What to Expect in Your Elementary Teacher Job Interview

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Miss teaching nice studentsWhat questions will they ask in your elementary teacher interview? How to make a good impression on the people sitting in the hiring committee? What decides the winner at the end of the interview session?

And how to prepare for this challenging experience and walk away with a signed job contract? You will learn all these things on our website that specializes only in elementary teacher interviews. Written by specialized recruiter Matthew Chulaw and former assistant principal and successful interview coach Glen Hughins. Written for you, the job seeker. Enjoy your reading!

Questions they typically use in an interview

Note: If you click on the question, it will redirect you to a separate page, where we analyze the question, explain the intentions of the interviewers, as well as their way of thinking, and provide you with a couple of brilliant sample answers.

However, I suggest you to firstly go through the list, read to the end of this page, and just then start analyzing one question after another. The reason is simple – before starting to prepare for particular questions, you should understand the nuances of this interview, how to approach it and what factors decide the winner at the end. It would be useless to practice answers to the questions without this knowledge. After all, success and failure depends on many other factors too. 

    • Why do you want to become an elementary teacher? (Why did you choose this career, why did you decide to study teaching, etc.)
    • What do you want to accomplish on this position? (What will make you satisfied with your work as a teacher, etc.)
    • Where do you see yourself in five years from now? (How long do you wont to work here, what are your career plans, etc.)
    • What do you think are the key characteristics of a good teacher?
    • Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? (How would you solve these problems? Have you encountered it in your practice?, etc.)
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses? (What makes you a good teacher?)
    • Young teacher at school drawingHow would you approach the students of the first class, on the first day at school? (What would you say? How would you prepare?)
    • What teaching methods do you prefer and why? (With what methods do you have the best and the worst experience?)
    • Do you think that all the students should be treated equally, or there should be an individual approach to every student, in accordance to his abilities and background?
    • How would you improve the overall study environment in your class?
    • Imagine that father of one of your students complained about something which is untrue. How would you react? (What would you do? Did it happen to you before?)
    • What is your opinion about information technology at elementary school? (Should students use computers? Should teachers utilize the technology? What about filtering?)
    • What is your opinion about foreign language education at elementary school?
    • How would you handle the conflicts between students? (Have you ever solved such a conflict? Have you ever had a conflict with one of your students?)
    • What do you consider the toughest aspect of this job? (Is there anything you hate about teaching?)
    • What are your hobbies? (What do you like to do in your free time? Can you connect it with teaching?)
    • What games would you play with your students and why would you choose these games and not other one?
    • How would you win a heart of your students?
    • When are you able to start?
    • Do you have any questions?

Build relationship with the interviewers

A teacher with a young studentAs you can see, you can expect a healthy mix of personal, situational and technical interview questions. On the other hand, recruiters at schools are typically not real HR professionals. Principals (or vice principals) are smart and educated professionals, but HR isn’t their primary expertise. . . . That means that personal preferences can play an important role in this interview too. Said in other words, if they like you as a person, you chances to succeed will be better.

Therefor you should research about the school, especially about their goals, visions and achievements. Try to identify something positive, something you can compliment. You can use this information to show some recognition and respect to the people sitting in the interviewing panel. It will help you to create the right atmosphere in the room…

What to say at the end?

Success or failure in an interview depends on many factors. Personal preferences of the interviewers, ability to sell your skills in the interview, right answers to the interview questions, overall impression you make, readiness of the other job seekers, etc. Surely, it is not easy to succeed. . . . But after all, the one who devotes most time to his preparation and knows what to say and do in every moment of his interview typically succeeds. You will find most of these information on other pages of this website.

But if you find it too complicated, have a look at our Elementary Teacher Interview Guide. This e-book will guide you safely through the difficult interview process, from the very beginning to the very end. Thank you and good luck!

Glen Hughins & Matthew Chulaw

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