24 Teacher Interview Question Scenarios With Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When interviewing a teacher, principals or other administrative staff can ask a wide range of questions. These questions help them learn about you as an individual and see how you might respond to different situations that can arise in the classroom. Knowing how to provide appropriate responses to hypothetical scenarios can help convince them that your teaching and classroom management practices match their expectations and policies is important to increase your chances of getting hired.

In this article, we discuss 24 of the most common teacher interview question scenarios you are likely to face and suitable answers to seven of them to help you prepare yours.

Related: What Is A Special Education Teacher? (Skills And Salary)

6 Teacher Interview Question Scenarios

Here are some common teacher interview question scenarios, along with sample answers:

1. How would you respond if a parent expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of teaching their child is receiving?

Be courteous and professional in your response instead of taking it personally. You want to show the employer your ability to handle a variety of parent-related issues with calm and prudence. Pick an amicable and rational approach to this question. This is an important aspect of a teacher's job, as it can affect the reputation of the school and the teacher.

Example: "I try to listen to the parents' complaints and take detailed notes about the specific areas where they feel their child requires improvement. After that, I address each point with facts and evidence. I can try to convince them I keep a professional and friendly approach while teaching, but there can be times when I am strict as well to ensure students do their tasks diligently. After I address their concerns appropriately, I may also share my work email address or phone number to contact me directly for further concerns or queries."

Related: 10 Important Skills Of A Teacher And How To Develop Them

2. How are you going to handle a misbehaving student in class?

Through this question, the interviewer wants to know about the measures you may use to discipline students. Provide a neutral and balanced answer that shows you can manage such situations effectively, which can help the student rectify themselves.

Example: "My action depends on the particular scenario. For instance, once I dealt with a student who kept talking constantly in class and did not listen to warnings. So, that day, after the class, I called her to my desk and explained how their actions affected the entire class, after which they did not disturb the class again.

If the student still does not listen, I usually make them sit at the front and randomly ask them questions during the class from the lessons I am teaching. I also practice gifting students a sticker or chocolate for answering correctly to ensure they remain attentive."

Related: Essential Pedagogical Skills (With Steps To Improve Them)

3. What are you going to do if there is a fight in the classroom?

Classroom fights are necessary to deal with appropriately, to ensure discouraging similar behaviour in other students. As a teacher, your responsibility is to minimise such events and ensure the students are safe and unhurt. Provide an answer where you strive to reach an amicable resolution.

Example: "In my previous job, two students in the eighth standard started a brawl over a stolen pen. Immediately, I separated the students from the rest of the class and talked to them individually to understand the situation. I asked them to search their bags in front of me and it turned out that both of them were innocent as they were unable to find the pen anywhere. I advised them to not accuse someone of stealing without proof and consider the item lost instead. They shook hands and said sorry to each other, which resolved the matter."

Related: Classroom Management Interview Questions (Tips And Examples)

4. What do you do if a parent approached you to challenge their child's grade?

If a parent thinks you have marked their child lower than deserved, they can raise a complaint or approach you for an explanation. Your response has to be calm, open-minded and strategic, so the parent understands the situation instead of feeling disregarded. This is a classic parent-related issue, and the employer wants to ensure you can handle it well.

Example: "I sit down with the parent and present their child's recent performance records for all subjects. This can show us if the child's performance is consistent in all subjects or if there is an exceptional drop in marks for the concerned subject. I can try to explain the school's grading system and if required, I can point out the correct answers to some questions that qualify for better or full marks and help them understand the difference and how their child can improve."

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

5. What do you do about a student who has a habit of missing assignments or submitting late?

Students may submit homework late or miss assignments because of health issues, forgetfulness or some unavoidable circumstance. Instead of assuming something negative about the student, express your desire to understand and empathise with the student's problem. Talk about taking stricter measures only in extreme cases.

Example: "I first talk to them and try to understand their reasons for submitting assignments late or missing them altogether. If they require help or extra time, I would advise them to inform me beforehand. After giving them a month or two to correct their behaviour, I may contact their parents to have a discussion about this issue. If nothing helps, I can propose this issue to the other teachers and we can collectively put an effort to devise a strategy to resolve the problem to improve the punctuality of the student."

6. What are you going to do if a student presents a serious accusation against another student?

It is necessary to verify the truth behind an accusation before taking any steps. Outline your process of finding out the truth and emphasise the importance of exercising fairness in such a situation.

Example: "In case of a serious accusation, I am going to interrogate both the accused and the accuser. I am also going to find out if there was a third person who witnessed the incident to be sure that the accusation is true. If the accusation is indeed true, I am going to take necessary steps to punish the guilty student per the institution's policies and if I find it false, I am going to take measures to discipline the accuser."

Additional Classroom Scenario Interview Questions For Teachers

Here are 18 scenario-type interview questions for teachers that you may face:

  1. What are you going to do if students appear disinterested or bored in your class?

  2. What can you do if one or more students underperform when tested on a particular topic?

  3. How would you handle a situation where a student is consistently late for your class?

  4. How can you support a student with exceptional learning abilities?

  5. How can you help a student who shows limited improvement?

  6. How do you approach different learning speeds in the class?

  7. How do you foster creativity in the classroom?

  8. What is your plan of action if a lesson fails and students do not understand the matter properly?

  9. What is your response in case of a physical altercation between students?

  10. How are you going to teach a class that refuses to listen to you collectively?

  11. How are you going to implement technology into your teaching style?

  12. If your teaching plan goes off-schedule, what do you do?

  13. How can you resolve a conflict with a fellow teacher regarding a class-related issue?

  14. What measures are you going to take with bullying or other acts of violence or discrimination among students?

  15. What is your approach to dealing with an unruly or disobedient student?

  16. How can you use your teaching philosophy to discipline students?

  17. What is your response if you feel let down by your students?

  18. How do you respond to negative feedback from peers or supervisors?

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How To Get The Job

Interview Tips For Scenario-Type Questions For Teachers

Follow these tips the next time you face a behavioural question at a teacher interview:

  • Maintain a positive tone. Avoid talking negatively about students, guardians or colleagues. Use positive language that shows your best interest lies in your students' and the school's best interests.

  • Use creative responses. Come up with unique solutions to normal problems. Instead of resorting to common responses that most candidates are likely to give, be innovative with how you strive to respond to a hypothetical situation or solve a problem.

  • Provide examples. Try to provide examples from previous job experiences, especially for complicated and rare scenarios. It is better to tell what you actually did when faced with a similar situation in the past than to present an idealised hypothetical answer.

  • Focus on result-orientation. Highlight the results your actions have fetched in the past. If you can get positive results in challenging situations, it shows the employer your capability as a teacher.

  • Take accountability. Display a sense of accountability in your answers by focusing on what you can do about a situation rather than blaming someone else or avoiding responsibility. This indicates your ability to assess your actions and improve to become a better teacher.

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