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How To Prepare For A Special Education Teacher Interview

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What Should I Expect From A Special Education Teaching Job Interview

Special Education Interview Questions- Teaching Job

Special education teachers face very unique challenges in the field of education, and because of this, recruiters at every level will evaluate candidates very carefully before extending an offer of employment. If you have recently earned your degree, it is time to prepare yourself for the interview process so that you know exactly what to expect. Not only will you need to show that you are a patient and effective educator, you must also show that you are an expert in dealing with children with disabilities and a specialist who can develop differentiated lessons.

  • Online MSEd in Special Education
  • Online Master of Science in Special Education

Go Beyond Question Lists Using Interview Simulators

With interview simulators, you can take realistic mock interviews on your own, from anywhere.

My Interview Practice offers a simulator that generates unique questions each time you practice, so youll never see whats coming. There are questions for over 120 job titles, and each question is curated by actual industry professionals. You can take as many interviews as you need to, in order to build confidence.

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What Are The Essential Qualities Of A Good Sen Teaching Assistant

Interviewers may ask you this question to see if you’ve carefully read the job description and can refer to it. Your answer also allows them to test your general knowledge about working as an SEN teaching assistant and test if your expectations for the role are realistic. Consider listing at least a few qualities that someone needs to succeed in this role and providing reasoning.

Example:‘A good SEN teaching assistant is someone who’s always patient, understanding and attentive. It’s important to have good computer and numerical skills, know how to work within a team and independently. Although teaching assistants may come from many backgrounds, it’s important that they know basic teaching methods and are sensitive to the children’s needs. Professionals working in this role typically work under the instruction of a lead teacher, so it’s also important for them to be respectful of that at all times.’

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Interview Questions & Answers

The main portion of your interview will be answering specific questions about yourself and teaching. Every interviewer is different, and you will never know the exact questions they will be asking you. But, you can prepare by familiarizing yourself with the most commonly asked questions, and practicing how you will respond to them.

Have You Ever Had To Change Your Teaching Approach To Help Students Learn Would You Mind Telling Me About That Experience If Any

How to Prepare for an Upcoming Teacher Interview

Note that you will be working with students with various conditions. You will come across those with autism, Down syndrome, and even dyslexia. Therefore, the interviewer must know whether you can change your teaching style to take care of all these students. Show that you are compassionate, innovative, and adaptable.

Sample Answer

I have had such an experience, especially with autistic students. I normally create a unique individualized Education Program to help them learn and improve their sentence construction skills. At the previous school I taught in I had to teach the students how to type words and sentences instead of using a pencil to write since the latter made them upset. This greatly improved their attitude and writing comprehension.

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What Made You Pursue A Career In Special Education

It’s important for all teachers to have a passion for what they do. This question investigates a candidate’s motivation for choosing a career path in special education. What to look for in an answer:

  • Passion for teaching, particularly students with special needs
  • Empathy
  • Interest in making a difference in people’s lives


“My sisters both suffered from learning disabilities. So, I grew up with a firsthand experience of how difficult it was for them to learn in the same environment as me. It was difficult to see them struggle with teachers who just didn’t understand they needed to be taught differently. I chose this career path because I want to make a difference and help students like them.”

What Are The Core Skills And Qualities That Pupils Look For In Teachers

Match the skills you have with those you know the school are looking for, as outlined in the job description or person specification. Key skills looked for in teaching interviews include:

  • passion for teaching/the subject
  • a range of teaching methods
  • an ability to hold the attention of the class
  • empathy
  • encouraging children to think rather than being told.

Tell your interviewers about the qualities you have which they’re looking for. This isn’t the time to be modest – talk positively about your achievements, thinking carefully about the words you use. For example, use the term assertive as opposed to bossy, or calm instead of laidback.

Focus on what you’ll bring to their school and how your skills will benefit them.

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Questions About Special Education Aide Experience And Background

These questions give interviewers a closer look at your work experience and how you might fit the role:

  • Describe a time when someone criticized your work.
  • What could you have done better in your last job?
  • How would your previous students and coworkers describe you?
  • What qualities make you a great special education aide?
  • What do you feel are your responsibilities as a special education aide?
  • How do you motivate your students?
  • Are you a team player?

Make Story Time Fun For Special Ed & Autism

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Are you looking for ways to make story time for fun your special education and autism students? Do they lose interest? Or are they struggling to pay attention to you while youre reading a story? Maybe youre lost. You want your students to love reading and listening to stories. But,

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What Is Errorless Learning Special Education Podcast

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One of the common questions I get is What is errorless learning? Errorless learning is on the rise. Its becoming more and more popular within classrooms, therapy sessions and in homeschool environments. Today Im going to answer your question and tell you more about this way of learning. Including how

What If Youre Having Trouble Landing An Interview

Now that you know all about how to answer the most common teacher interview questions, theres no reason for you not to be prepared to nail your interview!

But what if youre having trouble landing an interview in the first place? Perhaps you should try to tailor your resume to make it better fit the role of teacher, adding some of your strengths and experience helping others, even if its not directly related to teaching.

Maybe you also need to do some volunteer or intern work before applying to a school. And if you are looking to study a degree in Education to increase your chances of landing that job, you can do so online at University of the People which offers a variety of tuition-free education degrees.

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Teaching Assistant Interview Questions To Ask

Have a number of smart questions ready to ask in your interview. Examples include:

What is the number one priority of the teaching assistant role at this school?

How will job performance in this position be evaluated?

What is the reporting structure of the teaching team?

What challenges is the school currently facing?

Can you sum up the school ethos for me?

I appreciate learning and professional growth. What opportunities are there for professional development?

Describe The Last Time You Felt Accomplished At Work

Prepare for a Teaching Interview â Land That Teaching Job ...

Asking this question allows interviewers to see if working in the field makes you excited and if you’re approaching your duties ambitiously. In your answer, be sure to describe your accomplishment and tell the interviewer how it helped you strengthen your essential SEN teaching assistant skills. This question is also a great opportunity to express that you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing.

Example:‘Last year, I worked with children with hearing difficulties. The teachers’ and teaching assistants’ role was to encourage them to strengthen their communication skills by training their speech, but even though we paid close attention to speech exercises and provided a comfortable environment, some students felt uncomfortable speaking up. The teachers were particularly worried about one student who hasn’t said a word in a few months because of their shyness.Once, I was able to work with that student one-on-one during speech therapy.I understood their limitations and decided to tell them a story about my mother.

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Tips For Answering Interview Questions

Structuring your responses to interview questions using the STAR method will ensure you’re getting your point across:

  • Situation – give context for your anecdote
  • Task – explain what you were asked to do
  • Activity – describe what you did
  • Result – explain how the situation played out.

Keep your answers concise. Describe your maximum achievement in the minimum time, and be sure to finish on a positive note so your interviewers are left with a strong overall impression of you.

Personalise your answers. Do your research on the school and visit if you possibly can. Talk to anyone you know who works, trains or studies there, and find out what you can online about their curriculum, academics, recent Ofsted report, catchment area and specialisms.

Mention at least some of your findings in your answers to show your genuine enthusiasm in them as a school or organisation. This will help your answers stand out.

Ask someone you know to give you a mock interview as practice, such as a friend, tutor, teacher or careers adviser.

What Made You Decide To Be A Teacher

Why do you want to be a teacher? This question is one of the most common teacher interview questions, and your answer needs to go beyond the typical response that you love to help others learn. Your answer needs to show that you are really meant to be a teacher, giving specific, genuine, and thoughtful examples.

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Is There Anything You Would Like To Ask

Anyone thats ever been to a job interview, not just a teacher interview, surely knows that this question will be asked. This is asked for two main reasons.

First, to really provide you with additional information that you may be wondering. And second, to give an extra few minutes to really show that you are the ideal candidate by asking questions such as: what the school culture is like, what a typical day looks like, how many students are in each class, and what the bullying policy is.

Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

What Do You Find Is The Hardest Part Of Your Job As A Special Education Teacher

Special Education Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

This question assesses the candidate’s experience level and familiarity with common challenges of the role. What to look for in an answer:

  • Examples of difficult situations they’ve managed, and a positive attitude in addressing them
  • Understanding of common workplace challenges
  • Leadership and mentorship skills


“Being a special education teacher can be very stressful, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. I would say the initial period of time when you’re getting to know the student and how they learn is a challenge. You really have to take your time understanding how the student learns and absorbs lessons. There’s usually some trial and error involved, but once you’ve found what works best for each student, it’s extremely rewarding.”

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How Do You Ensure There Is Discipline In Your Classroom

This is straight down the line. The interviewer wants to check your professionalism and teaching style with this operational question. Showing an effective strategy is a great way to answer it. For example:

I find that discipline issues normally arise when the expectations of the teacher and students are not in sync. For that reason, I always work with students to create our list of classroom rules and consequences that everyone can agree are fair.

Then we all commit to following the rules, and this gives students ownership over classroom discipline. When they do act out, this makes it easier for them to understand why their behavior is an issue.

Interviewing For Esl Reading And Other Specialist Roles Involves A Unique Language And Question Style Use These Tips To Let Your Expertise Shine Through

Job interviews for specialist positions in reading, English as a second language and special education are different than those for grade-level or subject-content positions. These interviews include very specific vocabulary, require evidence of past successes and generally involve the participation of other teachers in addition to the principal and human resources personnel.

Teachers are included in interviewing their future colleagues because of their knowledge and the need to determine if the new hire will be a team player. After interviews with a personnel director and principal, be ready for a longer interview with a lead teacher in the field. Group interviews are common, where several grade-level teachers and a specialist teacher interview the candidate.

TIP: During a group interview, listen to introductions, address everyone in the group and strive not to be surprised or overwhelmed when facing a group of people.

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What Do You Do As A Special Education Teacher

Aside from teaching special needs students. You also work closely with their parents, school counselors, and parents to monitor your students needs and progress.

You may also have to create a targeted curriculum for each student that you teach. Individualized education programs that reflect their particular needs and abilities. Planning appropriate field trips, homework, and assessments are all a part of a special education teachers responsibilities as well.

What Skills Do You Have That Would Benefit The Special Education Classroom

How to Prepare for a Teacher Interview

This question helps interviewers determine your qualifications and anything interesting you might bring to the role. Do research on the school beforehand to find out what skills they value, then pick a couple of your skills that align with the position and explain them concisely.

Example:Communication and empathy are two skills that benefit me as a special education aide. Being able to speak with students, coworkers and parents effectively is a great way to ensure students receive the best possible education. Empathy, too, is important for understanding student difficulties and helping them handle issues.

Read more:Interview Question: “What Skills Do You Bring To The Job?”

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What Are In Your Opinion The Most Important Skills For Teachers Name 3 Of Them

A good teacher needs to have a whole set of skills and qualities. Most often we can hear that in order to become an effective and inspiring teacher, absolutely crucial and necessary are:

  • Passion for teaching,
  • Excellent communication and listening skills,
  • Leadership skills,
  • Good classroom management and a knack for organization,
  • Knowledge.

Why Did You Decide To Become A Teacher

What They Want to Know: Teaching is one of the most challenging of professions, with a high degree of burn-out. Youll be asked this question so the hiring committee can gauge your enthusiasm for and commitment to teaching.

From the time I was young, I have loved learning and appreciated the great teachers who opened new worlds for me. Its the only career I ever considered, because I truly want to follow their example and, now in my turn, instill a joy of learning in my own students.

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Mention A Challenge That You Faced During Your Last Role And How You Managed It

Every job comes with a fair set of challenges, which you as an employee need to overcome. The interviewer must therefore be convinced of your problem-solving skills before giving you a job. Mention any experience that paints you as a good problem solver.

Sample Answer

Before I moved to my former job post, I had not dealt with such a great number of students. They also had a range of challenges, some of which I had not encountered since my internship days. I had to move fast and adjust to my new surroundings. I swiftly interacted with the students, got to know them well, and worked closely with the school counselor. Within no time, I had adjusted well and was on top of my game.

How Long Does A Teaching Interview Last

Top 5 Teaching Assistant (TA) Interview Questions and Answers

A typical teaching interview will consist of three parts. Each part of the interview will last approximately 30 minutes and can take place over two days. There is some variation on this of course depending on the level of the role youre applying to, the role itself, the availability of the hiring team and much more. A teaching interview looks for far more than just a candidates ability to manage the classroom, the hiring team need to know that you can follow the curriculum and plan ahead. Youll need to deliver an example scheme of work, outlining how you intend to follow the curriculum and back this up with a couple of example lesson plans.

Example secondary teacher interview in the UK

The first part of your interview will consist of a standard job interview where a HR staff member and a senior leader spend approximately 30 minutes discussing your skills and experience. As this is a secondary teacher interview you would also be expected to discuss your subjects to some degree. While it is a wonderful thing to show knowledge in this area dont let your nerves get the better of you, show your enthusiasm too. You specialised in this subject for a reason and your passion for the subject as well as the role itself is important.

For those who would like further information on the panel or The Fishbowl interview Eteach has put together some helpful tips and Tammy Lanes Fishbowl interviews: How to swim is a humorous and encouraging read.

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