5 Potential Interview Questions - Part 1

Nancy Anderson
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As you are in the search for that new teaching position, it is always good to continue to learn and prepare to be at your best for an interview. There are many questions you may get asked, some may be "softball" questions, while other may be things you not only hadn't given a lot of thought about, but have definitely not formulated a great answer for. I hope some of these that we look at over the next few posts will stimulate your mind to think in new areas and be better prepared for almost anything. Your resume is an outline of you - the questions are the time you fill in the gaps for the interviewer.

The most commons ones you will usually always hear, are ones like "what is your education background?" or "where do you see yourself in five years?" or "what are your strengths/weaknesses?" But aside from these common ones, what might you say if asked:

"What are you reading for enjoyment at this time?" - Kind of an odd question, but could tell a bit about who you are and what you enjoy in life. The keyword here is "enjoyment" and answering with am academic title is probably not the best response. If you are not reading anything currently, be honest - or answer with what the last (or next) thing you read for enjoyment. These type of answers could open the doors for your interest/involvement in other activities in the school. Maybe you love reading poetry, and the school has a need for a poetry club leader. Who knows what doors your side activities could open for you.

"Describe yourself in five words (or adjectives)?" - What would you say? What might other close friends say about you to answer this? Be honest, and do not just throw out answers like "professional" - "organized" - "dedicated" or any words that you think they want to hear. Doing so will often be seen as what it is, and may send off red flags against you.

"What interests/hobbies do you pursue outside of the classroom?" - Again, this is looking at who you really are, as a person. As always, be honest, or else it might come back to bite you later and cause more problems. Hopefully you are not involved in activities that would have a negative affect on your job anyway.

"Why and when did you decide to become a teacher - and why at this level?" - Hopefully teaching is not just a "job" for you, and at this point you'll be able to share the real passion you have for education, and why. Maybe some story led you to enter the teaching field - maybe you were inspired by something or someone - share these types of things.

"What is you favorite and least favorite aspect of teaching?" - These type of questions need to be answered with care, and proper preparation is usually needed to have a suitable answer ready. And no, your favorite aspect should probably NOT be that you have summers off.

Next time we'll look at more such questions, but until then, feel free to share any interview questions you have been hit with that caught you off guard by commenting below.

Jeff McCormack resides in Virginia Beach, VA. where he works as a web designer by day. In his off time he is a husband, father, mail order book store manager, and musician. Aside from being a freelance writer for this Education Jobsite blog, he also seeks to assist in career choices and information by contributing to other Nexxt blog sites.


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