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High School Teacher Interview
Questions

33 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Education    
Question 1 of 33
What are you reading right now?
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How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know what you choose to read in your spare time. Do you feed your mind on a regular basis? What kind of literature do you prefer and why? Talk to the interviewer about a book that you are currently reading. If you are not currently reading a book - talk about one that has impacted you the most.
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1.
What are you reading right now?
The interviewer would like to know what you choose to read in your spare time. Do you feed your mind on a regular basis? What kind of literature do you prefer and why? Talk to the interviewer about a book that you are currently reading. If you are not currently reading a book - talk about one that has impacted you the most.

Rachelle's Answer
"Currently I am reading 'Ego is the Enemy' by Ryan Holiday. It is a book about ambition, resilience and success. I feel that every professional should read it - it comes highly recommended."
Anonymous Answer
"I am reading the best selling book called "Becoming" by Michelle Obama. She is very inspirational and a role model. I also read Business News, World News, and of course Sports. I think as teachers we must be well rounded to have a positive rapport with students and colleagues."
Rachelle's Answer
Great job showing a wide range of interests. This answer will allow the interviewer to get to know you a little bit better.
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2.
How do you prepare students for standardized assessments?
The interviewer would like to know that you are able to properly prepare your students for standardized testing. Briefly talk about the ways that you help prepare your students for these tests.

Rachelle's Answer
"There are a few significant ways that I help my students prepare for their standardized tests. I first make sure that my daily lesson plans align well with what they will be asked in the tests. I will also help students with their test-taking strategy if they need it. Some students stress around the idea of standardized testing so I try to alleviate that as much as possible by offering practice tests on a regular basis."
3.
What types of activities keep you busy, outside of work?
The interviewer would like to know what keeps you busy outside of the workplace. Having hobbies and interests outside of work is a very important part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Talk to the interviewer about the activities that interest you outside of the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer
"I have a variety of hobbies that keep me busy outside of work hours. First, I have 2 children who are involved in basketball and gymnastics. I also play on a baseball beer league, I volunteer at our community church and like to read."
Anonymous Answer
"I enjoy an active lifestyle, so I spend most of my time doing physical exercise, meditation, and yoga. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, I can relieve some stress and maintain good mental health and overall wellbeing."
Rachelle's Answer
Very good answer! A healthy lifestyle is certainly a huge aspect to a good balance at work.
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4.
How do you deal with distracting coworkers who stand in the way of your productivity?
Even the most well-meaning coworkers can distract you from getting things done at work from time to time. Let's be honest, the funny and entertaining coworkers who like to chat online and send YouTube videos are often the ones who can get in the way of your productivity if you let them. How do you respond? Show off your ability to set professional boundaries, when needed.

Rachelle's Answer
"I typically just set a kind, but clear, boundary and tell my coworker that I really need to focus. I will offer an alternate time for a catch up, over lunch for example. It is important for the sake of workplace culture to set aside time to be social with coworkers, so I usually just let them know when I'll be available for a quick break in the day."
Anonymous Answer
"Teaching is a very serious profession because we are given the authority to take control, educate and produce good citizens for this society. Moreover, the OCT outlined ethical principles such as respect, integrity, trust, and care. So, distracting co-workers is not acceptable and I would openly communicate to them that it is affecting my productivity, so it needs to stop."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you take your job very seriously! Depending on the personality of the interviewer you may want to lighten it up a bit and portray a friendlier air of communication.
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5.
What qualities do you believe make an excellent teacher?
List for the interviewer some of the qualities that you feel are most important for a High School teacher to possess. Be sure to tie in the fact that you personally possess these qualities!

Some great qualities could be:

- Passion
- Concern for kids
- Determined and persistent
- Confident
- A confidante
- Flexible
- Organized
- Committed to professional development
- Diligent
- Collaborative

Rachelle's Answer
"I believe that an excellent teacher should be a strong listener, and have the ability to flexible, and versatile in their day. I believe that I possess these qualities and am also highly approachable. My students can come to me for anything, and that's very important."
Anonymous Answer
"An excellent teacher would be someone who is self-disciplined, knowledgeable, and willing to be a life-long learner. The ultimate goal of a teacher is to be a good leader and be able to adapt their lessons to accommodate and engage all the students so they all can succeed."
Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic, insightful response. This answer is great! Be sure to let the interviewer know that you have or strive to have these qualities, too.
"An excellent teacher would be someone who is self-disciplined, knowledgeable, and willing to be a life-long learner. The ultimate goal of a teacher is to be a good leader and be able to adapt their lessons to accommodate and engage all the students so they all can succeed. These are qualities that I possess, and work on improving every day, as an educator."
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6.
What motivates you?
Typically, employees are motivated by environments where they feel supported and encouraged. The interviewer wants to know how they could motivate you - even on the toughest of days! Be open with the interviewer about the ways you can stay motivated on the job, even when the going gets tough.

Rachelle's Answer
"It does not take a lot to keep me motivated. If I work in a positive environment with a forward-thinking team, I am a very happy employee. If you see me going above and beyond, a quick thanks or small recognition of my hard work is good enough for me."
Anonymous Answer
"It makes me happy when I know I make a difference in ones' life. For example, I offer extra help during my lunches and after school so my students get an opportunity to clarify questions or struggles they may encounter. By doing this, their test scores were higher, and they were more confident in their studies."
Rachelle's Answer
This answer shows that you really care about your students and their success. Great response!
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7.
How do you earn the respect of your students?
The interviewer would like to know how you go about earning the respect of your students. As a High School teacher you must be able to command presence in the classroom while also being a mentor-type that your students feel they can easily approach with questions and other education related needs. Discuss a bit about your work personality, teaching style, and how your students respond to you.

Rachelle's Answer
"I truly believe that respect needs to be earned, and not demanded. I earn the respect of my students by becoming invested in their education, their performance, and their needs. I make myself approachable and am open to feedback."
Anonymous Answer
"I would earn the respect of my students by my dedication and hard work. Also, be genuine because students can detect when teachers are not authentic."
Rachelle's Answer
Good! Try re-framing your answer so that it is more about what you do and less about what other teachers do/don't do. I have provided a sample, below.
"I earn the respect of my students by showing them my dedication and hard work. I am genuine with my students, which they appreciate."
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8.
Tell me about a time that another teacher has influenced you.
The interviewer wants to see that you are able to be positively influenced by fellow co-workers and professionals. Show that you are open to assistance, and feedback, when needed. Your real life example can be kept simple! Perhaps a coworker helped you to multitask better during finals, when you were feeling overwhelmed. Maybe their teaching style inspired you. Or, perhaps they gave you great advice on how to handle a student with behavioural concerns.

Rachelle's Answer
"When I first started teaching, I was mentored by a more seasoned educator. She taught me how to prioritize my work better, and how to keep consistency with my grading. It helped me in my career immensely!"
Anonymous Answer
"There are many teachers that I worked with that showed a positive influence and I looked up to them. For example, some teachers arrive on the bell, and some arrive two hours early every single day. Those are the teachers that are prepared and care about students. I want to be one of them."
Rachelle's Answer
Your aspirations are very clear, and the interviewer will be happy to hear that you want to be a teacher that goes the extra mile.
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9.
How often do you send your students with homework? What is your philosophy on homework?
The interviewer wants to know your practices surrounding the amount of homework you send your students home with. It's a hot topic between educators, students, and parents! Share your thoughts but try not to pigeon hole yourself into one answer (IE: Avoid saying, "I NEVER give homework").

Rachelle's Answer
"I NEVER give homework"
Anonymous Answer
"Learning is on-going, and I give homework at least 3-4 times a week. It doesn't always have to be a heavy load but something to practice new concepts, so they get better at it making them more prepared during tests."
Rachelle's Answer
Good answer, and well supported.
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10.
Why are you the best teacher for us?
Bragging about yourself in an interview can be really tough to do but this is your time to shine! Which characteristics and career accomplishments have made you a stand-out candidate? Perhaps you have received some academic awards or have been given special accolades in your most recent position. There is nobody like you and now you need to express that to the interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer
"I am the best teacher for you because I have a consistent history of excelling in my previous teaching roles. I have been nominated and awarded Teacher of the Year for five consecutive years. In addition to these successes, I have a strong ability to make fast and effective relationships with my students."
Anonymous Answer
"I am the best teacher because of my own unique experiences. I learned a lot from my mistakes which made me a better person. I don't fear failures because I am resilient and have confidence in myself to shine back up. I am dedicated, and I bring a lot of real-time experience from my previous accounting profession to the teaching realm, which is an asset to help students learn in a meaningful way."
Rachelle's Answer
It's great that you mentioned the benefits of your dual career. Also, showing students that it's okay to fail and learn, is a nice approach.
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11.
Have you ever received an award or special workplace accolade?
Be sure to add any special awards and accolades on your resume! If you do have these listed on your resume, the interviewer is asking for you to elaborate on the information you have provided. Briefly review any award, what the circumstances were surrounding your nomination, and end with discussing what it meant to you.

Rachelle's Answer
"I received the 'Teacher of the Year' award at my current school, last year. Nominations were by the student body as well as the faculty. When I won the award it was such a boost to my confidence! I know that my work is appreciated and my efforts are noticed. It was really special to me."
Anonymous Answer
"I have received the Business award in Grade 12. Then I had rough university years, however, I managed to graduate and then I post-graduate studies in accounting, which helped me land a good job."
Rachelle's Answer
Mentioning your business award is great! Avoid putting a damper on your positive answer by discussing your rough years. It just causes more questions than anything. I have revamped your answer slightly, below.
"Yes! I was proud to have received the business award in Grade 12 for my efforts in ."
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12.
When have you had to lead by example?
The interviewer wants to know that you are aware of the need to always lead by example.

"All the time!" As a leader, your actions, decisions, and demeanour are always under some form of scrutiny. The most stressful workplace situations often surround change so it's a great idea to talk about a time when your organization went through a major change. Change can be very challenging for some people. Discuss how you accept change with a positive attitude.

Perhaps a new software system was being implemented. Maybe your company was being acquired. Perhaps a change occurred in your senior leadership. Talk about how easily your team could have leaned towards negativity by becoming unmotivated, or acting fearful of the change. Highlight that you have genuine excitement surrounding the possibilities that come with change and that this excitement rubs off on your team.

Rachelle's Answer
"All the time!"
Anonymous Answer
"In my previous job, there was a software change and my team was reluctant to use the new one. So, I suggested to stay after work and try to configure the application. I found some youtube videos that offered demonstrations on how to navigate this new software. In the end, my co-workers realized its more efficient than the previous software. The key is to understand that change is inevitable and sometimes is a good thing."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent example of taking the lead, and problem solving. Great response!
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13.
How do want your students to remember you?
At the end of the school year, or when your students graduate - how do you want them to remember you? As a High School teacher you have an excellent opportunity to be a positive influence on a younger generation. Keep your answer brief, and positive.

Rachelle's Answer
"I want my students to remember me as the teacher who listened to them and accommodated their learning style. My hope is that every student that I teach will look back and feel that they were accepted and given an opportunity to succeed."
Anonymous Answer
"I want my students to remember me as a passionate and dedicated teacher who cares about their students' success."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent! Again, another very genuine answer.
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14.
What interests you most when it comes to teaching at the High School level?
The interviewer would like to better understand what is motivating you to teach at the High School level. Give one strong example of why being a High School Teacher is an exciting career path for you. Discuss how this role will help you to feel fulfilled in your teaching career.

Rachelle's Answer
"What interests me most about teaching at the High School level is that I am able to make a direct impact on our next generation of leaders. The teen years are so critical and I love the idea that I can directly help form their thinking, improve their work ethic, and increase their self confidence."
Anonymous Answer
"I want to teach high school because I have expertise in accounting and business; I can utilize to mentor and educate students in a relevant manner. The constructivist approach in teaching explains that students learn better by "doing" than anything else. So, it is important to teach students real-world experience and knowledge so it resonates with them forever."
Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic answer that does a great job relaying your genuine interest in making an impact on students.
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15.
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

Rachelle's Answer
"I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My faculty will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open communicator, my coworkers and students will let me know if I need to clarify anything."
Anonymous Answer
"I would rate this skill 8 because I give a lot of importance to effective communication; teaching is a profession that solely relies on communication. For example, I need to communicate with students whether it is giving lessons or feedback; writing emails to parents or phone calls; keeping documentation regarding student achievements, assignments, behaviors; sending emails to other staff and colleagues is also important."
Rachelle's Answer
This rating is strong, and well supported. If possible, talk about what you are doing to further improve your communication skills.
"I would rate my communication skills an 8 because I give a lot of importance to effective communication and teaching is a profession that solely relies on communication. For example, I need to communicate with students whether it is giving lessons or feedback; writing emails to parents or phone calls; keeping documentations regarding student achievements, assignments, behaviors; sending emails to other staff and colleagues is also important. I continually aim to improve my communication skills by being open to feedback from my student, their parents, and my coworkers."
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33 High School Teacher Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. What are you reading right now?
  2. How do you prepare students for standardized assessments?
  3. What types of activities keep you busy, outside of work?
  4. How do you deal with distracting coworkers who stand in the way of your productivity?
  5. What qualities do you believe make an excellent teacher?
  6. What motivates you?
  7. How do you earn the respect of your students?
  8. Tell me about a time that another teacher has influenced you.
  9. How often do you send your students with homework? What is your philosophy on homework?
  10. Why are you the best teacher for us?
  11. Have you ever received an award or special workplace accolade?
  12. When have you had to lead by example?
  13. How do want your students to remember you?
  14. What interests you most when it comes to teaching at the High School level?
  15. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
  16. Tell me about your leadership qualities.
  17. How would you handle a student being disruptive in the classroom?
  18. Have you ever taught a class with special needs students, or students with a disability? If so, how did you adjust your teaching style or curriculum?
  19. Which subject do you most enjoy teaching?
  20. What is your teaching philosophy?
  21. We were initially looking for someone with 5 years' experience in a similar role. Considering you have just 2 years' experience, would you be willing to accept this position at a lower salary?
  22. Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.
  23. How do you handle stress on the job?
  24. What are your salary expectations?
  25. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
  26. Describe an ongoing problem at your current or former employer that you were able to overcome.
  27. Out of curiosity, what type of student were you in high school?
  28. What is your communication style with the parents of your students?
  29. In your opinion, what is the most rewarding part of being a teacher?
  30. You have been hired as the newest member of our teaching team. How would you first introduce yourself to a group of parents, students, and teachers from our school?
  31. Tell me about one of your own teachers that made an impact on you.
  32. What is the most challenging part of your job, as a teacher?
  33. What area of professional development are you currently focused on?
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