Challenging Teaching Interview Questions 2021 [Updated]

Hard Teacher Interview Questions

It’s quite understandable to feel an attack of the nerves when you have an interview for a teaching job lined up shortly. We will present Challenging Teaching Interview Questions here. You don’t know what they might ask you, and you don’t want to think about what might happen if you can’t answer them properly. And while you’ve asked around and done some basic research on what to expect, you know that they might ask you something that could throw you off guard and derail your chances of landing the job. But fear not, here we have compiled a list of possibly challenging and tricky questions that could be asked in a teaching interview. Going through them will give you a good idea of what to expect how tt that job.  Teachers have some of the hardest jobs in this country.

They have to deal with students, often young children, and teach to a class that might not want to learn. That’s a lot of stress. Plus, the job involves long hours of going through classwork, homework, and tests, making sure everything is checked properly, and if there’s something wrong, then making sure it is corrected. It can feel quite unrewarding to be a teacher, especially in the beginning. Dealing with a group of seemingly ungrateful students who probably take you for granted and pushing the ones that refuse to perform until they finally do, it might seem tempting to give up mid-way. This is why schools look for individuals with a lot of dedication, motivation, patience, and energy to be teachers.

They interview accordingly, and the questions they ask are designed to understand whether the candidate before them has got what it takes to be a teacher. While almost anyone can answer some technical questions related to the subject matter, an interview would be more focused on the candidate’s teaching skills. Here we go through some of the possible difficult questions that can be asked in a teaching interview and desirable ways to answer them:

Challenging Teaching Interview Questions

  • Why do you want to be a teacher? This is a ubiquitous interview question for a teaching job, so it also receives some widespread answers. Simply answering the lines of wanting to help people or working with children won’t cut. The purpose of this question is to judge the candidate’s dedication to the job and their motivation behind it. The interviewer would like to see some enthusiasm from the other side. Giving a more specific and elaborate answer, maybe with a personal touch to it, can make a huge difference. The candidate can talk about how they were inspired by one of their teachers and how teachers contribute to building the nation. However, it is important not to go overboard with that as well. A small personal story can add a nice picture of motivation and go a long way to impress the interviewer.

  • How can you help our students? The purpose of this question is to find out whether the candidate has done their research on the school they are applying to. This will show the interviewer that the candidate is serious about the job and is willing to do a little extra work. The candidate would do well to go through the school’s website to have a fair understanding of the school’s needs. Knowing whether a school has a significant number of students with special needs, and how to approach them, or whether a school has problems with student attendance will tell the interviewer that the candidate has done their homework. Talking to teachers from the school beforehand is also something highly recommended for the candidate.

  • How would you get your classroom ready for your first day at school? The interviewer would like to see how prepared the candidate is for the job and whether they have any prior experience in teaching. How a teacher plans their class tells a lot about their teaching skills. Small things like a welcome sign and visual aid can make a big difference. Setting up obvious ground rules can show that a candidate takes discipline seriously. This can be inculcated by setting up a large list of rules and consequences at the front of the classroom. Also, using technological aids for teaching will make the class engaging for students and will tell the interviewer that the candidate knows what they are doing.

  • Why is your subject taught at schools? While this may seem like a question designed to test the candidate’s technical knowledge about their subject, it is actually much more than that. The interviewer wants to know how aware the candidate is about their subject and its applications in real life. Simply answering that it will help students get a job in the future will not help. Studying that particular subject will help students gain a new perspective in life and help them look at things more inclusively and harmoniously will be a much better answer. If it’s science, then the candidate should answer that studying science will help students develop critical thinking skills, which will help them progress in life. Also, the interviewer would like to know the candidate’s teaching style from this question. Bringing in a lesson plan with transcripts and referring to them while answering will definitely boost the candidate’s impression on the interviewer’s mind.

  • How do you interact with the parents? Talking to the parents of the students is integral to a teaching job. While talking to the parents of a high-performing and disciplined child can be really easy, as all one has to do is praise them in front of their parents and tell them their child has a bright future. It is the underperforming and troublesome students who pose a challenge. The interviewer would like to see that a candidate has the requisite patience and insight to talk to the parents of such children in a productive way. It is important not to denigrate or demotivate either the student or their parents during a parent-teacher conference but to develop suggestions that work for everyone. A good teacher doesn’t give up on their student, no matter how bad the situation is. In rare cases, the parents can be the cause of a child’s lackluster performance at school. A good teacher should have the ability to understand the situation without having it brought up explicitly and proceed accordingly. Offending the parents is not a good idea, and if the parents appear unreasonable or simply blind to the child’s needs, then maybe reporting the issue to the principal might be the next best step.

  • What’s the biggest challenge students today face? The purpose of this question is to see how well a candidate understands the average student. A candidate with a good understanding of how students feel and think will obviously connect with them better and consequently be a better teacher for them. Therefore, a candidate who can develop a well-structured answer to this question that shows how well aware they are about the issues students may face and how to deal with them will stand a greater chance at bagging the job. If the issue is social media, then the candidate should list some activities that would help engage the students and keep them from spending unhealthy amounts of time on social media.

  • How will you help a ‘tough’ student? This is to test a candidate’s ability to engage with students who lag behind the rest of the class and bring them up to speed. A candidate who has prior experience regarding this situation would do well to talk about it and say how they helped such a student. A comparatively inexperienced candidate should list measures such as taking time out from the regular schedule to talk to the student separately to understand their problems. Providing extra assignments to help the student understand the lesson better could be an option, and if the situation demands, maybe take a few extra classes for them. If the issues go deeper than just academics, say the child faces psychological or social problems or is being bullied at school, a teacher should immediately report it to the school authorities.

  • How would you teach a mixed-ability class? A good answer to this question should typically first acknowledge the issue of having students with different learning abilities in the same class in brief and then proceed to outline some measures to tackle it. While general answers such as extra homework and extra classes for weak students are welcome, talking about adaptive learning tools such as Follen’s Build Up, which uses real-time and long-term data about individuals to provide each student with a personalized learning experience, will show that a candidate knows how to go that extra mile to help the students who need it by using modern technological tools. Displaying such awareness will be impressive to the interviewer, and they are more likely to remember the candidate who can do so.

  • How do you teach your subject? This is a broad question that can bewilder the unprepared candidate. While answers will obviously vary depending on the subject and each candidate’s experience, some points are looked for by the interviewer in general. While explaining their methods, a candidate should be short and crisp in their answers and exclude unnecessary information. The candidate should explain why and how their methods are effective and give subject-specific problems that they easily explain. Furthermore, it is important to highlight how students will communicate and relate to these methods. Mentioning modern technological aids will help the candidate stand out as a creative and out-of-the-box a.

  • What is the most frustrating thing as a teacher? This is a trick question, as it is designed to check the patience level of the candidate. Simply underlining something that frustrates them will be a mistake. The interviewer wants to know how the candidate would deal with their frustrations as well. This is also an opportunity for the candidate to highlight their traits subtly. Being frustrated at bright students who don’t put in the effort because there is nothing sadder than wasted talent is a sign of a dedicated teacher. Similarly, a candidate should also be willing to sit down and try to find a way out with such bright students to put their talents to good use.


A teacher’s job is difficult. This is why the questions asked at an interview for a teaching job will be difficult. Ultimately, schools want teachers who know their subject and know how to teach it. With the rapid increase in the use of modern technical aid in schools across the country, schools are looking for people who know how to use them because the teachers of today will build the nation of tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to dress professionally for a teaching interview? Absolutely. Dressing professionally shows that you are serious about the job, and schools want teachers who take their job seriously.

  • Does my informal tutoring of school kids during college count as ‘experience’? You should definitely mention it during the interview. The interviewer will know that you have interacted with children in a teacher-student setting before. 

Also read Top 10+ CRNA School Interview Questions

Challenging Teaching Interview Questions 2021 [Updated]

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