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3 Interview Questions to Ask Teaching Candidates

3 Interview Questions to Ask Teaching CandidatesIn education, it’s important to ensure that we have the best teachers on board, guiding our students in the right direction.  The ability to teach to students is something that is not only learned, but also ingrained within a teacher’s personality.  Simply knowing how to teach is not good enough.  The best teachers have a desire to teach and they thrive when seeing their students learn.

Interviewing teachers is not easy.  Being able to determine if someone has not only the knowledge and education, but also the desire to teach means that you need to be asking the right questions.

The Guardian offers a list of the top 10 questions that teachers are being asked in interviews.  While all 10 are good questions, there are 3 in particular that will help you to determine the teacher’s desire.

1. Why do we teach “x” in schools?

This is an excellent question to ask in order to understand the reason why the candidate decided to teach.  You could ask this question of multiple subjects, but let’s say you are hiring someone to teach history to high school students.  You wouldn’t want someone who did not have a desire or excitement surrounding history topics.  Rather, you would want someone who is excited about history and teaching students about historical events.

When asking this question, pay attention to the candidate’s response.  Is the candidate enthusiastic and passionate about the subject and purpose?

2. Why do you want to work in education?

Again, this is another question that will allow any passion to shine when it comes to teaching and education.  It’s important for you to ensure that you are hiring teachers who are passionate about education.  When teachers have a true desire and passion for education, their students will notice this and it can become contagious.  Having passionate teachers means that you will likely cultivate a passionate culture among your students.

Pay attention to the reasons why the candidate chose a career in education.  Perhaps the candidate was inspired by a teacher in the past?

 3. What are the key qualities and skills that students look for in teachers?

When you hire a teacher, it’s important to make sure that the teacher is in tune with the students and their culture.  Teachers who are in tune with students will know what interests them and gets them excited.  They will know how to discover each student’s learning abilities and be able to fine tune their lesson plans in order to better engage the student.

Do your teachers know what your students are looking for and what they find important?  This is key to any school.

Interviewing teachers is not easy, but it is not rocket science either.  The key thing you want to do is to make sure that you are only hiring teachers with the knowledge as well as the passion and desire to teach.  Once you have a team of passionate teachers, your students will more than likely be eager to learn and your school will have a positive and successful culture.

What questions do you ask teachers during the interview process?  Please share your tips in the comments below.  

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Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.