Up Your Interview Question Game: Top Interview Questions for Educators

Esteban Gomez | August 2, 2021

Why did you decide to become a teacher? “The most rewarding part… when kids thank you for showing them love and compassion as well as giving them the time and energy to learn.” Kristina Borowczyk, a teacher with 18+ years of experience.

THESE are the educators we want in our schools and this is a prime example of an interview question all educators should be asked. It is no easy feat to fill schools with the best of the best, but if you ask the right interview questions throughout your hiring process, you increase your chances of hiring top-notch educators. 

interviewstream has put together a list of the top interview questions for teachers, substitute teachers, and administrators to help you hire the best educators you can find! Bonus: if you’re looking for interview questions that will help you assess specific skills in your teacher candidates, check out our other blog here.

I’ll Take “Interview Questions” for $500 Alex

Once your candidate has made it past your first round of screening questions (which we hope you have listed in interview builder to make your candidate experience fair and structured), it’s time to ask your potential teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator the questions that will set them apart from the rest. Their answers will tell you whether or not they are the candidate for you. Will they fit into your schools’ culture? Do they share the same values? Let’s find out.

Interview Questions for Teachers

  1. How do you motivate students? Look for a teacher that answers this with a personalized approach on how they engage the entire class while considering each students’ needs. 
  2. What is your teaching style? The best candidates want to see their students succeed both in the academic world and in their personal lives. Asking a teacher about their teaching philosophy determines which teachers inspire their students to grow both inside and outside the classroom.
  3. Tell me about a time when you helped someone become more successful. You can’t teach someone to care about their students like you can teach content or classroom management. Top candidates will give examples of times they have nurtured “problem” students or given extra support when needed.

Interview Questions for Substitute Teachers

  1. What strategies do you use when teaching students with diverse learning needs? You want a substitute with knowledge of multiple learning styles and teaching methods, who can easily adapt to any curriculum.
  2. How do you analyze lesson plans on short notice? Substitutes are often called in on the day of, so they need to have the ability to adapt to a variety of situations quickly.
  3. What is the role of a substitute teacher in the classroom? The best substitute teachers have a “can-do” attitude. It is extremely challenging to jump into a class with an unfamiliar group of students, but top substitutes can manage rowdy classes and convey the content necessary to keep students on track.

Interview Questions for K12 Administrators

  1. What are your professional goals for the next 5-10 years? Frequent administrative turnover is detrimental for teachers, school employees, and students. Answers focused around the school’s growth and successes, i.e. increased test scores or student retention are key.
  2. Why should we hire you over other applicants with similar backgrounds? Sincerity is what you’re looking for. Most applicants will include their love of children, but that is not enough to set them apart—look for those who prioritize professionalism, passion for improving education, and creating programs geared towards helping students achieve their full potential.
  3. What interests do you have outside the classroom? Your professional life is only a fraction of who you are as a person. Schools want balanced candidates. Look for an administrator who is passionate, committed, and has leadership abilities that transcend the workplace.

Congratulations! You are the winner.

Or will be, as soon as you start asking the right interview questions! And your prize? Filling your schools with a team of outstanding educators. 

Using run-of-the-mill interview questions won’t find you top talent. Interviewers need to draw out authentic answers that convey a candidate’s character and values… answers that can’t be googled or rehearsed. How your potential hires respond to these questions will set top-tier candidates apart from the rest.

We want to help you win—to get the best educators working in your schools.  Request a demo today and take the first step toward increasing your hiring effectiveness and putting the leading educators in your schools. 

About The Author

Esteban Gomez is the Director of Marketing at interviewstream. He loves learning and has a passion for traveling, having visited many countries including China, Colombia, Italy, and Peru.

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