citizens contributing to the nation and society.
Each and every child is special and gifted differently. How do you identify those hidden talents?
Yes, the fact that each child is blessed differently and a teacher is the best person to identify the hidden talents and encourage them to pursue those special skills. Different classroom activities like essay writing, elocution, painting and role plays help in identifying children with special talents in writing, oratory, acting and artistic skills . Also the sports and cultural events bring out their leadership & team working skills.
What are the challenges for teachers in handling the modern day students?
The role of teachers is becoming very challenging these days. Especially with both parents working and the time they spend with the children for their studies is drastically coming down. Also the expectations of the parents on their children both in studies and extra-curricular activities are very high. All this becomes a great challenge for the teachers in giving individual attention to each child rather than just delivering the lesson. Also the improving technology and communications are giving children a great exposure to the happening around the world and tinge of innocence is completely missing. Children are able to get any sort of information in a click of mouse on the internet. Hence the teachers are facing a great challenge in handling students in the current day. Teachers need to really pull up their socks and improve their knowledge and not just rely on the text books.
How do you use technology in driving the interest of the students?
Use of technology is inevitable both to gain hands on knowledge using internet and using PPT’s and video clippings for delivering the class room sessions.
Good Communication skills are a must for a teacher. How do you comprehend this?
A good teacher must be a good communicator. Without good communication skills one cannot get the students attention however knowledgeable the person might be. Obviously what matters is the output or the delivery and no one would count on the time spent on preparation or the years of experience gained.
What techniques do you follow to ensure active participation of the students in the class?
Communication should always be two way. The teacher delivering the lesson and students listening to it is an old style; the teachers today need to be facilitators. Simple techniques like giving small assignments on the subject, conducting quiz competitions and making presentations on the topics helps students to gain interest on the subject. In your opinion what are the categories of children based on their level of intellectual capability and what strategies do you follow to create an enthusiasm in them.
Yes, the performance of the students in the classroom as well as in the examinations help the teachers in assessing them. The categories would be bright, average and below average. The focus would be on average and below average students. Counsel the students during the monthly reviews and understand where they would need extra support and prepare a customized study plan for them. Conduct extra study hours if necessary for those students to clarify their doubts and help them gain confidence.
Discipline is very important for the success of any individual and what is the role of a teacher in it?
Schools / educational institutions are the places where the seeds of discipline are sown in the young minds. Students learn the skills to build a bright life where discipline in time, work, and attitude play a vital role. Even though the students remember their teachers as ‘strict masters’, teachers need to be really committed in making the students abide by the rules and regulations. Giving punishments is justifiable to ensure that the student is on the right track and that indirectly goes to the teachers as a credit.
What are your major contributions to the development of the institution you are currently working?
To answer this question, you can say something like – Yes, I contributed to many initiatives that helped in making our institution a renowned one in the primary school education in the town\ city.
Illustrate with how you have taken initiative and implemented with the concurrence of the Principal & colleagues. For e.g. ,
1. Introducing practical sessions for all the classes irrespective whether it is a School Board mandate or not. This was a welcomed by all the colleagues and principal as this would help the students in understanding the concepts better.
2. Conducting quarterly extra- curricular assessments of the students in the activities that they have opted during the start of the academic year. This has actually helped in making the students focus on extra- curricular activities and not just the subjects.
What can you contribute to our institution if you are selected?
This is a kind of trap where the interviewers try to assess your over-confidence. One thing that has to be understood is that any development initiatives can be suggested only after understanding the systems better. As an outsider you do not know what the existing practices are. Hence your answer should impress them that you would like to get into the system and then accordingly contribute for the betterment of the institution.
What is your opinion about team work and share an example of a situation where you have outperformed as team member?
Team work is very important whatever might be the profession we choose, as one single person cannot do everything by himself / herself. Contribution of work, providing support to each other and coordinating among the staff members is a must in any of the activities in the institution.
Share examples of when you organized events or functions in the institution by proper planning and execution while working as team.
What changes do you foresee in the next 5-6 years in the educational system in our country?
With the advancements in the technology the exposure that children are getting today is enormous. Text books are not the single source of information anymore. Hence I feel that there would be major improvements in the course curriculum and also the process of assessment would change.
Do you believe that punishment is the best tool in improving the performance of a student?
I have experienced that the fear of punishment is always a good tool to improve the performance of a student.
Punishment should not physically hurt the student as it would only deteriorate the student-teacher relationships.
The punishment should only motivate the student to put extra efforts to improve their knowledge on the subject and also secure good score in the examinations.
Describe the toughest situation you have faced in handling a student and how did you manage protecting the interest of the institution. This kind of question tests the perseverance of a teacher to help his \ her students to grow as a successful person and drive them with positive attitude on different aspects of life.
Narrate a situation where you had to handle a student with a consistent behavioral problem or disobedience of instructions. How you have counseled both the student and the parents to make the student realize the mistakes committed. Give necessary chance and support to put on the same track which rest of the students are travelling.
How do you develop the confidence and self esteem in your students?
Teachers should understand that the capabilities of students differ from one another. Giving opportunities to perform to only those students who are bright and enthusiastic is not the correct procedure. This would actually lower the confidence levels of more than 50% of the class who fear of failure and poor performance.
One can say that, in the current institute, we make sure that each and every student takes part in both classroom activities and extra-curricular activities. This actually helps the student overcome fear of not performing well over a period of time and start gaining confidence and build self esteem. What is your approach in the parent- teacher meetings and how do you convey the performance of the student to the parents.
The fact is that parents look forward to teachers as the ones who groom their children and help them attain success in their lives. Also the time parents are able to spend with their children is coming down day by day due to various reasons. This actually builds on the expectations on the institution and the teachers.
The parent-teacher meetings should not be just to let the parents know about the marks & grades the students gain. The emphasis should be made on the areas of strengths and improvements required and also guide the parents on understanding the interests of child while supporting him \ her in realizing the dreams.
What other activities you like to be involved in the school ?
Think of your own interests and share opinions in different areas like coaching the students in sports, counseling the student on creating awareness on harassment and molestation, creating awareness on healthy food habits etc which can help the society as a whole.
Describe your relations with the principal and other teachers in the current job.A good interpersonal relation with the principal and teachers is very much necessary to fulfill the objectives of the institutions. There would be some differences of opinions which need to be sorted and handled with maturity. Illustrate the situations when you have shared happy moments both professionally and in personal life with your team.
What motivates you and helps you maintain high spirits at all times?
The enthusiasm that students show in the class and the kind of doubts that they ask are the driving forces for any teacher. Learning is a give and take process. Making the students understand complex concepts in a simple manner that they remember gives a lot of satisfaction for a teacher.
Recollect a situation where you were not in your usual mood in the class but how you were made to recoup to normal by your students.
How good are you in time management and handle work pressure towards the end of the academic year?
Managing and planning time is very important for a teacher to ensure completion of the course of the subject at stipulated time before the academic examinations. Knowing the curriculum at the start and deadlines for both the internal and external assessment, I plan the number of hours for each lesson and strictly execute it. In case of any unforeseen disturbance, the management of the institution always supports in conducting special classes with ultimate goal of completing the syllabus.
What is your career goal and where do you want to see yourself in the next 10 years?
This question is to check on how aspiring the individual is rather than just being contended with the current position.
One can say something like – My career goal is to become the head of an educational institute. The experience gained till now gives me a confident feeling that I can achieve my goal in the next 10 years.