Preparing for a teaching assistant interview is tough for both beginners and experienced candidates. Since the job is demanding and crucial, the interview questions are also as complex and testing. However, to wow your employer and secure your job, you can read ahead and find some common and uncommon Teaching Assistant Interview Questions with Answers.
Though interview questions get drafted by the institution and are unique, there are some similarities. These questions aim to tests your skills and what your aims are as a teaching assistant. So if you keep some points in mind, you will have no problem answering them well.
What to Remember While Giving an Interview for a Teaching Assistant Position?
A teaching assistant interview is detailed and sometimes quite technical to nail. However, even for experienced teachers or newer applicants, the interview challenges their skills and tests how they handle them.
The interview also tests your speaking and problem-solving skills. So it is as important, if not more than, a theoretical test. So you need to perform well and impress your employers to get the position. Here are some things to keep in mind before or while your interview and tips on answering the questions.
- Be Prepared– You can do some research and make some preparations of your own before entering into the interview. You can sit down a few days before and search the internet for model questions and answers. Read through these questions carefully and note them down if you need to. Additionally, you could try answering these questions in your style for better practice.
- Practice In Front Of The Mirror– Once you have a rough idea of the questions, you can do some practice. The best way to practice speaking and answering questions is by standing in front of a mirror. Pretend that you are in the interview and ask yourself some critical questions. Then proceed to give the answers on the spot. It will help you gain more confidence and perform better in the actual interview.
- Be Yourself– Answering the questions truthfully and transparently is one of the most important steps you need to take. Make sure that you use our experiences and thought processes to answer the questions to make the employer understand how your performance will be in the future.
- Be Positive– Having a calm and positive demeanor is how to nail an interview and charm your employer. In such a situation of immense pressure, keeping calm might not be easy. But with ample practice beforehand, you can keep your cool and show how skilled you are without making errors.
- Stay Confident– There will be some questions in the interview that might require you to put your skills to the test. Some questions might be unfamiliar and cause you to doubt and think a lot. In this case, stay confident and take some time to answer. Maintaining your composure will show a lot about how well you will deal with future issues.
General or Common Questions
Apart from the deep or complex situational questions, you will get asked some basic questions about qualifications, experience, etc. these questions have unique answers for every individual so you can answer them according to you:
- Do you have previous teaching experience?
- How are you handling children?
- Do you have experience with children outside of schools?
- What are your technical qualifications?
- What skills do you have for the job?
- How would you describe yourself?
- Are you usually an outgoing, interactive person?
- Please elaborate on your resume.
- What is a teaching assistant role, and why is it necessary?
- Why do you want to work with ______ School?
In-Depth Questions and Answers
Now let’s come to the difficult or more complex questions. These questions test your understanding and problem-solving skills. So answering these questions is crucial in proving your talent. Alongside the questions are some tips on how to answer the question alongside a model answer.
(Note that the model answer is only for reference, and it’s best to use your answer and expressions in the interview.)
- What motivates you to teach?
It is perhaps the most popular question aimed at testing your inspiration and drive for this work. Motivated and driven candidates are more likely to be hired, so you need to answer carefully. You must mention what all experiences in your childhood made you interested in educating.
Then you can elaborate on how these experiences motivated you to become such an inspirational figure. You can also add any other instances that drove you to become a teaching assistant in your answer.
I always admired my middle school teachers that made boring subjects come to life. I was never a studious kid, but they made my interest pique in my studies. Then I realized just how precious the work of a teacher or a teaching assistant is.
The feeling that I could positively impact someone drives me to work in this field. I want to become such a source that facilitates learning to students who might not love it from the get-go.
- Why do you think interactive learning is essential?
These questions test your skills as a teacher because they challenge the orthodox methods of teaching. In your previous work, or even if you’re starting, give you ideas on why interactive learning is better for children.
You could add instances from your own life or some other experience to further imply that interactive learning is the most efficient form of teaching.
I’ve always found interactive learning to be considerably more effective than regular lessons were. Whenever I watched videos or interacted with objects to grasp a lesson, I found that the lesson was easier to understand.
While theoretical learning is essential, it is only completely effective if paired with multiple activities. Therefore, I always prefer to mix teaching methods in moderations to create better understanding and increase interest in students.
- What is your definition of an ideal lesson?
The answer to this question depends on what your teaching style is. So make sure to honestly share the ways you teach children or want to teach children. Ensure all the aspects of learning that you utilize and special activities that you would do to facilitate learning.
To get an even better review, you should explore all kinds of learning, theoretical and practical. But keep the answer identical to how you teach the kids.
I prefer to rely most on theoretical learning but keep a balance between theoretical and practical learning. Practical learning is more convenient and including because it interests all the children and makes learning easier.
But theoretical learning is the most efficient way and helps children work with the concept in further detail. Balancing these with added activities, I think, is what makes the perfect lesson.
- What are the merits and demerits of teaching children?
While it is the same for every other question, be true to your feelings and exactly what you think. You have to be honest and not just give out conventional answers for the employers to recognize your talent.
Ask yourself what the merits and demerits of teaching are, based on your past experiences. Also, add how you would work on the demerits and try to minimize their impact.
The merit of working with kids and teaching them is that I get to take an active part in shaping their future. I can help them evolve into better and more aware individuals who will become successful people.
At the same time, the demerit is that I play such an essential role in their development, and there might be students that I might not help. It is why I keep in mind to pay extra attention to disinterested children and alter my lessons to accommodate everyone.
- How would you deal with children who are bored or distracted?
If you have experience in teaching, you would know that there are always students who do not focus on the lesson. To test your skills in dealing with such children, you will probably receive this question in your interview.
If you have experience, you could share how you dealt with the children previously. Even if you don’t, you can share your ideas on making the lesson more fascinating and accommodating for such children. Of course, you must think about some such strategies in advance.
I had such students as a teacher before, and I used activities and more visual learning tactics to get them involved. The same lesson in a video or interactive activity form would receive much more enthusiasm from such students.
So if I had a week to cover a lesson, I would assign two days for visual or activity-based lessons. They encourage students to get involved and consequently increase their focus in the theoretical lesson too.
- Share an experience of a challenge you faced and how you overcame it.
If you are an experienced teacher applying for the post, you would almost surely get this question. It is one of the best ways to test your problem-solving skills in the school context. So what you should do is you should remember an incident in your career that you handled well as a teacher.
It could be dealing with a problem child or trying to clear conflict. Any incident that was a growing experience and put your patience and skills to the test is the perfect example.
Once, I had a problem child in my class who did not want to learn anything or communicate with me. No matter how many activities I tried, he wouldn’t pay attention. So I found time after school timings and requested him to meet me for some time.
After that, I found out that he was unfamiliar with the basics of the subject. It led him to be unable to understand anything, but he was too shy to say it. So I helped tutor him in the basics, and though he didn’t perform well in the mid-terms, he got a high score in the finals.
- How would you deal with conflicts amongst children?
As a teacher, you also have to deal with children’s behavior and conduct alongside their academic performances. Similar to others, you can mention your experiences or talk about your strategies in conflict management.
Be honest with your answers and genuinely suggest methods to take care of such conflict between students.
Since they are young, children are bound to have conflicts within themselves, with peers, and even teachers. But my only disciplinary rule in the class is to respect one another. We might not have the same opinion, but we must still have respect for the other person.
So I think it’s healthy to have conflicts as long as the children apologize later and respect each other’s opinions. I would suggest small sessions with children who seem to have trouble with that.
- What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Now, this is the question that a lot of candidates fail to answer truthfully. The nature of the question is slightly challenging, but acing it would increase your chances of getting hired.
The key to getting the question well answered is to be truthful and speak from experience. There is no right or wrong answer; you have to remember to be transparent. Also, with your weakness, elaborate on how you plan on improving it.
My biggest strength is that I am a very patient person. I can usually stay calm in very chaotic situations and think well about what to do. I also feel that I have no problem answering the same questions repeatedly for students who take slightly more time.
My weakness is that I get concerned and troubled because of incompliant children. But I do my best to get them involved in my class with whatever methods possible so everyone can learn equally well.
- How can you contribute to your student’s learning journey?
This answer is subjective, and your techniques or teaching skills will determine what you should answer here. Make sure to rehearse such questions and prepare a rough answer for the interview.
The best way to answer is by explaining how your skills can facilitate learning. You can also mention how you can improve their school experience through unique and inclusive learning.
If my lessons are understandable and fun for all children, I can aid their learning experience. If my teaching method can make a difference in their learning, then that would remain with them for their lives.
If I alter my methods and consider their feedback, I can give them a safe place to grow and learn.
- Why do you want this teaching assistant position?
Here, you can elaborate on why you enjoy teaching and work for the school as a teaching assistant. Don’t hesitate to bring up older works as examples of your journey and how this position is the next step.
Also, tell them what your aspirations are and how this position is a stepping stone for the person you aspire to be.
I have always wanted to work in a field I felt compassionate about. Due to my past teachers, I have found the position of an educator to be influential. The power of shaping and actively building someone’s skills t me is the most rewarding work.
I have to work, but teaching does not feel like a mere job to me. Instead, it is an experience through which I can help young people grow into aware adults and grow myself in the process.
To prepare well for a teaching assistant interview, practice is essential. Besides imagining how you would introduce yourself or carry yourself, it is also essential to refer to possible questions. Searching up and attempting to answer such questions will prepare you better.
So you can refer to our sample questions and understand what you will get asked in your teaching assistant interviews. Though your interview questions might be unique, the sample questions will help you get a rough idea of how the questions are
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are our teaching assistant interview questions difficult?
The difficulty of these questions can range from high to low. Usually, situational questions are slightly difficult, while general ones are not that difficult.
- How to prepare for a teaching assistant interview?
You should do ample research and read sample questions and answers for the interview. You must also practice answering those questions yourself.
- How to answer ‘Why do you want to be a teaching assistant’?
The best way to answer this is to explain what inspires or drives you to teach. By elaborating on your motivation, you can then explain what leads you to be a teaching assistant.