The successful job applicant (featured in the March 20, 2011 posting) shared interview questions, criteria, and rating system used by the hiring committee. Notice how the committee posed a wide range of questions to help them uncover applicants' dispositions, knowledge of teaching, and critical thinking. Themes included knowledge of content/curriculum, middle school concept, teaching/learning strategies, assessment, differentiating instruction, technology, classroom management, engaging parents, and school improvement.
1. Tell us about yourself, your experiences, and why you want to work at (this middle school)?
2. What are your expectations as to the nature and ability of middle level students?
3. Describe your student teaching experience. What are some of the most significant things you learned from our cooperating teacher(s)?
4. Our math curriculum centers around mathematics skills and problem solving, how would you ensure that math skills and problem solving were the focus of your instruction? And how would you know the students are engaged in each process?
5. What strategies do you possess and would use to develop a strong number sense in middle level students?
6. How would you know when students are not understanding a skill and/or a concept and what would you do to clarify these misunderstandings?
7. What strategies would you employ for students who are not "getting it?" And what techniques would you bring to the program to help struggling students?
8. Please tell us about your experiences with assessment...formative and summative, evaluations, pre-post testing, etc.
9. How do you vary instruction for the individual needs of students in math? Please give specific examples.
10. What role does technology play in your instruction? Please give specific examples.
11. How would you involve parents as active partners in the student's progress academically, socially, and behaviorally?
12. Please describe how you would manage your classroom for instruction. Under what circumstances would you refer a student to the principal's office?
13. What competencies do you possess that would improve our school?
14. Is there anything else you would like us to know what we have no asked? Do you have any questions?
Qualifications for Position:
-teaching experience in the middle level grades preferable
-knowledge of curriculum
-well versed in best middle level practices
-willingness to work cooperatively with curriculum team members to solve problems and make decisions in the best interest of students
How Applicants Were Rated:
Applicants were rated on a scale of 1 (low) to 3 (high) on the following criteria:
Knowledge of Middle Level
Knowledge of Content Area
BOOKNOTE: See "Prepare for Interviews" in The Guide. This section includes 30+typical interview questions with responses - what to say, what not to say, common interview practices, common interview mistakes, and what employers are looking for during an interview.