The interviewer is looking for certain behaviors that could easily be found in any middle school classroom, and they want to get a gauge on how you view the behavior and manage the situation. Begin by providing an objective overview of the child, then share a specific example of a difficult situation as well as how you handled it. They will be looking for your desire and ability to navigate challenges and provide positive solutions for the school and the students.
Pro tip: do share the context of how you know and interact with the child, but do not share the child's name. Go a step further by drawing a distinction between the behavior and the child - the behavior is what is difficult.
"First, I'd like to make a distinction between the child and the behavior. I've dealt with a lot of difficult behavior out of many children, and I remind myself that difficult behavior in children can often result from something else. So, I try not to blur the lines between the child and the behavior, though I know sometimes that can be challenging! That said, one of my very first 6th-graders routinely exhibited difficult and disruptive behavior in the classroom. Nearly every day, he would try something that would taunt and distract other students in the class. One day, he pulled matches out of his bag and began trying to light them, then threw his full bookbag at the closest student who tried to stop him. Talk about a difficult situation! After any one of these incidents, he would prepare himself to go to the office or to detention, knowing that one of those options was inevitably his fate. Many people would likely write this student off as a 'lost cause,' and many of them did. When I saw how he prepared himself to go to the office, I knew there was more to it. I offered to go to the office with him if he felt more comfortable having me there, whether to simply be present or to help mediate. He was surprised to be offered help and support given the circumstances, and he took it. I realized that he had no choice but to internalize much of what other teachers and students had thought of him, and he was performing to the expectation. Since then, I've had an entirely different perspective on 'difficult children' and behavior."