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Interview Tips, Plus Insights into What Your Interviewer Is Looking For

Interview Tips, Plus Insights into What Your Interviewer Is Looking For

Interviewer Checklist

During a teacher interview, the interviewer is typically looking for a combination of professional qualifications, interpersonal skills, and a commitment to effective teaching. Here are some key aspects that interviewers often assess:

Content Knowledge:

Interviewers want to ensure that you have a solid understanding of the subject matter you will be teaching. They may ask questions related to your program, assessment, and instructional strategies.

Teaching Experience:

Your past teaching experience, if applicable, is important. Interviewers may ask about your previous roles, the grade levels you've taught, and any specific achievements or challenges you've addressed in the classroom. For new teachers to the profession, focus your examples on volunteer experience and your practicums.

Classroom Management Skills:

Effective classroom management is pivotal. Interviewers look for evidence of your ability to create a positive and inclusive learning environment, handle behavioural concerns, and promote student engagement. The key here is your proactive approach to establishing a healthy learning climate for each student.

Student-Centred Approach:

Emphasize a student-centered mindset. Interviewers want to see that you prioritize the needs of your students, adapt to diverse learning styles, and create a space where every student feels a sense of belonging.

Communication Skills:

Clear and effective communication is an essential skill. Interviewers assess your ability to articulate ideas, explain concepts, and interact with students, parents, and colleagues. Your ability to have impactful conversations with all stakeholders for different purposes is an integral part of your role.

Problem-Solving and Adaptability:

Teaching often involves unexpected challenges. Interviewers may probe your capacity to navigate uncertainties. They might inquire about your ability to adapt to changes, solve problems creatively, and remain flexible in different teaching scenarios. It’s possible you are given a scenario to unpack and walk through the actions you would take.

Passion for Teaching:

Demonstrate genuine enthusiasm and passion for teaching. Interviewers want to see that you are not just qualified but also genuinely enjoy working with students and contributing to their academic, social and emotional growth.


Professionalism encompasses various aspects, including punctuality, body language, and showing you take the experience seriously. Interviewers pay attention to whether you present yourself as a professional who is committed to the teaching profession.

Alignment with School Values:

Schools will have a specific mission, vision and values. Your interviewer will assess whether your teaching approach aligns with the school's philosophy and whether you took the time to research the available data.

Sense of Humour:

While not mandatory, a sense of humour can contribute to a positive and enjoyable learning atmosphere. Interviewers may value a teacher who can balance seriousness with a light-hearted approach when suitable. Note that there is a fine line and being overly informal may convey a sense of being too comfortable.  

Continuous Learning and Growth Mindset:

Schools appreciate teachers who are committed to ongoing professional development and demonstrate a growth mindset. Interviewers may inquire about your willingness to learn, adapt, and improve your practice. 

Remember to tailor your responses to highlight these key aspects, providing specific examples from your teaching experience to illustrate your skills and capabilities.

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Meet the author:

Nina Jaiswal, an Educational Consultant and former Superintendent of Education, offers valuable insights for educators, both experienced and new. As an expert witness in school liability, discipline matters, compliance, and policy, her perspective is essential for understanding the complexities of education. In addition to consultancy, Nina dedicates her expertise to coaching staff at all levels, focusing on career growth, promotion preparation, leadership development, and competency strengthening in educational matters.

With over 13 years on the Accreditation Review Panel for the Ontario College of Teachers and a history of teaching at the University of Toronto and York University, Nina's voice is grounded in extensive experience. She has significantly contributed to professional learning at the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA) and served as a coach for the Ontario Principals' Council. Recognized for impactful partnerships with community agencies and families, Nina is a driving force behind fostering public confidence and elevating student achievement.  

Nina's writing is an indispensable resource for anyone eager to delve into the dynamic world of education.