“So, what questions do you have for us?”
If you have ever had a professional interview, you have likely been asked this question. I think it is a really easy way for people to get tripped up, and the questions you ask leave a lasting impression about who you are. Whether you are going to be a teacher or you’re in another profession, you can get ideas from this post! Make sure you head in with your list of teacher interview questions.
Now that I have accepted a teaching position and I have gone through several teaching interviews, I wanted to share my knowledge with you! I plan to write a full post later all about landing and preparing for your teacher interview, but today I just want to focus on questions to ask during the interview!
In my experience, the administrators and other teachers love getting the chance to talk about the school – and you can learn a lot about how they speak about it. Part of what convinced me to choose my position was the way the administrators talked about the school. I could tell they were passionate about the school!
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Why do I Need to Prepare Teacher Interview Questions?
When I was just interviewing for part time jobs or temporary positions, I never went into interviews with questions. I didn’t think it mattered, and honestly it wasn’t that big of a deal at a restaurant. When you are vying for a professional position, however, you HAVE to prepare questions.
Researching the company and preparing questions proves you care about the job. You don’t want to have a great interview and then when they ask for your questions you just stare blankly. If you honestly wanted the position, questions would naturally arise.
Think about it this way. You are hoping to spend a huge amount of your time each week at this company, for at least one year. I would want to ask some questions! You don’t want to end up at a company where you will be unhappy, and good interview questions can help you avoid that. Honestly, there was one position where after asking my questions, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t want to work there, even if I was offered the position.
General Tips for Choosing Your Teacher Interview Questions
I would recommend bringing a written list of questions. Not in your head. Not on your phone. When asked this question in interviews, I blanked EVERY TIME. I remembered a few, but also forgot several! Having the questions written down made me seem prepared and made sure I was able to get my most important questions answered.
When choosing your questions, avoid easily answered or obvious questions. If you could google the answer on your own, don’t ask it in the interview! Only ask questions that can truly only be answered by the people interviewing you.
For teachers, you can look up demographics, test scores, and so much more for the school before you interview. JUST DO IT. In every interview, someone asked me what I knew about the school. Fortunately, I was prepared so I had something to say.
Try not to focus your questions on what you will get out of the job (i.e salary, benefits, special favors), but instead focus on the school/company. You can work those issues out after you get the job.
Questions for Anyone to Ask
Although this post focuses on teachers, I’m also sharing questions that anyone can ask during an interview. Don’t ask all of these, simply pick and choose the ones that are most relevant and important to you! (Questions with an asterisk are one of my favorites and had success in my interviews)
- What would a typical day look like in this position?
- What are your goals for the company this year?*
- How do you support new employees?
- What are the skills you are looking for in a candidate?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is this company’s greatest strength? Weakness?
- What is your management style?
- What challenge is your company facing in the coming years?
Questions Teachers Should Ask
You can definitely ask any of the questions above, just change company to school. The following are questions that I think you SHOULD ask in order to get a feel for the school. I’ll share questions you might WANT to ask in the next section! As you interview, keep a pad of paper open, and write down any questions you think of during the interview. It shows you are interested and passionate about the job. You should also write down some notes/answers as you listen so you can remember later.
- How many students are in an average class?
- What technology is available in your classrooms?*
- How many classes would I be teaching?
- What support is in place for new teachers?*
- What is the school environment like for teachers?
- How would you describe the student body at this school? (Not demographics)
Questions Teachers Might Want to Ask
In this section, these questions might not be as essential as the above sections, but I would definitely pick a few to have ready for your interview. Honestly, I would rather have too many questions than not enough. For me, a safe number to ask in an interview is 6-9 questions. Make sure to have a good arsenal on hand in case you feel some of the questions you prepared aren’t going to work, or have already been answered! I had one interview where they just kept expecting me to have questions – I think I asked nearly 15 questions before they wanted to move on!
- How does the school support teacher improvement?*
- How supportive is the district of continuing education for faculty?
- How long do teachers usually teach here?
- How does the school get involved with the community?
- What is parent involvement like in the school?
- How do you handle discipline here?
- What types of collaboration happen in the school?
You Can Do This!
As scary as it can be when heading into your first teaching interview, you have to trust that your student teaching and education have prepared you to answer the questions. Before my first interview, I had so much anxiety. I was so sure that I wouldn’t be able to answer the questions they asked me. As I was interviewing, however, I realized that this was my PASSION. I knew the answers without having to memorize anything. I just had to let my passion shine, and the right school would see that. When you truly care about the job you are doing, you will know how to answer the questions.
Don’t let your fear and anxiety hold you back in your interview. Just be yourself, and show your stuff. Asking the right questions can help showcase what you are passionate about and how much you care about the position. Make sure you check out the questions I asterisked, because when I asked those questions, the administrators responded really well and seemed to like that I had asked!
If you have any favorite questions to ask during an interview, drop them in the comments below! I would love to expand upon this post in the future! For even more interview questions, check out this post, and this post! I hope that this post will help you as you prepare for your very first teacher interview, or any interview for that matter. Preparation is the best way to calm nerves and guarantee the best possible results!