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ESL Teacher Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your ESL Teacher interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

ESL Teacher was written by and updated on February 15th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Speak to an example where a challenging student became a better student in your class.

How to Answer

Sometimes, you will have an experience where the difficult student will be one of your best at the end of the day. Speak to how you accomplished this. With techniques and strategies, the interviewer will get a better perspective of who you are and how you teach.

Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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30 ESL Teacher Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Speak to an example where a challenging student became a better student in your class.

      How to Answer

      Sometimes, you will have an experience where the difficult student will be one of your best at the end of the day. Speak to how you accomplished this. With techniques and strategies, the interviewer will get a better perspective of who you are and how you teach.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "One student at the first school I taught at was hard to manage during my year of teaching. She knew I was new, and there was a lot of testing by her going on. Early in the year, I pulled her aside and discussed my expectations of her and how I thought she could be an outstanding student. Things did not change overnight, but that conversation propelled her to be my biggest advocate by the end of the year."

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I had a student that was really awful to his peers. He called people names, had a lack of respect for the school, and would yell when he did not have his way. It was a challenge to say the least. Still, I worked to give him more and more responsibilty in the class to make sure that he could see his value. While things are not perfect, he has come a long way."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Shane Reinhard

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Shane Reinhard Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is the way it is done. These things take time and there is no magic wand to make a troubled student better immediately. But, if you are consistent and committed to the student, progress will be made.

  • Behavioral

    2. Give an example of your most challenging students and how you handled situations with them.

      How to Answer

      Every teacher knows challenging students will present themselves over time. The interviewer wants to see how you have handled these examples in the past, so they can see how you will work to deal with these things in the future. A play-by-play with specifics for best results is a quality answer here.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I had a student in my last school who pushed back to anything I was teaching him. He struggled in my class because he thought he did not need to be in ESL. I worked to ease the tension and prove to him this class would benefit him in the long run. Ultimately, I was patient with him and built trust over the year to give him quality tips and skills to make him a better English learner."

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "My most challenging student right now has limited English skills. With this difficulty to communicate, you can see it in her face that emotions get the best of her with the lack of language content. I have been able to work setting up a success plan with her. We talk through goals she wants to learn in English, and we are slowly working before and after school to make this happen. The student has become less and less challenging because of this."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Shane Reinhard

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Shane Reinhard Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfect way to engage the student! Continue connecting with her parents, couselor, and adminstration to have a whole team together to see her progression in the right direction.

  • Behavioral

    3. What modification do you do with students who are struggling behaviorally in your classroom?

      How to Answer

      Diversification is one of the best ways an interviewer can see if you are a qualified teacher or not. Talk through situations where you had modifications with a student to breed success. A plethora of examples can show the interviewer you have experience in this area.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "There are a few things I can try to diversify a student's learning who is struggling. Sometimes, moving a student refocuses them on the material. If poor behavior is still happening, I talk with them one-on-one to see how I can support them. Even asking the student if they are o.k. can diffuse any behavioral issues."

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

      Community Answer

      "I know not every teacher has this, but I have an aide that works in my class with me. The aide has built a repetorie with one of my difficult students. When they are struggling behaviorally, the aide takes them aside, works with them one-on-one, and then gets them back into engagement with the rest of the class."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Shane Reinhard

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Shane Reinhard Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is fantastic. If you do not have an aide, sometimes you can work out a solution by pairing them with another student they trust. Or maybe there is a student aide in your class who can be helpful, too.

  • Behavioral

    4. What communication do you have with parents when their child is not living up to expectations?

      How to Answer

      Protocols are things that interviewers want to see in a possible new hire. Go through a plan that you have to include parents in a student issue. A disorganized teacher with classroom protocols can get knocked down a peg if there is no preparation for a scenario like this in an interview.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. How do you work with troublesome students?

      How to Answer

      Troublesome students will present themselves at some point in time. The interviewer knows this, but they want to know what your philosophy is when handling the situation. Share how you work with the most common of troublesome individuals in your class.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Common

    6. Share one thing about yourself.

      How to Answer

      This question is an icebreaker of sorts. The interviewer wants to get a sense of your personality and likes in your life. Give them an answer that adds fulfillment to your life.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Common

    7. What do you like about this school?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see what kind of research you have done in the school. The answer to this question will prove if you care about a job at this school or not. Make sure that you have checked the school's website or connect with some teachers that have worked at the school to give you some perspective before the interview.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Common

    8. What keeps you motivated to teach during the day?

      How to Answer

      Teaching is not always easy. The interview knows this fact. But, what the interviewer does want to see is that you keep up the motivation throughout the day. Share any tricks and tips you have for a positive work environment with your students.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Common

    9. What are the best ways to motivate your students?

      How to Answer

      Since students are the reason a school is open, the interviewer wants to see what motivation strategies you use. Give prior knowledge and experiences that proved students stayed focus on the materials at hand.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Common

    10. How many years have you been an ESL educator?

      How to Answer

      Sure, you may have this information on your resume. But, here is where you can elaborate more on your experience. It is alright not to be humble here. Be proud of what you have experienced to excite the interviewer.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Common

    11. What questions do you have about this school?

      How to Answer

      This question's answer proves to the interviewer that you have a real buy-in for this job. Look through the school's website and write down questions beforehand that you could get more clarity.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    12. What certifications do you currently have in ESL?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to get a sense of your background credentials. Be specific about the ones you currently have. In turn, you can explain their importance to ESL teaching.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    13. What technology implementation do you use in your classes?

      How to Answer

      Technology is a part of the present and will continue to be in the future. The interviewer needs to see how you implement tech to enhance learning. There is a balance you will need to show in your answer here.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    14. How would you describe a strong teacher?

      How to Answer

      Many people can define this type of teacher as being someone who demands respect in the classroom, is superior, and is dominant in a class setting. This example does not always have to be the case. Speak of a time where a teacher was strong, even though they still have a soft heart for the students.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    15. What is the best teaching achievement you have experienced?

      How to Answer

      Give a personal example of teaching accolades, but you can also focus on a teacher/student success story. Being more specific is the best answer here. The interviewer wants to get to know you and see what matters to you in the profession.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    16. How would peers describe your teaching?

      How to Answer

      Many times, an interviewer does not know the interviewee. Share a part of yourself on how others view your teaching. Be honest and connect how you partner with these teachers. The interviewer wants to see how you will fit into their community.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    17. What makes an ESL classroom different from a traditional classroom?

      How to Answer

      The learning environment in a classroom with non-English speakers does look different from a regular classroom. With a variety of resources and teaching tools, new language learning needs support. This question's answer needs to give clarity to the interviewer if you can support ESL students or not. Giving examples of how you have done this before will help.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    18. What other languages do you speak fluently besides English?

      How to Answer

      The more languages you speak fluently, the better chance you will have of getting this job. You may still get the job if not, but explain what understanding you have of languages to paint the picture of your knowledge to the interviewer.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    19. What professional development has furthered your education to this point?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer always wants to see your developmental path. If you have done development over the years, an interviewer will see your commitment to the profession.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    20. Share one professional goal you want to achieve over your career.

      How to Answer

      Interviewers want to see that you are growing and improving yourself. Think through professional goals beforehand that could make you a better teacher and educator. Giving specifics is the best way to go.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    21. What is the best thing about teaching?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to get a sense of what excites you about teaching. A variety of reasons get a teacher into teaching in the first place. Give the interviewer a sneak peek into your background.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    22. In what ways do you modify lessons for ESL students who also have a learning disability?

      How to Answer

      Just like a traditional English learner, ESL students can have learning disabilities. For some, ESL students are in the class due to this fact. Share a typical lesson that could have some modifications to give more baby steps to help a student with a learning disability along in the right direction.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    23. Describe components that are imperative for a lesson plan.

      How to Answer

      Some components need to be shared to prove that you know what you are doing when teaching ESL. Go through a traditional plan that gives students the best opportunities for a bright future. The interviewer needs to grasp how you put your lessons together for this question.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    24. How accessible is your curriculum for ESL students?

      How to Answer

      Not every student learns the same. An interviewer wants to see how you diversify what you do to give some students' extra resources if they are in need. Dive into different language levels in your class and how you use varying materials to help with personal learning.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    25. What kind of homework do you give to ESL students?

      How to Answer

      There is a time and place for homework. But, there are some teachers out there that give homework with no reasoning. Prove your homework's worth. Share what a typical week looks like for you involving extra work.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    26. Describe your teaching philosophy on a day-to-day basis.

      How to Answer

      Giving the interviewer how your class works every day will assure peace of mind when hiring you. Be specific in what things matter most to you, so the interviewer understanding who you are and why the way you are as a teacher.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    27. If you find out that a class will lose 15 minutes last minute, how do you adapt to the situation?

      How to Answer

      Teaching can change on a dime. A seasoned teacher has to adapt to various situations. It is easy to get frustrated, but an interviewer wants to see how you modify lessons in tight windows of time.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    28. What is your approach to developing an assessment?

      How to Answer

      Creating quality assessments give the interviewer an idea of the experience you have. Through assessment development, show the types of assessment you have used to allow students the best chance to thrive.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    29. Give an example of progress monitoring in your ESL class.

      How to Answer

      Finding ways for your students to succeed is what the interviewer wants to see. Express the kind of software, methods, tools, and other resources you use to track any progress.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    30. What do you do to communicate with ESL students' families?

      How to Answer

      Planning out how to get family members and parents involved with what their student is doing in school is essential. Interviewers want to see how you showcase communication skills, even if they do not speak English.

      Written by Shane Reinhard on February 15th, 2021

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