One of the most common interview questions that teachers are asked is "Why do you want to work in this school?" Another popular question that teachers are asked during interviews is "How do you handle inappropriate behavior among students?" Principals are also likely to ask "What makes a great teacher?"
School administrators ask teaching candidates why they want to work at the particular school because they are trying to find out if the candidates have been diligent in researching the background of the school. For example, teachers who are able to discuss the school's mission statement, philosophy and culture, and present themselves as being in agreement with it, often tip interviews in their favor.
Behavior management is a major concern in virtually every school. Principals are always looking for teachers with the ability to implement effective discipline plans and maintain classroom order on a daily basis. Teaching candidates who can clearly demonstrate the knowledge and experience to handle behaviorally challenging students are highly sought after. Such candidates are able to present their standard classroom rules, expectations and consequences for rule infractions, as well as give a concrete example of a difficult behavioral situation that they effectively resolved. School administrators generally frown upon teachers who have a habit of regularly sending misbehaving students to the principal's office.
Candidates who are asked "What makes a great teacher?" need to point out positive characteristics such as the ability to motivate students, solid knowledge of the subject area, the ability to effectively present lessons to students of diverse academic abilities, and someone who understands, values and respects all students.