Questions to Ask the Interviewer in a Teacher Interview

Teacher in job interview

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When you are interviewing for a job as a teacher, it's very likely that your interviewer will ask, “So, what questions do you have for me?” 

Since this query is so common, come to the interview 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 are a good fit for the job and the school.

Discover why interviewers almost always check to see if you have any questions, and get ideas for ones that you can ask. 

What the Interviewer Wants to Know 

Interviewers can get a real sense of who you are, along with your priorities, from the questions you ask. 

For instance, if you ask a question about vacation time, interviewers may think that you're more focused on time off than teaching. Or, if you ask a question with an answer that can readily be found on the school's website, your interviewer may wonder if you need a lot of hand-holding. 

Along with learning more about you, your response will also reveal if you prepared for the interview. 

Tips for Asking the Interviewer Questions

Get advice on how to choose the right questions to ask, and review 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?”

Questions to ask the interview for teaching jobs

The Balance

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.

Avoid any questions about what you would get out of the job, including your salary, benefits, and time off. Don’t ask for any special favors, such as extra days off, or a late start date.

You will have time to ask these questions later if you are offered the job.

You do not want to focus on yourself and your own needs. Instead, use this conversation to analyze whether you and the school are a great fit. 

Ask About Multiple Topics

Do not focus too much on one subject. 

Concentrating on a single topic could 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.

TIP: 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 and 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 and some demographics of the area.

Key Takeaways

  • Since it's very likely that interviewers will inquire about what questions you have for them, plan ahead and have a list at the ready. 
  • Avoid asking obvious questions or ones that revolve around your own needs (and not the school's). 
  • Consider asking questions about the school, community, or role at hand.