The Top Screening Interview Questions for Teachers

Caroline Chessia | December 11, 2023

Are you on the hunt for top teachers? Naturally, your first step is a screening interview. With carefully crafted questions, phone screens or one way video interviews can reveal insights into candidates’ classroom management styles, teaching philosophies, and adaptability to school culture.

These initial conversations are crucial. With the right screening questions, you can identify educators who will go on to become amazing teachers for your students. When you are crafting your screening interview questions, make sure you focus on three key areas: classroom management, adaptability, and cultural fit.


Screening Questions for Gauging Classroom Management Strategies

You need to know how your next teacher hire will handle a room full of kids. Is your candidate a good lesson planner and classroom manager? How will applicants deal with different needs all at once? How will they keep the peace among 30 students from varied backgrounds?

To find out, ask situational questions related to their experience in a classroom, problems they’ve had, and how they’ve solved them. Also, ask about making any adjustments on the fly. A mix of experience and flexibility helps you screen out the good teachers from the great teachers. Try out these questions:

  • Describe a specific instance when you had to adapt your classroom management approach to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • In your previous teaching roles, how did you establish and communicate clear expectations for behavior to your students?
  • Can you provide an example of a successful classroom management strategy you implemented to create a positive and inclusive learning environment?
  • Describe your approach to handling disruptions in the classroom while maintaining a positive and conducive learning environment.
  • Describe a time when you implemented proactive strategies to prevent behavioral issues before they occurred in the classroom.
  • How do you build positive relationships with your students to create a supportive and respectful classroom culture?
  • In your previous teaching roles, how did you handle situations where students were consistently not meeting expectations for behavior or academic performance? What interventions did you implement?

Your goal is to find someone who stays level-headed while guiding young minds effectively through their schooling journey. When conducting each screening call, use these scenario-based interview screening questions to see how your teacher candidate will act in the classroom.


Screening Interview Questions for Assessing Adaptability in Teaching Styles

You want a teacher able to adapt their lesson plans to different learning styles and abilities. For this, flexibility is key. Let’s say a lesson plan flops. A great teacher can turn on a dime, tweaking the day’s work so everyone gets something from it. Or–a challenging situation with two students suddenly arises. Great teachers can deflect the conflict quickly. Here are screening interview questions to ask to figure out if your education candidate is adaptable.

  • How do you differentiate your classroom management techniques to accommodate the unique needs of students with diverse learning styles or special needs?
  • Share an example of a time when you had to modify your lesson plans or teaching style to accommodate students with varying levels of engagement.
  • Can you share an experience from your teaching career where you needed to quickly adjust your lesson plans to accommodate unexpected changes?
  • Tell me about a time you had to adapt your teaching approach to engage and support a group of students who were struggling to grasp a particular concept.
  • Can you provide an example of a situation where you had to switch between different teaching modalities (e.g., lecture, group work, hands-on activities) to keep students engaged and enhance their understanding of a subject?
  • How do you adapt your teaching style to create an inclusive learning environment for students from different cultural backgrounds?
  • Share an experience where you received feedback about your teaching methods. How did you use that feedback to make adjustments and improve your approach?
  • In what ways have you incorporated student feedback into your teaching style? Can you give an example of a positive change you made based on student input?


Crafting Effective Cultural Fit Screening Questions

As you dive into crafting educational philosophy questions, focus on what makes you unique as a teacher. Reflect deeply on your beliefs about teaching and learning. Think of experiences that shaped these beliefs; this will guide your answers with authenticity.

Certainly! Assessing culture fit is important to ensure that teachers align with the values, mission, and working environment of the school district. Here’s a list of 15 teacher screening interview questions focused on assessing culture fit:

  • What attracted you to apply for a teaching position in our school district?
  • How would you describe our school district’s mission and values, and how do they align with your own educational philosophy?
  • Describe your ideal school culture and working environment. How do you think it aligns with what our school district offers?
  • In what ways have you collaborated with colleagues and administrators in the past to contribute to a positive and supportive school culture?
  • How do you prioritize building positive relationships with students, parents, and colleagues within the school community? Can you provide examples from your previous experiences?
  • What role do you believe extracurricular activities and community involvement play in a teacher’s commitment to the school community?
  • Describe a time when you faced a challenge or disagreement with a colleague or supervisor. How did you handle it, and what did you learn from the experience?

These questions aim to assess a teacher’s understanding of and alignment with the school district’s culture, values, and expectations, as well as their ability to contribute positively to the overall school community.


Ask the Right Questions and Screen Teachers Faster with interviewstream

Crafting the best screening questions for teachers puts you on the right path to hiring the best teachers for your students. Focus on their teaching philosophy, adaptability to change, and ways they handle diverse learning needs. Remember, with interviewstream’s video screening and hiring tools, you can recruit the best teachers in less time.

See how you can ask the right questions every time with AI question assist, rate, share, and evaluate candidates with one way video interviews, and get the customized support you need for your K-12 hiring with interviewstream. Reach out to learn more.

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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