MockQuestions MockQuestions
Interviews Questions by Career
Interviews Questions by Company
Interviews Questions by Topic
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Special Education Teacher Interview
Questions

26 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 26
What do you believe, makes you effective at teaching special needs students?
View Answers
How to Answer
Talking highly about yourself can be difficult to do, but this is a question geared towards this. Answer to the best of your ability, also using an example of a time when you were recognized or rewarded for your good work as a special education teacher.
26 Special Education Teacher Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. What do you believe, makes you effective at teaching special needs students?
  2. How can you illustrate to me your dependability?
  3. What was your most difficult course in college?
  4. How do you handle yourself under stress?
  5. If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?
  6. What makes you stand out among other applicants?
  7. Why should we hire you?
  8. When did you make the decision to teach autistic students?
  9. What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good Teacher?
  10. Tell me about a stressful time in your life. How did you handle it?
  11. Have you ever had to calm a person down, what happened?
  12. How do you feel about working with students, that can sometimes be difficult due to their circumstance?
  13. Explain to me an IEP? What is the difference from an IEP and a CSE?
  14. What are your 2 weakest points?
  15. Who is your greatest role model?
  16. How would you describe your passion for teaching children?
  17. What do you know about our educational program?
  18. Do you have experience creating and maintaining documentation on your students?
  19. How will you work cooperatively with other faculty members in educating these students?
  20. When did you realize you wanted to be a special education teacher?
  21. To what specific area of special education are you most attracted and why?
  22. What are your 2 greatest strengths?
  23. How would friends describe you?
  24. What do you think you will most like about being a Special Educator?
  25. What exposures have you had in Teaching?
  26. Has their ever been an autistic or special needs child in your life that has inspired you?
15 Special Education Teacher Answer Examples with User Answers
1.
What do you believe, makes you effective at teaching special needs students?
Talking highly about yourself can be difficult to do, but this is a question geared towards this. Answer to the best of your ability, also using an example of a time when you were recognized or rewarded for your good work as a special education teacher.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have always been very strong in the area of exercising patience and coming up with creative ways to work with my students who struggle the most. Just last month, I was nominated by my peers for the "
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My colleagues have always remarked that I'm so patient, kind, and compassionate. My professors have always said that I'm a very clear and effective educator. So, put that together, and I think that I'm especially well suited to special needs students because these kinds of students need someone who's able to teach them at their own pace and using different ways that reach them individually."
2.
How can you illustrate to me your dependability?
This is a great time to give an example of a time you have been recognized or complimented on your dependability.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current role I have had colleagues comment quite frequently that they are happy they can rely on me to be at work, complete what I say that I will, and fill in where necessary. I am a strong team player and will absolutely cover work for a colleague if asked. I also have perfect attendance in my current position."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The parents of my students know that I'm always available to them between 7 AM and 7PM on weekdays. I'm very consistent. If they call me at that time with any questions or concerns, I pick up immediately if I'm not in class. If I can address them within 5 minutes, I do so. Otherwise, I ask them to send me an email if it's not urgent. No matter what, I'll get back to them within 2 days. I consider it my personal duty to make sure the parents feel that they can depend on me because it's hard enough to raise a child with disabilities, they need a teacher who's responsive and caring."
Anonymous Answer
"Working at the daycare, I show up for work when needed and do my job. If someone is out that day, and the daycare is short on staff, I am always willing to fill in, if I'm not in class. Even though I switched to working only in the summer and Christmas break, my director knows she can depend on me to come back and help her out when needed."
Rachelle's Answer
It's very nice that your director can depend on you to fill in when needed, in addition to your already busy schedule! Perfect response.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
3.
What was your most difficult course in college?
This answer can be concise but it is best to give an example of a specific difficulty and what you did to overcome that difficulty.
Rachelle's Answer
"One of the most challenging courses for me while obtaining my degree was Statistics. Because I am more therapy and behavioural based by nature, it was difficult for me to fully embrace the factual parts of this course. I did find a tutor for that class and was able to pass it with a good grade."
4.
How do you handle yourself under stress?
This is a great time to give an example of a time when you overcame a very stressful situation.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"A couple of months ago we had a situation where one student had a complete breakdown in class. I was able to remain calm by following our program's protocol and taking the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the student and everyone in the classroom. I am generally quite good under pressure and even better when I feel well equipped to manage the situation."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"When I feel my heart racing and my shoulders hunching, I know that I'm stressed and I tell myself to take a deep breath. Then, the first chance I get, I stretch my arms and legs out as far out as I can and think about a small treat that I'll let myself have once I get out of work. I picture it in my mind and smile. I take another deep breath and then I get through the rest of my day with a smile, knowing that whatever happens, I'll have that treat waiting for me."
Anonymous Answer
"I take a deep breath and pause for a second when I'm dealing with stress. If I can, I walk away for a few minutes to clear my head. If I can't take a break from the situation, I just remind myself to breathe and think about the overall picture and how everything will work out in the end. I had to do this many times during college."
Rachelle's Answer
It sounds like you are level headed, for sure! When it came to managing stress in college, feel free to elaborate on the situations you were in and the methods you used to cope with.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
5.
If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?
Even though this question has the ability to create a somewhat negative tone, you can still answer it in a positive way.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I first started my career, I wasn't as focused on a speciality and ended up spending a lot of time working with students who had more low-incidence disabilities. I wish I had been introduced to more specific work, with individuals affected by Autism, sooner in my career."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I would've focused on special education much earlier. When I first started my education, I only knew that I wanted to teach, but I didn't know what population was most suited to me yet. Now that I know that special education is what I enjoy the most, if I could go back, I'd specialize in that from the beginning."
6.
What makes you stand out among other applicants?
When answering this question, be sure to draw on your special skills, interests and training that others may not have. What makes you unique?
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe I stand out among other applicants because I have taken additional training in managing students with behavioural disorders. My experience so far has included work with a lot of students who are severely disabled and some with multiple challenges. Also, my passion is in true alignment with your program and I feel it would be a seamless move."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I think that I stand out through a combination of my character traits, my abilities, and my experiences. There are plenty of people who are compassionate, and plenty of people who have teaching certificates, just like I do. But not everyone has had the experience of building meaningful relationships with parents. I did that when I was working at Red Apple Education, because I genuinely care about my students, the families of my students, and the community that they live in. In fact, it got to the point where people were asking for me specifically, which made me very happy because it told me that I'm doing a really good job."
7.
Why should we hire you?
This is a great opportunity to tie in your skills and comment on the connection you feel with the program/school/facility. You can finish up by asking the interviewer if they have any concerns or objections.
Rachelle's Answer
"When I initially saw your job posting I began to research this facility. What I found was a group of people with a genuine passion for what they do. I know I would be a great compliment to your team because my interests are strongly aligned with your mission. I also bring the education, experience and background that you are looking for. Is there any reason why you feel that I would not be a fit?"
8.
When did you make the decision to teach autistic students?
This can be answered briefly by telling the interviewer about your first exposure working as a Special Education Teacher with autistic students.
Rachelle's Answer
"Working with autistic students wasn't always my area of focus. I was first exposed to it with school ABC and since then, it became my primary focus. I was passionate about it and did really well with that area of special education."
Anonymous Answer
"When my younger brother was diagnosed with Autism, I became interested in learning more about what Autism was, and this sparked my interest in special education."
Rachelle's Answer
You have a personal tie to being a special education teacher, which will further ensure that you will bring your best to work with you every day :)
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
9.
What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good Teacher?
This can be answered briefly. It is smart to also tie in qualities that you feel you possess.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that the most important qualities in being a good teacher are patience, genuine interest and attention to detail. The reason being is that if we are patient with our students and show that we are also engaged in their learning, they will be more driven to do the same."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that a good teacher is patient, has excellent communication skills, and has a wide range of teaching tools to draw from. I'm a very compassionate person and I do communicate well, but I do know that I have many more years to grow before I can be considered an expert. So I'm constantly learning more about pedagogical methods and reading about teaching."
Anonymous Answer
"I believe the most important qualities are developing a relationship with your students. You want students to know that you care, and they are loved. Showing you care about their interests makes them feel they are important and makes them excited about school. Another quality would be advocating for students, especially in special education."
Rachelle's Answer
Well said. If every teacher took this approach, school would be much warmer and welcoming for students :)
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
10.
Tell me about a stressful time in your life. How did you handle it?
This question is more geared to the personal side of your life. You will want to answer it honestly, still tie it in with your career, and not have a case of the "TMI's" (Too Much Information).
Rachelle's Answer
"TMI's"
11.
Have you ever had to calm a person down, what happened?
This is a good time to give an example. Be sure to talk about the outcome as well.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I recently had a student lose complete control of his emotions during class. I was able to calm him down by talking very gently and creating strong eye contact. This particular student will have outbursts from time to time so I am well versed on how to manage that type of situation. After class, I was sure to document the incident in his file and report it to my supervisor."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I had one student get very angry when we were going to the cafeteria to see a presentation. He refused to enter the cafeteria. So I had to figure out why he was so angry. I found out that he thought that we would be going to the auditorium, and that he was expecting to be in a dim room. So I got him a pair of little sunglasses. He watched the presentation and got along with everyone else happily."
Anonymous Answer
"My brother often has Autistic meltdowns as a result of anxiety. One time, he was on the verge of having a meltdown, beginning to lose control of his emotions. I calmly talked him through it, reminding him to breathe."
Rachelle's Answer
Your example does a nice job showcasing your ability to give sound advice when needed, and the interviewer will appreciate the personal touch you bring to your responses.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
12.
How do you feel about working with students, that can sometimes be difficult due to their circumstance?
You can answer this question using an example of a time when you were assigned an extraordinarily difficult classroom or specific student.
Rachelle's Answer
"Last year I had a student come in part way through the year. In addition to being diagnosed with autism, the student was also highly OCD. I spent a lot of my spare time doing research and reading case studies so that I could best be equipped if this student had an outburst in the classroom. I do appreciate the challenge this situation brought to me because it pushed me to further understand the needs of this unique student."
13.
Explain to me an IEP? What is the difference from an IEP and a CSE?
This can be answered more factually but you can also let the interviewer know if you have experience with both IEP an CSE.
Rachelle's Answer
"From my understanding, an IEP lays out the goals and objectives the child and school staff will work to achieve at school during the school year. A CSE is the initial step in determining whether a child is eligible for special education."
Anonymous Answer
"An IEP lays out the goals and objectives for the student to achieve. Using information from parents and teachers, as well as testing data, it maps out student's areas of weakness and outlines goals for them to achieve to overcome these weaknesses. CSE is the initial evaluation step."
Rachelle's Answer
Excellent answer! You so clearly define these acronyms. Well done!
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
14.
What are your 2 weakest points?
How you answer this could also determine where the interviewer would like to place you within the organization, or what areas of continued education/training they may require of you in the future. Again, even though this question has the ability to create a somewhat negative tone, you can still answer it in a positive way. Show that you are making steps towards improvement as well. Interviewers do not want to hear "I care too much." or "I work too hard." They want a genuine answer.
Rachelle's Answer #1
"I care too much."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I think that I could be a little more organized and that I can balance my work and my life better. I tend to get very focused on the day-to-day work, and I lose sight of the bigger picture. So now, at the end of the the work day, I write down a list of things that I accomplished and what I'll do the next day. That way I can focus on my personal life once I leave work, which refreshes me for the next workday."
15.
Who is your greatest role model?
Take time to prepare yourself for this question. Who is your mentor? What type of role models have you had in your life? Your reply should include why or how this role model helped you direct your career to Special Education.
Rachelle's Answer
"My greatest role model has been my father. He is a therapist and, growing up, I would see how much pride he took in his work and the joy it brought him to know that he was making a difference in people's emotional lives. This always inspired me to follow a career where kindness was a valued attribute."
Anonymous Answer
"My greatest role model has been my grandmother. She has always taught me to find what I'm passionate about and work towards a career in that area. She encourages me never to give up and is always there for advice when I need her."
Rachelle's Answer
Your grandmother sounds like a positive influence, indeed! It's great to have role models like this - nice response.
Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
View All 26 Special Education Teacher Questions and Answers
Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Q&As,
plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Disclaimer
Our interview questions and answers are created by experienced recruiters and interviewers. These questions and answers do not represent any organization, school, or company on our site. Interview questions and answer examples and any other content may be used else where on the site. We do not claim our questions will be asked in any interview you may have. Our goal is to create interview questions and answers that will best prepare you for your interview, and that means we do not want you to memorize our answers. You must create your own answers, and be prepared for any interview question in any interview.