Be ready for typical teaching assistant interview questions and make the right impression in your job interview. Use our helpful interview answer guidelines to practice your own winning responses.
Being well prepared for your job interview is the best way to overcome interview nerves and to stand out as a confident and competent teaching assistant.
What do you consider to be the role of a teaching assistant?
"The overall function of the teaching assistant is to provide support and reinforcement to the teacher in the classroom in order to optimize the functioning of each student."
Find out more at Teaching Assistant Job Description
What are the most important qualities needed to be an effective teaching assistant?
Your interview answer can include the following competencies: energy, enthusiasm, patience, creativity, communication skills, adaptability and the ability to work as part of a team.
Why have you chosen to be a teaching assistant?
People want to become teaching assistants for a number of reasons. However the primary motivation usually involves the following:
Use your previous experiences of working with children to support your interview answer, even if this experience is limited to babysitting or volunteer work. Personalize it by referring to concrete examples of your interest in children.
These questions explore the key behaviors and competencies for the job. They ask for practical examples of when the candidate previously demonstrated these behaviors. Find out more about answering behavioral teaching assistant interview questions.
Tell me about a time you did not agree with the teacher's approach. How did you handle it?
The focus is on your ability to work successfully with the teacher even if you aren't always in agreement. Discuss your attempts to discuss the benefits of your approach with the teacher whilst respecting the teacher's experience and authority.
Describe a time when you had to deal with a child who was constantly disrupting the class.
This explores your approach to discipline and your ability to handle difficult behavior in the classroom. In your answer go beyond discussing how you implement the regular disciplinary procedure to include positive and innovative methods you use to resolve discipline issues. At the core of your answer should be the methods you use to find out and understand the issues causing the bad behavior in order to find the appropriate solution.
Tell me about your approach to a child who did not want to take part in a classroom activity.
Describe your ability to encourage and persuade a child with positive means to co-operate rather than just focusing on negative consequences for not participating. Focus on finding out the reason for the child's reluctance, convincing the child of the value to them of participating in the activity and offering help and support where needed.
What methods have you used to motivate the children in your classroom?
Successful teaching assistants help to create a learning environment in which students want to achieve. Different children respond to different stimuli. Address how you individualize motivation.
Have you had to deal with bullying behavior in the playground? What steps did you take?
Schools generally having a bullying policy in place. Show your ability to take immediate action whilst following the agreed procedure.
You will be asked teaching assistant interview questions that explore your interest in the specific position and school.
Why do you want to work at this school?
This is to check your commitment to this job as opposed to just any teaching assistant job. Show you are serious about this school by doing some research beforehand to find out their reputation, values, goals, study programs and extracurricular activities. Use this information in your answer.
"Having done some research on this school I am impressed by ...."
"I am particularly interested in this school because of it's emphasis on ..."
Why do you think you would be the best candidate for this position?
Do your background research and review the job description carefully. Highlight your skills and expertise as they relate directly to the job and school requirements.
"I have proven myself to be a dedicated and energetic assistant teacher, effectively providing support to a diverse group of students. I bring a number of skills and strengths to the position including successfully utilizing a range of instructional methods in individual and group settings, proven classroom management skills and enthusiastic involvement in extra-curricular activities."
What are your strengths as a teaching assistant?
Again relate your strengths to what the school is looking for in a teaching assistant. Back up your answer with concrete examples of your strengths. Go to this list of strengths to help you with this question.
And your weaknesses?
Discussing your areas for improvement indicates a good level of self-awareness. Importantly, always discuss the steps you have taken towards improvement.
Teaching Assistant Interview Questions to Ask
Have a number of smart questions ready to ask in your interview. Examples include:
What is the number one priority of the teaching assistant role at this school?
How will job performance in this position be evaluated?
What is the reporting structure of the teaching team?
What challenges is the school currently facing?Can you sum up the school ethos for me?
I appreciate learning and professional growth. What opportunities are there for professional development?
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