5 Themes of Interview Questions

In deciding how to phrase your answers, it is helpful if you understand how to shape your answer around one of the five central themes of successful teaching.

You will not try to address all five themes inside one answer; however, each interview question is likely to explore your knowledge within at least one of the five themes. Here are those themes:

Theme #1

You are a child-centered teacher and recognize your chief goal as the promotion of individual achievement and growth in students.

In public education you are required to teach children who possess a wide variety of ability levels, degrees of motivation, and educational backgrounds.

An important concern shared by every principal is that teachers show a genuine care for every student.

Principals need to know you have the understanding, skills, and motivation sufficient to reach out and touch every child.

Theme #2

You have clear mastery of content knowledge in the  area(s) you intend to teach.

You will need to demonstrate competence in the areas you expect to teach. Knowledge to the content you intend to teach is essential to your success.

Theme #3

You possess personal and professional characteristics that will enhance the teaching staff and culture of the school.

The interview will continuously assess the degree to which you embody the qualities of professional behavior they seek in their teachers. These qualities include teamwork, reliability, dedication, integrity, loyalty, passion, and pride. You need to clearly demonstrate how you will add to the good chemistry of the school. It will be important to identify yourself as someone who is a self-starter, motivated, and persistent seeker of excellence.

Theme #4

You possess sufficient classroom management skills to organize curriculum, control student behavior, and manage resources.

The interview committee will want to know your approach to each management skill. What are your discipline strategies? How do you manage space and time? How do you maintain materials? Can you manage the curriculum?

Theme #5

You have the instructional skills required to convey a body of knowledge to students of all backgrounds.

Principals want to know you understand the principals of learning necessary for successful teaching. Will you effectively plan instruction? Will you have strong clear presentation skills? Will you be able to diagnose and remediate learning problems? Will you employ effective assessment strategies?


dr-robert-pollock-bookExcerpt from book, Teacher Interviews: How to Get Them and How to Get Hired! 2nd edition by Dr. Robert Pollock

This 2nd edition is the complete manual on how to package yourself, market your skills in a highly competitive job market. Dr. Pollock offers advice for both traditional and alternative route teachers that will move them from ordinary to formidable candidates. You need to know how to create great resumes, handle phone interviews, group interviews and deal with tough face to face questions. It’s all here along with a step-by-step outline on how to negotiate the entire process from job search to job offer. With nearly 100 great questions along with difference making answers, you are sure to be ready for every interview. If you plan to teach, then YOU MUST have this book!