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What are your strengths and weaknesses?

(Sample
answers included)

Some skill are vital for a role of a manager, but completely irrelevant for a role of a teacher.
You should choose for your interview answer a strength that matters in teaching, and a weakness
that is not essential for this profession.

Strengths to choose from:


 communication and social skills
 patience, responsibility, tolerance
 ability to solve conflicts, emotional intelligence
 creativity and enthusiasm for teaching
 ability to explain difficult things in a simple way
 ability to connect with children (or with older students), on a personal level

Weaknesses to choose from


To say that you are over-friendly with students is a good answer (and a typical one).

Other good option is to choose a subject you do not like to teach, for example Math, or a subject you
struggle with. But you should not forget to elaborate on your answer, saying that you always try
your best in every lesson, regardless of the subject you teach.
Your attitude is the most important thing for the interviewers.

Sample answers

I have good listening skills, and I believe to understand the emotions and problems the children
face. Benefiting from this ability, I was able to connect with the children other people could not
connect with. From my weaknesses, I would mention computer skills. I need to improve on them,
and I attend evening classes to learn to work with the most common office software.
Children are rarely bored with me in the classroom, becasue I always try to make the lessons
engaging, and interesting for them. But I do not like to teach Math, and I know I could do better when
teaching this subject. That is something I want to work on in the course of my teaching career.

* Note: Check my eBook, the Teacher Interview Guide, to see great answers to all 28 most
common interview questions for teachers.
Next interview questions:
 Why do you want to become an elementary teacher?
 Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays?
 What is your opinion on information technology in classes?

© Glen Hughins & Career Consulting Association


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hy do you want to be an elementary teacher?

Every role has a purpose. Managers manage, artists create, laborers do


the hard work, and entrepreneurs give jobs to other people. Teachers, however, have a special
position in human society. They lead and form the children in their early age, becoming one of
their role models.
This attitude of leading, teaching, and forming the children–in a positive way, should resonate in your
interview answer. You can focus on other things besides that, for example your love to children, or
your ability to teach.
However, you shouldn’t connect your answer to the past, saying that you would like to teach
because you graduated from the college and earned your masters in teaching. That would indicate a
must, not a desire. You should speak with enthusiasm about your teaching mission, showing the
interviewers that you know why you applied for this job.

Sample answers
Children need role models, and leaders. This is important, especially in young age, when they
try to understand the world around them. Many children come from broken families, struggling to find
their place in life. I would like to help them to find that place, and can’t really find a better job to follow
this calling.

I love to be around children. What is more, I teach well, and I really enjoy teaching. It’s my
childhood dream to teach, and now I try to make it reality.

Your non-verbal communication


matters
Interviewers do not necessarily have to believe your words. If you smile, however, if you speak with
enthusiasm, if you show positive emotions, they will have no reason to have doubts about your
attitude to teaching, or about your love to the job and to the children.
Next questions:
 Where do you see yourself in five years time?
 Can you name the main problems teachers face nowadays?

Can you name the main problems teachers face


nowadays?

We live in challenging times. Young people are not interested in their


studies anymore, and new challenges have risen with an ongoing boom of social media and smart
phones.
Good job applicant should be aware of these challenges, and they should offer an idea on how
to address them.

Problems, or challenges?
You should show a positive attitude to problems. Do not simply say that worsening level of
communication skills is a problem. Try to elaborate on it, saying how you plan to address the
challenge. Let’s have a look at some good answers:

I consider high dropout rates, low academic achievements, and


little interest in study, especially in traditional subjects, the main challenges we face. However, I
believe that we should strive to make the school more engaging and entertaining, more interesting
and practical. We can address most of the challenges in this way, or at least we should try.

Worsening level of communication skills and social skills, as well as new forms of addictions,
such as social media addiction or smart phone addiction are the new challenges we face. I believe
that we need to let children talk in the classes. We should use exercises that develop their creativity,
and we should have strict rules regarding smart phones in the classroom.

Do not be afraid of the problems. Working with small children, you have a good chance to influence
something in their life, creating a better future for them, and for all of us! You should be proud of
your role, and you should show it to us in an interview.
Next questions:
 What are your strengths and weaknesses?
 Do you think that we should treat all students equally?

© Glen Hughins & Career Consulting Association


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What is your opinion on information technology at
elementary school?

Information technology is everywhere. Should young children work with


computers? Many principals believe they should, but many psychologists and sociologists think they
shouldn’t. And what do you think?

Follow what they do at school


Little research will help you to find a good answer. Try to speak with someone from school (it can be a child, a
parent, a teacher) before the start of your interview. Ask them whether they have IT classes, and if they use
computers in other classes. This will help you to find the answer that will resonate with the people in the
hiring committee.
At the end of the day, you should show the interviewers that you try to use technology for the benefit of the
children.

Sample answers
I like to use screens in my classes. Pictures, videos, and presentations help me to demonstrate the subject,
and they also improve the engagement of the children, since they like the visual aspect of the subject. On the
other hand, we should monitor the content they see on their screens, and block certain websites, so they can not
reach them.

In my opinion, IT does not belong to elementary school. Each child has a computer at home, and they
spend a lot of time playing with it, or watching TV. We should represent a different line of education here.
However, if we restrict the use of technology to some classes, and if we follow clear goals while using it, we
can eventually use it to the benefit of the children.
Next questions:
 What are your hobbies?
 How would you win the hearts of your students?

© Glen Hughins & Career Consulting Association


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Strengths and Weaknesses of a Teacher for Interview


Appearing for an interview is daunting to say the least. But when you are asked the
dreaded question what are your strengths and weaknesses, the overwhelming feeling is
a killer. How do you handle this question? To understand this better, let us see what the
interviewer is attempting to do when he asks this question. He or she wants to know
what your strengths are – that much is obvious. Strengths are something that you have
probably rehearsed and can recount in a minute. By asking what your weaknesses are,
the interviewer is basically trying to figure out how honest you are. If you say that you
have no weaknesses, you will be considered a liar.

Providing an answer to this question is tricky. You need to prepare for this question
beforehand. For instance, if you are about to appear for an interview for a teaching
position, you need to practice exactly what you will say when asked this question. Make
a list of your strengths and weaknesses before you appear for the interview. Remember
that any weaknesses that are actually portrayed as “weaknesses” can have a rebound
effect and harm your case. Don’t know what that means? Well, even your weaknesses
need to be presented in a positive way.

Refer to the list for both below:

Strengths and Weaknesses of a Teacher for Interview


Strengths:
• Exceptional ability to handle lesson planning activities according to the specific needs
of each student
• Deep familiarity with integrating technology into lessons to ensure a higher level of
understanding on the students’ part
• Demonstrated expertise in motivating students to work towards achieving their
educational goals
• Exceptionally well-versed in managing classes by enforcing behavioral rules and
ensuring that they are followed properly
• Great insight into handling activities-based projects, with special focus on assisting
students in learning new or complex concepts
• Highly skilled in creating an engaging environment for students to aid their physical,
emotional, social and educational development
Weaknesses:
• Workaholic nature, focused on spending extra hours on researching concepts and
taking advantage of online resources
• Tendency to be overfriendly with students, in a bid to come close to them to
understand their problems and limitations
• Below-par computer / technological skills for which evening classes are being attended
to ensure improvement
• Going overboard to make classroom environments feel fun and inviting, during the first
few weeks of the new school year
• Spending more time than necessary to create lesson plans, hoping to incorporate
different elements and extra information
 Teacher Assistant Strengths and Weaknesses
 Sample Strengths and Weaknesses of an Employee
 Substitute Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
 Assistant Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
 Examples of Weaknesses at the Workplace

Assistant Teacher Interview Questions and Answers


How do you match up to other people who may be asked to come in for the assistant
teacher interview? The answer to this question can only be given if you know that you
have prepared well for the interview. If you are aware of even half the questions that
you will be asked at an interview, you may be considered in the top 3 candidates. The
important thing here is to find out what employers usually ask at an interview for a
specific position – and then prepare as many answers as you can.

And here is a set of interview questions and answers for an assistant teacher position:

Assistant Teacher Interview Questions and Answers


Why should we hire you as an assistant teacher?
I believe that I have the perfect skills set and experience to work as an assistant
teacher. Over the 2 years that I have worked as an assistant teacher, I have developed
skills that are required to handle an early learning program. As someone who has a
naturally pleasant personality, children love me and respond well to me. I am also
proficient in assisting lead teachers in creating lesson plans and educational materials,
and providing both group and one-on-one instruction to assigned students.
In your previous position as an assistant teacher, what were your specific duties?
I was responsible for assisting the lead teacher in implementing lesson plans by working
with students, both in groups and on an individual basis. Additionally, I was required to
prepare lesson materials, oversee student behavior, supervise students to ensure their
wellbeing and safety, and conduct demonstrations to help them understand difficult
concepts.
Why did you decide to work as an assistant teacher? Where do you see yourself
in 5 years from now?
I believe that my love for education and children can only be satisfied in this role.
Learning the ropes of early childhood education is my main focus at the moment.
Eventually, I want to become a lead teacher.
Is the work of a teaching assistant more challenging than that of a lead teacher?
I do not think that the work of a lead teacher and a teaching assistant can be compared.
While both work towards the same goal, their work is quite different from each other.
Both have challenges to face. And that is what makes the work interesting.
What do you know about therapeutic regimens as far as early childhood
education is concerned?
I have been actively involved in behavior modification and personal development
programs under the supervision of special education instructors and language
therapists. These regimens are important as they provide students with special needs
with a solid backup and helps them fit into regular class streams effectively.
Have you had any experience working with children with special needs? How do
you intend to make a difference?
Yes, I have worked with students with special needs for 8 months. These children
actually have a lot of untouched potential that is just raring to come out. While it is a
challenge to bring out their best, it is also quite satisfactory on both professional and
personal levels. Also, children with special needs are highly underrated as far as
cognitive abilities are concerned. And by contributing to their development, I want to
make a difference in how they are perceived by people in general.
 Toddler Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
 Special Education Teacher Interview Questions and Answers
 Teacher Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
 Daycare Teacher Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
 Preschool Teacher Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you're a recent graduate pursuing your first full-time teaching jobor a veteran
educator, you can benefit from polishing your resume to attract the best job
opportunities. Make sure you display the following on your resume, and see our sample
resume for a teacher:

A Passion for Teaching

"Showing passion for what you do is important in any field, but in education, this is
doubly so," says Candace Davies, owner of A+ Resumes for Teachers. Davies has
developed hundreds of resumes for K-12 and college educators.

"Your resume needs to communicate your commitment to student success, teaching


and learning,” she says. “It needs to show that you're in the classroom for the right
reasons."
You can demonstrate your passion for teaching by incorporating your teaching
philosophy in your resume's career summary. You can use the Objective field on the
Monster Resume Builder for this. Here's how a music teacher highlighted his passion for
teaching in his summary section:

"Dynamic music educator with five years of experience developing acclaimed


instrumental, band and general music programs. Passion for teaching and helping
young people grow as musicians -- committed to providing a nurturing environment
maximizing the potential of every child. Run positive, focused and energized rehearsals
that motivate students to perform at personal-best levels and foster a lifelong
appreciation for music."

Prominently Featured Credentials

Teachers are in the education business, so it makes sense to use a resume strategy
that highlights your academic credentials. "You want your credentials, certifications and
degrees on the first page under your opening resume profile," says Davies. On your
Monster resume, you can incorporate your most important teaching credentials in your
qualifications summary, which can be part of your Objective field.

Key Accomplishments

"Teachers must have strong, accomplishments-based resumes," says Davies. An


example is a district with low reading scores that is looking for a teacher to help raise
them. "A resume that shows documented success doing this is certain to achieve
sustained interest," she says.

Even if you're a recent graduate, you can include accomplishments. "Use your
practicum/intern experience, and treat it just like a job on your resume," Davies advises,
adding that you can excerpt quotes from practicum evaluations or classroom
observations.

Ask yourself the following questions to uncover your accomplishments:

 Have you led any in-service training workshops for teacher colleagues? Covering
what topics?
 Have you developed/led any after-school programs or extracurricular activities?
Highlight these to show your willingness to meet student needs.
 Do you have specialty expertise in particular teaching methods or approaches?
 Do you have a track record of elevating average student scores on standardized
tests? If so, by how much?
 Have you developed creative curricula or lesson plans that were particularly
successful or adopted school- or district-wide? What were they? How did they
improve on what was there before?
 Have you kept current with your own continuing education?
 Did you increase parental involvement or strengthen school-community ties? How?
 Have you been asked to serve as a mentor or peer tutor to new teachers?
 Have you incorporated any technology enhancements to promote learning across the
curriculum? What did you do, and what were the outcomes?
 Do you have experience teaching in mainstream classrooms or gifted/talented
programs? Have you taught special-needs students, at-risk youth, ESL/ESOL
learners or some other distinct population?

Keyword Density

"Teachers need to include keywords on their resumes," Davies says. Keywords, which
include industry-specific terms, jargon and acronyms, are especially important in today's
high tech world, where resumes are scanned and stored in computer databases. When
there's a job opening, electronic resumes are sorted and prioritized using keyword
search terms.

In Davies' experience, many teachers assume their expertise in areas like curriculum
design, lesson planning and classroom management -- all keywords -- don’t need to be
spelled out on their resumes. But that’s a big mistake, she says.

"We're in an era now where most districts want you to post your resume online,” advises
Davies. “And that means they're scanning them. If you don't have keywords in your
document, your resume won't be found in the database."

Sample Education-Specific Resume Keywords

Teaching and learning, curriculum development, curriculum planning, curriculum design,


creative lesson planning, in-service leadership, peer tutoring, peer mentoring, lead
teacher, teacher-parent relations, special needs students, gifted/talented students,
ESL/ESOL students, student success, testing, learner assessment, technology
integration, classroom management, classroom monitoring, discipline strategies,
student involvement, parental involvement, instruction, teaching across the curriculum,
interdisciplinary teaching approaches, K-12, mainstream, inclusion, brain-based
learning.

Learn more about education careers.


Dear Sir or Madam:

It is with great interest that I am applying for the position of an E.S.L.


teacher at your school. After researching a number of opportunities, I
have decided that teaching E.S.L. overseas is definitely the right
decision for me. I feel that not only will teaching overseas offer me a
chance to learn about another culture, but it will also allow me to work
in a leadership role while becoming a better educator.

As a university graduate, I have learned the value and rewards of hard


work and dedication. Throughout my university career I strived to do my
best, and I promise to do the same as an E.S.L. teacher at your school. In
addition to the skills I learned while obtaining my Bachelor of Science, I
also learned how to create meaningful lessons and activities while earning
my T.E.S.L. certification, this will assist me greatly if given the chance
to work at your school. Additionally, working as a swim instructor and
babysitter has allowed me to work with children on an ongoing basis and I
have proven to be a person that cares about his charges/students and their
success. Finally, while volunteering as an E.S.L. tutor I have had the
chance to help others improve their English language skills, and this has
been truly rewarding for me and I look forward to continuing on the
tradition at a great school such as yours.

I would be honored to work for your school, and I look forward to hearing
from you. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me
as I would be happy to answer them for you. Thank you in advance for your
consideration.

Now put that shiny new resume to good use! Apply now to teach over