It can be incredibly nerve-wracking to prepare for and be in job interviews. This is especially true if you have been looking for a job for a while and are in dire need of one.
Even if your survival is not at stake, your immense sense of satisfaction might be. When going for interviews, there are many things that one needs to keep in mind.
- You have to make sure you are on time.
- You have to make sure you are confident but not cocky.
- You have to make sure you are humble but not a pushover.
- You have to make sure you are knowledgeable, but not to the point where you are annoying.
- On top of that, you have to possess all of those traits at the same time.
Anyways, if you are looking to be an English teacher, or even if you are looking to teach other subjects, there are a few common interview questions that you can and should be prepared to answer.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind here:
One, your employers might ask questions that you have not prepared for, or they might ask unconventional questions. This might be to catch you off guard and to witness you for who you truly are.
This might also be to see how you can tackle these questions and quickly come up with valid and great answers. Whatever the reason might be, what this means for you (someone who wants to be employed) is that you have to keep an open mind and be flexible.
You cannot be too rigid and memorise a bunch of questions and your answers to those questions. If you end up purely memorising, all it will do is make you lost and twice as anxious when asked a question that you did not anticipate. When you memorise your answers and are asked questions that you were expecting, your delivery of those answers will most likely come off as kind of: well, prepared. It might be too polished to be believable, and that is not something that employers like.
Two, save for an odd question or two, most employers do tend to ask within the same five questions or so. While I still maintain that you should not be memorising answers, what I will say is that you should go through the questions in your head and think about what you might say and how you might answer them; bullet points, not paragraphs. This is so that you know, do not get tongue-tied and mess up any opportunities.
That being said, here are some of the interview questions that you will probably be asked during an interview to become a teacher:
1. Why would you like to teach at our school?
The only thing of substance I can probably say to help you answer this question is: do your research.
Schools like hearing good things about their achievements; everyone does. Ensure you check out their school website and pamphlets, as they will most likely showcase their achievements. Other than that, try to find out what their reputation is. If it is good or even great, you definitely talk good about them.
However, as you might have already thought, this is something anyone and everyone would do. Plus, the employers might even be tired of hearing, and the vibe that they get from you might be sycophancy.
Hence, I would like to add that it is important also to give more personal reasons. This will give your answers a personal touch and make you feel more human and real, which helps the employers connect to you better and, therefore, be more likely to hire you.
If you have attended this school before, that is fantastic! You have an extremely strong reason to want to work at the school, having been familiar with it, and want to give back to the institution that made you who you are. A personal reason could also be something as simple as being close to where you live.
2. What is your teaching philosophy?
You will want to think hard about this question legitimately. What IS your teaching philosophy? What do you believe a teacher should be like? What is your teaching style?
Perhaps, you believe that teachers are authoritarian figures and that teachers should be strict with their students to change efficiently. Maybe, you believe that teachers should be more like friends with their students and help them relate to them.
Perhaps you believe that teaching and learning are serious matters and should be treated as such. Perhaps you believe that the whole education process can be more fun.
Think about what you believe in, but also think about how it might sound.
You want to explain your thought process and convince your employer why your teaching methods might be effective. Of course, you could also always go with the classic answer that every child is different and adapt your teaching style to fit with each student. However, your employers might not believe you as there will probably be many students to handle.
3. How well-versed are you in technology? How will you incorporate it into your teaching?
The current pandemic (as of January 2022 at least) has kind of changed things up for teachers. Before COVID-19, educators did not have to meddle around with technology as much. However, the new global situation means that every teacher, regardless of their age or technological prowess, has to conduct lessons online.
This means that, regardless of whether you get asked this question or not, you should look to improving your technological skills.
Obviously, in the current state of the world, most schools and organisations are using Zoom calls and Google classrooms. Aside from those, I would also suggest researching other ways to incorporate technology into your teaching. Maybe you could think about assigning internet- based research, making google forms, excel sheets, preparing dynamic presentations, and so on.
Once you have begun upgrading your technical savviness, the question becomes more comfortable to answer.
4. How are you planning to maintain discipline in the classroom?
Again, this is one of those aspects of teaching that you have to think about it genuinely. There will be many different types of students in the classroom, from the ones who disrupt your class by making jokes all the time, to the quiet ones who refuse to participate, to the rowdy ones, to the talkative ones, and many more.
When employers ask you this question, they genuinely want to know what you can do to manage your classroom and uphold order.
You could have your own ways. Maybe you could set up rules and be extremely strict about them, giving punishments left, right and centre. Perhaps you could be a bit laxer and chill with your students, and hope that a friendly approach will make them feel obligated to co-operate in the classroom.
Whatever your strategy might be, it will be instrumental in thinking it through and relaying that information neatly to your employer.
Also, what will you do with that one student who constantly disturbs the class? You will have to think about yourself and hope that your ideology matches with the employers’.
Perhaps you believe in calling the student out in front of the whole class and let shame prevent that student from acting out again. Maybe you would instead pull the student outside and have a personal chat with them, showing respect. You might act stern with the student or go from a more ‘trying to understand and help’ angle. Whatever your ideology is, it is yours. Just try to explain it as best as possible and convince your employers why you believe in your strategy.
5. What class level would you like to teach?
For this question, I would like to suggest my philosophy: ‘give a straight answer but keep your options open’. So, what I mean is that you want to choose a class level that you are most comfortable teaching. Perhaps it is junior, maybe it is senior, or it is somewhere in the middle.
However, I would also suggest to, as long as you are genuinely okay with it, mention that you are fine with teaching any class level, though and that a particular class level is just your top preference, not your only preference. The more versatile you are, or you can show yourself to be, the better your chances of landing a job.
Final Word: Well, if you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you are looking to be a teacher and perhaps are preparing for an interview. I hope this article was of great help to you. Job interviews can be stressful. Remember to eat well and drink water. Present yourself nicely, and remember that confidence goes a long way. Fortunately or unfortunately, many candidates get the job despite lower capabilities because of higher confidence, and vice versa. Best of luck!Please Share:
This article was originally published on March 11, 2021 and was last updated on January 15, 2022.