When you are interviewing for a job as a teacher, you will most likely get the inevitable question, “So, what questions do you have for me?” You should be prepared with thoughtful questions.
The right questions will do two things: they will show you’re interested in the job, and they will help you decide if you yourself are a good fit for the job and the school.
Tips for Asking an Interviewer Questions About a Teaching Job
Read below for advice on how to choose the right questions to ask, and to review a example questions to help get you thinking.
Make a List Ahead of Time
Create a list of questions before arriving at the interview. This will prepare you for the inevitable question, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Ask About the School Culture
One topic you will want to ask questions about is the school culture.
You want to make sure you and the school would be a good match for each other.
Asking questions about how the teachers interact with each other, what a typical day for a teacher is like, or other questions about the school environment will help you decide if the school is right for you.
Avoid Obvious Questions
Make sure you research the school before asking questions, so you avoid asking anything that is clearly mentioned on the website. You want to show you have done your homework, so avoid asking any obvious questions.
Don’t Put Yourself Ahead of the Employer
You do not want to focus on yourself and your own needs; instead, use this conversation to analyze whether or not you and the school are a great fit. You will have time to ask these questions later if you are offered the job.
Ask About Multiple Topics
Do not focus too much on one subject; concentrating on a single topic will make the interviewer think you are particularly nervous about that issue. For example, if you only ask questions about the discipline structure in the school, the employer might think you are unsure of your classroom management skills.
Ask questions about a variety of issues to show that you are trying to understand the school as a whole better.
Prove You’ve Done Your Homework
Principals and / or hiring committees on school boards are often astounded when they interview job candidates who have absolutely no knowledge of their school district or of its mission and stated objectives.
Go online and learn as much as you can about the school district’s education philosophy / mandate, its mission statement, and its stated objectives and goals; these will be outlined on the school district’s webpage. Then, structure a few questions that solicit more information about its key programs and initiatives. Here’s an example:
I was interested to learn about the “One Schoolhouse Approach” that Jonesville’s school district initiated last year to heighten its focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Can you please tell me more about the ways that teachers at your school have integrated this approach into their classrooms?
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
Ask About the Job
- Why is this position open?
- Can you tell me some of the qualities you are looking for in a teacher for this position?
- What is a typical day like for a teacher in this position?
Learn About Support
- Do you have a mentoring program for new teachers?
- How supportive is the district of continuing education for faculty?
- How is the culture between teachers at the school? Are there opportunities for professional and social interaction among colleagues?
Students and the Classroom
- How many students are in an average class?
- How would you describe the student population?
- What types of technology are available in your classrooms?
Ask About the School
- What are some of the challenges facing your school this year?
- What are some of the goals you have for the school this year?
- What are some of the goals for the district this year?
- What are some of the challenges the district faces moving forward from this point?
- What do you think are the school's greatest strengths?
- Do you feel that there are areas in your school that need improvement?
Check on the Community
- Do you have an active PTA group?
- Do you find a lot of support for your school coming from the community at large?
Learn About Discipline
- What type of school discipline plan do you have in place?
- What type of anti-bullying measures are you taking in the school? In the district?
How to Make the Most of Your Questions
Take the time to prepare to respond to "Do you have any questions?" when the interviewer asks - which you know he or she will.
Make sure you have some follow up questions, to keep the interviewer talking. You want to prompt a conversation, not a short response to a yes or no question.
If you are unfamiliar with the locale, make sure to do your research. The school website will be important, but also check out the Chamber of Commerce page as well as some demographics of the area.