35 Primary Teacher Interview Questions And Answers (With Tips)

Updated 12 August 2023

Primary teachers teach children aged six to 12 years. When interviewing candidates for this position, employers ask questions to assess their knowledge, experience and teaching skills. Knowing what kind of questions interviewers are likely to ask during an interview can help you prepare confidently and improve your chances of getting a job. In this article, we explore a list of primary teacher interview questions and answers you can practice while preparing for your interview.

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General Primary Teacher Interview Questions

You may encounter the following general primary teacher interview questions during your interview:

  1. Tell us about yourself.

  2. Why did you decide to become a primary teacher?

  3. Why do you want to work as a primary teacher at our school?

  4. What do you like to do when you are not working?

  5. What is the most challenging thing about being a primary teacher?

  6. What age group of students do you enjoy teaching the most?

  7. What books on primary education have you read recently?

  8. What do you think is the best teaching style for primary students?

  9. What traits do you think primary teachers might require to be successful in their profession?

  10. Where do you want to be professionally five years from now?

Related: Interview Questions For English Teachers With Sample Answers

Questions About Experience And Background

Interviewers may ask the following questions about your work experience and background:

  1. How many years have you worked as a primary teacher?

  2. What subjects did you study in your Bachelor of Elementary Education programme?

  3. Can you describe your approach to teaching primary students?

  4. How do you handle student behavioural issues in the classroom?

  5. What would you describe as your teaching strengths?

  6. What educational technology have you used in your classroom?

  7. What criteria do you use to evaluate the educational progress of your students?

  8. What are some of the challenges that primary students face in their learning?

  9. What was your best teaching experience as a primary teacher?

  10. What benefits could you bring to the role if we hire you as a primary teacher?

Related: How To Write A Teacher Profile: A Guide With Examples

In-Depth Questions

You can expect the following in-depth questions during a job interview:

  1. Can you tell us how you prepare lesson plans for your class?

  2. How do you keep yourself current with teaching techniques for primary teachers?

  3. What steps do you take to improve your domain skills in your subject?

  4. Can you describe an incident where you effectively dealt with a challenging student?

  5. How do you develop positive relationships with the parents of your students?

  6. What teaching strategies do you use to help struggling students?

  7. What do you know about ethical teaching methods?

  8. Have you attended any workshops or training programmes for primary teachers?

  9. What is your expectation for a primary school teacher's salary in Odisha?

  10. What techniques do you use for effective classroom management?

Related: How Much Does A Primary Teacher Make? (Salary And Duties)

Primary Teacher Interview Questions And Answers

Consider the following primary teacher interview questions and answers to prepare for an interview:

1. Can you tell us about your teaching philosophy?

The purpose of this question is to understand your approach to teaching primary students and managing the classroom. It might be beneficial to research the school's teaching philosophy and align yours with it. In your response, you can give a brief overview of how you teach, why you teach that way and how effective it is.

Example: My teaching philosophy is to impart knowledge to students in an easy-to-understand way and explain the significance of what they are learning and how they can benefit from it. I use interactive multimedia lessons to make the learning process engaging and fun for the students. I encourage them to do additional research on the topic we are studying and share their findings with the class. I have found these methods very effective in getting everyone to participate and learn well.

Related: What Are Teacher Career Goals And Why Are They Important?

2. Are you open to conducting after-school extracurricular activities for students?

Recruiters may ask this question if their school requires teachers to conduct extracurricular activities for learning or entertainment purposes. Consider your situation and give an honest answer. If you can oversee extracurricular activities, you can mention your interests or hobbies that can make you suitable for leading students in them.

Example: I enjoy conducting after-school extracurricular activities for students. In my previous position, I took extracurricular art classes. We did painting, crafts and origami and discussed art from different countries. The students learnt a lot and had an enjoyable time.

3. Is there anything you find frustrating about teaching primary students?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess how you deal with teaching setbacks in the classroom and if you get discouraged easily. You can respond by mentioning an incident that frustrated you and the steps you took to change the situation to get a positive outcome. Demonstrate that you are capable of handling classroom issues in a calm, reasonable manner.

Example: I generally enjoy teaching, but dealing with some parents can be frustrating sometimes. They tend to compare their children with other better-performing students and develop too many unrealistic expectations. I work with them to make a study plan so that their children can manage their time well and progress. Aside from that, I discuss the many good qualities of their children, and that enables many of them to see how special their children are and how it is better to let them develop at their own pace.

4. What would you do if a student said the class was boring?

When interviewers ask this question, they want to assess how you can maintain discipline in the classroom and keep students engaged in their studies. In your response, you can explain how you handle boredom in students. You can list the actionable steps you take to counter it.

Example: It is normal to find things uninteresting and feel bored now and then, but if some children say they find the classes boring all the time, it is because they have skills gaps. They do not know how to entertain and challenge themselves. I encourage them to brainstorm study-related ideas, focus on assigned or self-initiated projects and participate more in class activities. I also let them know that it is important to value their time, have self-control and be considerate of others, so constantly complaining about boredom is not good form.

Related: Teacher Careers: Job Roles With Salaries And Duties

5. What are your strengths as a primary teacher?

This is a question that interviewers often ask to assess your level of self-awareness as a teacher. Being well aware of your strengths is essential in the teaching profession since it better qualifies you to help students discover what they are good at and build on their strengths. In your answer, you can identify a few of your strengths that have positively impacted your teaching career.

Example: Empathy is a strong point with me but in a practical way. Some of my students have described me as somewhat strict, and that is true. I listen to my students, and I help them to do better as much as I can, but I also expect them to help themselves. I have found that having high expectations of my students makes them perform well and develop a better sense of self.

Related: 14 Jobs In The Education Industry (Plus Average Salaries)

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Primary Teacher Interview Tips

Consider the following tips that may help you make a good impression during your interview:

  • Research the school and its staff. If the school has a website and social media accounts, you can visit these to get information about the school. You can search online to find articles, blogs and discussions about the school.

  • Practice answering interview questions. Consider asking a family member, friend or colleague to conduct mock interviews and video record these. You can ask them for their feedback, review the video to self-assess your performance and make necessary improvements.

  • Arrive on time for the interview. Find out how long it takes to get to the interview venue from your home. Try to arrive there at least 10 to 20 minutes early to relax and compose yourself.

  • Dress professionally and be well-groomed. This can boost your confidence and make a good impression on interviewers. Some primary schools may have a dress code for teachers, so it could be beneficial to find out about it before you go for the interview.

  • Pay attention during the interview. Make eye contact with the interviewers, smile when necessary and nod to show you are listening. Wait until they have finished speaking before replying and stay on topic.

Non-verbal communication is one of many tools that can help you make a good impression in interviews and in your professional life. However, candidate assessments require to be based on skills and qualifications, and workplaces should strive to be inclusive and understanding of individual differences in communication styles.

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