Prepare for Typical Teacher
Job Interview Questions

Teacher job interview questions will explore your personal motivation, your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher and whether you demonstrate the right personal qualities for teaching.

Green educational background with teacher icons and text

Find out how to develop your own excellent answers to these frequently asked teaching interview questions.

  • motivation is key to successful performance as a teacher - expect  questions that evaluate your motivation and enthusiasm for the job.
  • what do you consider to be your strengths as a teacher and your areas for improvement?
  • your goals as a teaching professional will also be explored.

8 Essential Teacher Job Interview Questions

Use the interview answer guidelines to formulate your own job-winning answers.

1. Tell me about a teacher who has inspired you and what did you learn from him or her?

Teacher job interview questions like this are designed to explore your values and motivation.

  • Be prepared to provide examples of how their behavior and teachings have helped inspire your style of teaching.
  • How have you tried to put what you learned from him or her into practice in your classroom? 

Prepare an answer which highlights qualities that would be valuable in the teaching position you are interviewing for.

2. How do you evaluate the success of your teaching?

No teacher is perfect and everyone has room for improvement. Evaluation is the means by which we try to identify which aspects of our teaching are good and which need to be changed. Provide specific methods of self assessment that you use.

An example is keeping a journal in which you reflect on your lessons and highlight positives and negatives. This helps you to build on your successes and improve where necessary. Formal student feedback sessions, test results and outside observers are other methods.

Be aware of your strengths and areas for improvement as a teacher. Refer to this list of strengths and weaknesses

3. What are your personal and professional goals?

Schools are looking for teachers who are learners themselves. Discuss your goals as they relate to self improvement in the teaching context and how they translate into benefits for the students, the school and the community.

Think about this carefully before the interview so that you can easily articulate your goals when asked.

Include evidence of any professional development activities in your teacher portfolio

4. What qualities do you look for in a principal?

Teacher job interview questions about what you consider to be a successful principal are trying to assess which traits you value most as a teacher and your understanding of what makes an effective principal.

Focus on leadership attributes such as:

  • having a vision and clear sense of purpose
  • planning and motivating
  • communication and visibility
  • consistency and accountability
  • nurturing and developing staff and students

Leadership Traits

5. What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing the teaching profession?

This question explores whether you keep current on educational issues and policies and your ability to look at the big picture.

Refer to policies such as the inclusion of students with special needs into general education classrooms now considered as appropriate practice.

Other current issues facing educators include:

  • providing an equitable education to all students as public schools become increasingly diverse
  • raising levels of education in thinking and basic skills

Discuss how you personally are attempting to meet these challenges.

Expect interview questions that explore the personal attributes you have that make you a good educator.

6. What do you feel about team teaching?

This teaching interview question is asked to discover whether you are flexible and your attitude to team work. Focus on the positive aspects of team teaching such as:

  • its value in teaching large student groups
  • the facilitation of collaboration and sharing of ideas

Refer to positive team teaching experiences you have had. If you have no actual team teaching experience you can discuss any team or group work you have been involved in and the positive results that transpired.

Show that you have done some reading on the subject and have an understanding of the concept.

Teacher interview strengths and weaknesses question

This teacher interview question is typically asked to determine your self awareness and insight.  It is essential to be well prepared for this question so that you can answer comfortably and with confidence.

What are your greatest strengths as a teacher?

Relate your strengths to what this position is looking for in a teacher. Highlight your value to the school district. Use your background research to align your strengths with what they need in a teacher. Back up your answer with specific examples such as lesson planning and organization, student motivation or technology integration.

These are the 5 top teacher strengths and how to present them in your interview answer:

1. Empathy

What this looks like in the classroom: able to engage and connect with students on an individual level, understands students' different needs and challenges, provides a supportive and nurturing learning environment, builds students' confidence.

2. Collaboration

What this looks like in the classroom: works effectively with colleagues, parents and other stakeholders to achieve the best learning outcomes, able to be flexible in filling different roles and taking on varied responsibilities.

3. Time management and organization

What this looks like in the classroom: creates an orderly and structured classroom environment, prepares lessons and materials in advance of instruction, manages resources effectively and maximizes classroom time.

4. Creativity

What this looks like in the classroom: uses innovative techniques to inspire and engage students, creates absorbing lessons, inspires curiosity and learning, fosters creativity in students.

5. Adaptability

What this looks like in the classroom: able to evaluate what is and is not working, able to modify and adapt lesson plans and teaching methods to meet the different needs of students, agile in responding to changing demands, adjusts expectations when necessary, keeps current on teaching trends.

Other common teacher strengths include technological skills, subject matter expertise, classroom experience, self reflection, continual professional development, energy and enthusiasm.

Go to What are your strengths for more help in answering teacher job interview questions about your strengths.

5 top teacher interview strengths

Image of teacher and blackboard with title 5 teacher interview strengths

What do you consider to be your weaknesses as a teacher?

Reflecting on a weakness indicates that you have the self awareness and insight to recognize an area for improvement. Discuss the steps you have taken to improve on your weakness.

5 typical teacher weaknesses and how to improve on the weakness:

1. Over-planning

How it presents: this can present as inflexibility and lack of spontaneity in the classroom.

How to improve: focus on creating an agile plan that can be adapted to changing demands and circumstances, anticipate potential changes and challenges to your lesson plans, reflect on previous experiences to identify where you have over-planned and modify your behavior accordingly.

2. Lack of subject matter expertise

How it presents: a teacher that is new to a subject may lack content knowledge.

How to improve: proactively engage in research and learning to expand your knowledge, seek out relevant resources to help you in presenting your subject and engaging your students.

3. Too self critical

How it presents: this presents as perfectionism, unrealistic expectations of oneself, unforgiving of mistakes one makes, comparing oneself to other teachers and placing excessive pressure on oneself.

How to improve: set realistic expectations for one's performance, recognize that teachers are human and everyone makes mistakes, focus on strengths and accomplishments rather than perceived shortcomings, challenge negative thoughts and engage in positive self talk.

4. Unassertive

How it presents: finds it hard to say no to colleagues and parents resulting in taking on too much work, finds it hard to enforce rules and set boundaries.

How to improve: assertiveness is a skill that can be developed with practice. Steps to take include setting firm boundaries, expressing your own needs and enforcing consequences for bad behavior or rule breaking.

5. Too emotionally involved

How it presents: overly invested in students resulting in over-protectiveness, taking student failures personally, blurring boundaries and not maintaining objectivity.

How to improve: steps to take include setting firm boundaries, encouraging students to take responsibility for their own performance and actions, consciously stepping back mentally and viewing the situation from an objective distance.

Think about the way you present the weakness. Rather than say "I have difficulty prioritizing" say something like:

"I plan so many activities that I want to get through with my class that I am having to learn to evaluate which will be the most valuable for the students and stick to those."

Get more help with this teacher job interview question at interview questions weaknesses

Greatest weakness teacher interview answer

Graphic of a list of 5 teacher weaknesses with image of pencil rubbing out.

Prepare for these teacher interview questions...

View teacher job interview questions that explore other areas of competence. Use the answer guidelines to formulate your own convincing answers that set you apart from the other teaching job candidates.


How do you manage classroom discipline


Describe your teaching style


Why do you want to work for our school

Expect teaching interview questions about:

  • your subject knowledge
  • technological skills
  • the specific teaching position you are interviewing for

Prepare good interview answers to questions about your instructional and planning skills as a teacher.

Your teacher interview will include behavioral interview questions for teachers. Be ready to handle competency-based interview questions that explore the desired behaviors for successful performance in a teaching job.

Are you preparing for an elementary teacher interview? Go through these interview questions specific to teaching the elementary grades.

Good questions to ask in your teacher interview

Use the list of sample interview questions to ask to have some excellent questions ready to ask the interviewer.

Your complete guide to teacher interview success

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