What questions will they ask you? How to make a good impression with your answers? What decides the winner at the end of the interview?
Simply, how to prepare for this challenging experience and walk away with a coveted job contract? We will try to answer this question on our website that specializes only in elementary teacher interviews. Written by former assistant principal and successful interview coach Glen Hughins. Welcome!
Questions you should expect
Note: Click on a question will direct you to a separate page, where we analyze the particular question, and offer some good answers to the question.
However, I suggest you to firstly read this page to the end, and just then start clicking one question after another. Before you start to prepare for particular questions, you should understand all nuances of this interview. It would be useless to practice your interview answers without having this knowledge. After all, success or failure in an interview depends on many factors, not only on your answers to the questions of the interviewers.
- Why do you want to become an elementary teacher? (Why did you choose this career? Why did you decide to study teaching?)
- What do you want to accomplish on this position? (What will make you satisfied with your work?)
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now? (How long do you want to work here? What are your career plans?)
- What characterize a good teacher from your point of view?
- Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays? (How would you solve these problems?)
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? (What makes you a good teacher?)
- How would you approach the students of the first class, on their first day at school? (What would you say? How would you prepare?)
- What teaching methods do you prefer and why? (Your best and worst experience with preferred teaching methods?)
- Do you think that we should treat all students equally, or should we approach every student individually, considering their abilities and background?
- How would you improve the study environment in your class?
- Imagine that a father of one of your students complained about something which was untrue. How would you react? (What would you do? Did it happen to you before?)
- What is your opinion on information technology at elementary school? (Should students use computers? Should teachers use computers?)
- What is your opinion about foreign language subjects at the elementary?
- How would you handle the conflicts between students? (Have you ever solved a conflict? Have you ever had a conflict with 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?)
- What games would you play with your students and why would you choose these games and not other one?
- How would you win the hearts of your students?
- When can you start working here?
- Do you have any questions?
Build relationships with the interviewers
You can expect a healthy mix of personal, situational and technical questions in your interview. On the other hand, recruiters at schools do not excel in HR. Principals (or vice principals) are smart and educated, but HR isn’t their field of expertise. . . . Therefore you should understand that personal preferences will play a role in your interview. Said in other words, if they like you as a person, and if you fulfill their criteria, they may hire you.
You should browse the website of the school, and read something about their goals, visions, and achievements. Try to identify something positive, something you can compliment. You will use this information to show recognition and respect to the people sitting in the interviewing panel, and build yourself a good position in their eyes.
What to say at the end?
Success or failure in an interview depends on many factors. Personal preferences of the interviewers, your ability to sell yourself in an interview, your answers to their questions, overall impression you make, quality of other job seekers, etc. It is not easy to succeed. . . . But after all, people who devote most time to their preparation and know what to say and do in their interview will typically succeed.
Will it be you? Elementary Teacher Interview Guide will show you how to ace your interview, from start to finish. I wish you good luck!