You should choose for your answer a strength that matters in teaching, and a weakness that is not essential for this profession.
Strengths to choose from:
- communication and social skills
- patience, responsibility, tolerance
- ability to solve conflicts, emotional intelligence
- creativity and enthusiasm for teaching
- ability to explain difficult things in a simple way
- ability to connect with children (or with older students), on a personal level
- understanding for the world of children, their emotions and feelings
Weaknesses to choose from:
To say that you are over-friendly with students is a good answer (and a typical one many people use in the interviews).
Other good option is to choose a subject you do not like to teach, for example Math, or a subject you struggle with. In such a case, however, you should not forget to elaborate on your answer, saying that you always try your best in every lesson, regardless of the subject you teach, and whether you like it or not.
Your attitude is the most important thing for the interviewers. Let’s have a look at some answers:
I have good listening skills, and I believe to understand the emotions and problems children face nowadays. Benefiting from this ability, I can connect with children on a very personal level, which helps me to gain their trust. From my weaknesses, I would mention computer skills. I need to improve on them, and I attend evening classes to learn to work with the most common office software.
I have a tendency to be over friendly to children. I am aware of this, and I remind to myself that I should keep some distance. From my strengths I can mention good listening skills, and an ability to understand the emotions and problems of young children rather quickly
Children are rarely bored with me in the classroom, becasue I always try to make the lessons engaging, and interesting for them. But I do not like to teach Math, and I know I could do better when teaching this subject. I want to work on my Math teaching skills in the course of my professional career. Surely I will get better over time.
Other tough questions and answers
Question about your weaknesses won’t be the only difficult question you will face in your teaching interview. Have a look at my eBook, the Teacher Interview Guide, to see the full list of 28 questions you may deal with in your interview. You will find some great answers directly on the eBook page, so it makes sense to check it even if you do not want to purchase anything…
Thank you, and good luck in your interview!
Glen Hughins, Your interview coach
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