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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.
Question 1 of 33
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?
View Answer
How to Answer
The interviewer would like to know if you have experience teaching students who have special learning needs. Show that you are willing and able to accommodate the needs of your students. Give a specific example, if you can.
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Top 30 High School Teacher Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
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?
The interviewer would like to know if you have experience teaching students who have special learning needs. Show that you are willing and able to accommodate the needs of your students. Give a specific example, if you can.

Rachelle's Answer
"Yes, I currently have a student in my class who is hearing impaired. For that class, I have special slides to go with each lesson so that he can follow along easily. I have found this to be helpful for other students who have specific cognitive challenges as well. As a teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to happily and readily accommodate my students."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, in both of my practicums there were several students with different exceptionalities. All students need to be given equal opportunities to thrive regardless of their disabilities. So, in order to do that, I tailored all of my lessons to accommodate their specific needs. For example, I made sure that a laptop was given to a student who had a mild learning disability so he can access some useful tools to help him such as speech-to-text. I also had to be more organized and prepared so I had to review all my lessons beforehand to ensure that students with special needs are accommodated for according to their IEP or learning plan."
Rachelle's Answer
Very thorough answer that shows a great deal of care and organization. Well done!
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2.
Which subject do you most enjoy teaching?
The interviewer would like to know which subjects excite you! Whether you love teaching math, or have a penchant for the arts, show the interviewer that you have a true passion for your craft. There is no right or wrong answer here but be sure to avoid speaking poorly of a certain subject, especially if you may be asked to teach that curriculum down the road.

Rachelle's Answer
"I enjoy a wide range of subjects; however, my favorite subject to teach is Chemistry. I like that it's so hands on, and the knowledge can be applied to many other areas of science and even math."
Anonymous Answer
"I enjoy teaching business and accounting because I have expertise in that area as I used work as an accountant for a corporation for over ten years. However, I like working with students in any subject area because I am passionate about teaching and mentoring young people. Also, I believe in life-long learning so that any subject would be an interest to me."
Rachelle's Answer
Your response does an excellent job showcasing your genuine interests without pigeonholing you into a specific area. Good answer!
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3.
How would you handle a student being disruptive in the classroom?
The interviewer would like to know more about your style when it comes to corrective discipline in the classroom. As a High School teacher you will come across students who are challenging, or push your limits. That's a given! Show that you can handle the situation professionally and in a way that demands the respect of your students.

Rachelle's Answer
"As a High School teacher, I have had my fair share of experience with disruptive students. Because I am teaching teenagers, and not children, my philosophy is to treat them the same as an adult. I will let them know that they are being disruptive and will give the student the option of ending the disruption, or leaving the classroom."
Anonymous Answer
"From my experience, I have used simple techniques such as eye contact, proximity, and reminders about my classroom rules. However, if these techniques are not productive, I would take the student aside, talk to him/her to find out why they are disruptive. I will remind them that it will not be tolerated as it will affect other students. Even, I would speak to their other teachers to see if it is a problem in their class as well. I may contact parents as well to inform this issue."
Rachelle's Answer
These are all excellent steps and potential solutions. Great response!
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4.
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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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 is your teaching philosophy?
According to the University of Minnesota, a teaching philosophy is a self-reflective statement of your beliefs about teaching and learning. It should also discuss how you put your beliefs into practice by including concrete examples of what you do or anticipate doing in the classroom. Every teacher, you should have a base philosophy that drives and motivates them every day. Talk to the interviewer about your philosophy on teaching. It's best to write this out and memorize it- similar to how a sales person would have an elevator pitch.
Anonymous Answer
"My teaching philosophy is that every student can learn a specific expectation or skill. However, the means of how they go about to attain this knowledge may vary from student to student. A teacher must know their students in terms of their learning styles, strengths, and challenges."
Rachelle's Answer
Your teaching philosophy comes from a genuine place, which the interviewer will be able to see right away. Great response!
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7.
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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8.
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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9.
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?
Are you willing to earn your way up if the interviewer does not want to offer you top compensation? Discuss with the interviewer what you would expect for compensation if you were offered this position.

Rachelle's Answer
"I would be happy to earn my way to the top compensation level, if required. I do assure you that, despite my being shy of experience by a couple of years, I am a top performer and you would not be disappointed in my performance."
Anonymous Answer
"Yes, because I consider the experience to be more valuable and an asset to my future opportunities in teaching."
Rachelle's Answer
The way you framed this response is excellent.
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10.
Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.
The interviewer would like to get to know you apart from what is written on your resume. You are certainly not obligated to discuss personal matters such as your kids, or relationship status, for instance. Stick with a couple of fun facts to show the interviewer that you are a real person, too. Your answer should be unique so that you are a memorable candidate!

Focus on special non-work related skills or hobbies. For example, you might share that you enjoy beat-boxing or making origami swans. Be prepared for the interviewer to stop you and ask you to perform your skill on the spot when its possible! (This will make you unforgettable!)

Rachelle's Answer
"I am an avid marathon runner and have traveled to 10 countries in the last 8 years to compete in a variety of races. I am a competitive individual and enjoy keeping fit."
Anonymous Answer
"I love cooking. My husband and I own a restaurant together, which shows that we are passionate about what we like."
Rachelle's Answer
The interviewer may ask more about your involvement in the restaurant, to ensure it wouldn't interfere from your teaching role. Other than being prepared for that type of response from the interviewer, this answer shows an interesting side of you!
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