MockQuestions

Middle School Teacher Interview Questions

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

Middle School Teacher was written by and published on November 21st, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Would you say that you are a tough teacher?

How to Answer

When faced with this question, you'll want to define what 'tough' means before elaborating. 'Tough' can have varying meanings and connotations for different people, so make sure that the interviewers are on the same page as you are. The interviewers are interested in discovering what 'tough' means to you and to what degree you deem tough to be useful.



Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

Next Question

30 Middle School Teacher Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Would you say that you are a tough teacher?

      How to Answer

      When faced with this question, you'll want to define what 'tough' means before elaborating. 'Tough' can have varying meanings and connotations for different people, so make sure that the interviewers are on the same page as you are. The interviewers are interested in discovering what 'tough' means to you and to what degree you deem tough to be useful.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "Well, first I'd like to define what I believe 'tough' to be in the context of teaching. When I think of a 'tough' teacher, I think of one that sets clear boundaries and doesn't bend them. I think of a teacher that might be fun and lighthearted but doesn't allow that to interfere with instruction and learning. I would say that I am tough-adjacent. I believe in boundaries and setting high standards for my students to rise to, and I also believe in the need for contextual adaptation and flexibility. For example, if my students have been working really hard and just completed a lengthy standardized test, then I would encourage them to take a 'brain break' to re-charge prior to jumping back into the material."

      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

  • 2. How would you describe your teaching style?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is interested in understanding not only how you teach, but how you might handle group dynamics in a classroom setting. Use this opportunity to share what teaching methods are most natural for you and how you adapt your approach in a dynamic environment.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "My teaching style follows the 'Warm/Strict' methodology in that I maintain a consistent balance of kind, empathetic approachability with firm and predictable boundaries. I believe that young learners thrive best in an environment that meets them where they're at while stillguaranteeing reliable structure and routine."

      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Community Answer

      "I like to take on a facilitator role as a teacher. I carefully chose tasks that I believe will engage students and lead to meaningful discussion while also meeting our content goals which allow them to discover their own learning. As a facilitator, I ask carefully chosen questions to assess their understanding and also to help advance them to their goal or toward a deeper understanding of the concepts. Finally, I build student confidence by giving students an opportunity to display their mathematical competence to their peers in a safe environment."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a very thoughtful response. It's clear that you've given thought to your teaching style and how you can use your own strengths to benefit your students The specific examples that you provided were helpful in painting a clear picture of how you lead as an educator.

  • 3. What was the most difficult child you have ever dealt with?

      How to Answer

      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.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Community Answer

      "I had a student who I was teaching in Year 7 last school year, while he wasn't the top student in the class, he was usually engaged and willing to learn. But when we returned from our winter break, he started displaying difficult behaviors. He was often disruptive in class and when he wasn't disruptive, he was usually disengaged and would even try to sleep in class. He also had some more serious infractions outside of the classroom such as the destruction of school property. I tried to keep him engaged by giving him tasks to do to contribute to the class (for example, writing ideas the class brainstormed on the board). Then, when I had a chance to talk with him about what was going on, I found out his parents had left town and he had been left to stay with a family friend. It seemed he was feeling abandoned by his parents and over the next month I tried to give him extra attention through positive reinforcement. I also talked to some of his other teachers who were experiencing similar changes in his behavior and we communicated with his mom about the negative changes we had seen and how he seemed to be acting out while they were gone. Since returning, his parents have become more involved in his education and his behavior has also improved."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Stephanie Cafaro

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Stephanie Cafaro Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a wonderful example! You do a great job of focusing on the negative behaviors and separating those behaviors from the student as an individual; you also make it clear how much you care by showing compassion to his difficult home situation and working on positive reinforcement. This young person is lucky to have such a caring adult in his life, behaviors aside.

  • 4. What does a model classroom look like to you?

      How to Answer

      More and more schools and teachers are beginning to re-think how they structure their classrooms to better align with youth development stages and maximize learning potential. That said, not all schools are on board with the changing environment. Do your research on the school to help frame your answer, or feel free to engage with the question more by asking about their own environment.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 5. How do you manage students with different reading abilities?

      How to Answer

      Every classroom is bound to have students with a variety of skill levels and challenges, particularly in reading. The interviewer is looking for ways you ensure that all levels are supported at the same time, which can be tricky! Don't be afraid to point out the difficulty in this as long as you express the importance of 'meeting students where they're at' and creating unique goals based on the needs of the student. This can be applied to any number of school subjects.



      Pro tip: reference the 'Confidence/Competence' loop when answering this question. Note that supporting a student's confidence in a particular subject can carry just as great an impact as growing their competence.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 6. How would you react if a parent complained about your class?

      How to Answer

      It can be very difficult to please everyone at the same time, and middle school teachers and staff know this as well as anyone. This question prepares you for a very possible future circumstance and provides the interviewer insight as to how you view parent input and feedback. Note that 'complained' carries a negative connotation, so you'll want your answer to spin it in a positive and productive way.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 7. How do you engage parents in their child's learning?

      How to Answer

      One of the dilemma's schools and teachers often face is getting parents more hands-on in their child's learning and keeping them hands-on. The interviewers are looking for a candidate that recognizes the value of parent involvement and has innovative ways of drawing parents in.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 8. When do you typically find a need to connect with fellow teachers?

      How to Answer

      It can be easy for teachers to become siloed in their classrooms, and more schools and districts are looking to collaborative solutions that will encourage more connections between teachers. The interviewers are interested in learning how open you are to connecting with other teachers and what motivates those connections. Consider framing how you want and enjoy connecting with fellow teachers, then address when you 'need' to connect.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 9. How do you feel about supporting various roles at school?

      How to Answer

      School teachers are often needed to support in additional roles around the building, such as lunch/recess supervisor, pick-up and drop-off monitor, and after school safety point. Some schools might need teachers to support in more capacities than others. Your interviewers are likely looking for a collaborative individual who might be open and interested in supporting the school beyond the classroom alone.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 10. How do you cater to different learning styles in your classroom?

      How to Answer

      Students absorb information in a number of ways, so your interviewers are looking for whether or not you accommodate for varying learning styles in your classroom environment, lesson plans, and instruction. There are many 'learning styles' - some of the most well-known include: visual, aural, verbal, and kinesthetic.



      Pro tip: make your response personal by touching on your own learning style and how it might vary by environment.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 11. Have you taught classrooms with bilingual students? If so, how have you supported them in their learning?

      How to Answer

      Some schools offer additional assistance for bilingual students beyond the classroom teachers, but not all. When working with bilingual students, teachers must be mindful of the fluency levels of their students and adjust their instructional volume, tone, and pace to allow all of the students to follow. Beyond the classroom, bilingual families might need support with communication that is sent home, school meetings, or even helping their kids with their homework. The interviewer is interested in whether or not you are aware of these nuances and will provide the students and families the considerations and support that they might need.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 12. How do you make learning fun?

      How to Answer

      Every teacher has a different way of engaging students and making content more enjoyable to digest. The interviewers want to know that you balance content with creativity when it comes to delivering a concept to your students. Consider how you make learning fun and engaging in structured - and unstructured - ways.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 13. How do you develop self-esteem within students?

      How to Answer

      At the middle school age, youth are navigating a lot of change - new schools, new teachers, new social pressures, and so much more. Middle school teachers have to be cognizant of what their students are going through and provide them with tools and support to navigate the change. Confidence and self-esteem play a huge role in their development and ability to learn in and out of the classroom. The interviewers want to make sure that you have this in mind as you approach your students and planning, particularly as social-emotional learning becomes further integrated into the current learning curriculum. Consider how you might help to build confidence and self-esteem in students that are transferable to other areas of their lives.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 14. What has been the most challenging thing about teaching for you so far?

      How to Answer

      When you plan for this answer, avoid pulling yourself into a response that might indicate a lack of education or experience, such as challenges with behavior management or keeping up with the curriculum. Instead, think to an honest answer for you that can be relatable for a teacher or interviewer of any experience level.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 15. What book best describes you and why?

      How to Answer

      This question is just unexpected enough to be intentionally disarming. The interviewers are digging to learn a bit more about who you are as a person, and an unexpected question will hopefully lead to an honest and interesting answer. Be prepared for some sort of 'unexpected' question, particularly because they can be used to see how well and how quickly you adapt and respond. Be sure to pick a book that you know well, not just a book that you think might sound good. The last thing you want is to accidentally choose a book that has a meaning you aren't aware of! Draw connections to keep the meaning from being misconstrued.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 16. Why are you a good fit for this job and our school district?

      How to Answer

      This is a great opportunity to demonstrate how much you've done your research on the school and the district and for you to directly correlate your skills and experience. To prepare for this question, check out the school's website, the district's website, and other publicly available resources. Review several years of data for information such as: how do stats on the school compare with the district? how do stats on the district compare with the state/nation? are there elements within the data that pertain to your passions or experience, such as social-emotional learning or a specific subject area?



      When answering, try to hit these key points:

      - A quick run-down of your resume, including relevant experience and education.

      - School/district facts to demonstrate how well you understand the educational environment.

      - Your motivation and passion to contribute to the school community.







      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 17. Do you want students to like you? Why or why not?

      How to Answer

      This question might come as a shock, but the interviewer is interested in getting a sense of your boundaries and whether or not you might take a more peer-like approach to student relationships. Of course, many teachers want their students to like them to a degree, and you probably do, too! Just make sure to emphasize that your primary goal and purpose is for students to learn and grow in your classroom.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 18. Are you actively involved in any type of community service?

      How to Answer

      Elements of philanthropy and learning to 'give back' are showing up more and more in schools, so be prepared to have some variation of this question. If you aren't currently involved in any sort of community service, then think about how else you might be able to contribute to this answer. Are you donating to a charity because your schedule is a bit too tight to donate your time? Were you involved in a service day several months ago that inspired you? Are you not involved now, but you are actively seeking out opportunities in certain industries?



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 19. What is the difference between a good teacher and an outstanding teacher?

      How to Answer

      When preparing for this question, consider teachers you've had throughout your life. Which teachers stand out as having been amazing? Which ones do you sometimes forget about, because they were good but not 'outstanding?' Outline a few of the qualities and practices of those teachers and identify commonalities.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 20. What type of student were you in middle school?

      How to Answer

      A question like this one is a lot of fun for interviewers because it offers some insight into the candidate and allows for fun anecdotes. The interviewer is interested in getting to know you better and allow you an opportunity to draw connections between who you were then and who you are now. Answer honestly, speak to how it relates to you coming full circle as a middle school teacher, and don't be afraid to add a little humor!



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 21. Are you a flexible person?

      How to Answer

      Teachers often have to navigate changing environments and unexpected circumstances, whether in their classroom, at pick-up and drop-off, or even in the entire district. The interviewers are interested in your adaptability and potential to be a team player, so consider sharing a couple of key examples that demonstrate this for you.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 22. Have you ever been a substitute teacher? Describe that experience.

      How to Answer

      Substitute teachers don't always know what to expect when they walk into a classroom, so they have to balance confidence, flexibility, and boundaries on the fly. It can be known to be a difficult position, and the interviewer is interested in your ability to navigate complicated classroom circumstances.



      Pro tip: you might go a step further and add that you are very intentional about setting substitute teachers up for success with a well-outlined lesson plan. This will show that you are aware of how difficult subbing can be, and you plan ahead to ensure that every day in your classroom is valuable - even when you aren't there.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 23. What part of teaching do you look the most forward to?

      How to Answer

      This question is intentionally broad, which allows you plenty of room to make it your own. Your response can be big, like 'helping to grow the minds of the next generation of leaders,' or small, like 'high-fiving my students each morning.' Whichever is true for you will make for a great answer so long as you demonstrate genuine enthusiasm and joy with your response. The interviewers are looking for a candidate with true joy and passion for teaching as well as what motivates you.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 24. What is the last book you read? When did you read it?

      How to Answer

      Be honest. It sounds a lot more interesting and compelling to hear someone explain an unexpected response, like a children's book or how to crochet a dog sweater, because you have room for a creative - and memorable - story. Don't feel like you need to respond with something likely found on the school's reading list if it isn't true or of interest to you. They want some insight into your interests and how you might be able to show your students that reading practice at home is valuable regardless of the content.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 25. Describe a time you navigated disruptive behavior in the classroom.

      How to Answer

      This question encompasses a few things: thinking on your feet, diffusing conflict, and facilitating a resolution. The interviewers are looking for the candidate's ability to be aware of these layers as well as what strategies they use to successfully support the students and resolve the situation. To answer this question, it can be helpful to share context prior to diving in to describe the behavior. Did students miss recess and have a lot of pent-up energy? Was there a fight at lunch? Set the scene, share the behavior, and then go into the steps of identifying, diffusing, and resolving.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 26. Name three of your weaknesses.

      How to Answer

      This question offers a chance to spin your answers into 'strengths' or growth opportunities. The interviewers will want to hear honesty in how you respond, and they're also looking to see what you chose to highlight as a weakness as well as how you frame each one. Consider 'weaknesses' that can be perceived as having useful or relatable qualities to keep a positive image in their minds.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 27. Name three words that describe you.

      How to Answer

      Consider a balance of personality traits and qualities that describe your work ethic. If you can pick words that balance both, then even better! They will be looking to gain some insight into who you are as an individual and how your personality might show through in your teaching and work style.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 28. What was the most useful college course you have taken?

      How to Answer

      With this question, you have a real opportunity to provide your interviewers with an unexpected response. While courses directly pertaining to education and youth development are certainly safe bets, you'll want to consider a less conventional response that allows you to share a story about personal growth or a learning experience that your own students might relate to. The interviewers aren't looking explicitly for what course taught you the most techniques on a certain subject, they are more interested in what that course taught you beyond the content alone.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 29. Why did you choose to become a middle school teacher?

      How to Answer

      The interviewers have likely heard a lot of the common reasons people become teachers, like 'loving to work with kids' or 'wanting to give back.' When answering this question, don't shy away from a common response if it is true for you! Make it memorable by elaborating on your answer by sharing an anecdote, a goal you have, or some personal connection you might have.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 30. What makes you qualified for this teaching position?

      How to Answer

      This is your opportunity to list any relevant education, certificates, and experience that relate to the position. Have a copy of your resume or a notebook with your qualifications listed for quick reference in case you forget something. If you're early in your teaching career, then lean into education and certifications and add any experience tutoring or working with youth. If you have several years of experience, then touch on your education and certifications and lean more heavily on your classroom experience.



      Written by Clara Canon on November 21st, 2019

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view