Interview Questions to Screen Applicants for Special Education Roles

Caroline Chessia | April 7, 2023

Special education professionals serve one of the most complex teaching roles within your school district or school board. The ability to hire the right professionals for your schools falls heavily on how you screen applicants

The interviewing process is a crucial time for K-12 recruiters to screen applicants for skills that demonstrate their ability to handle the different special needs and demands involved with being a special education professional. The following special education interview questions are to help you identify key competencies of viable education professionals for your school.

Interview Questions for Special Education Teachers to See if They Are a Team Player

Speech pathologists, teaching assistants, therapists, and parents influence a child’s education. And each of these people has to work closely with the child’s special education teacher. Effective communication and being an ‘ideal team player’ are crucial for special educators. 

Here are some questions to ask special education teacher candidates:

  • What role do you typically fill on a team?
  • What words would you use to describe a successful team?
  • How would your teammates describe you?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to assume a leadership role.
  • Have you ever worked with multiple teams simultaneously?
  • Tell me about a time when you and a teammate had a conflict. How did you resolve it?
  • How do you deal with an uncommunicative coworker?

Ask Special Ed Teachers if they have IEP Experience

A primary responsibility of special education teachers is to conduct in-depth individual assessments to design Individualized Education Programs (IEP) for special education students. The National Association of Elementary School Principals suggests screening applicants for clinical knowledge and the ability to design and provide curriculums that maximize academic progress for each special education student. 

Candidates should be able to answer questions like:

  • What type of literary program would you employ for a student two to three years below grade level? 
  • Describe a lesson plan that you have developed.
  • What were the objectives, lesson format, and how did you evaluate whether or not the objectives were achieved?

Special Education Interview Questions About Classroom Management

Many special education students need structure and routine in order to thrive and avoid disruption due to behavioral challenges. Screen applicants for their ability to manage a classroom by asking candidates questions like:

  • Describe a time when your classroom management strategy didn’t work as intended
  • Could you tell me about your approach to discipline?
  • Tell me about a time when you used good classroom administration strategies
  • How would you describe your classroom management approach?
  • How do you encourage students to actively listen and learn in your classroom?
  • What general percentage of student participation should teachers strive for (in class)?
  • How do you guarantee the safety of your students at all times?
  • How would you respond if you believed that one of your pupils was being bullied by their peers?

Using Technology to Interview Special Education Professionals

Asking the right interview questions for special education teachers is part of the equation. The other part is making sure you have enough applicants to ask the questions to. interviewstream’s virtual interviewing software helps you reach more candidates, faster so your students always have enough support.

Use on demand video interviews to screen teachers using some of these interview questions or ask them situational interview questions. Check out how school districts and school boards are building their teacher talent pool with interviewing software. Or, fill out this form to schedule a chat and see how we can help you hire enough teachers for your school.

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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