How would you describe your most challenging teaching experience? Or could the interviewer ask about an academic or professional problem you had to overcome?
Have you ever been to a teaching job interview and asked a question similar to the above questions?
Responding to a Challenging Teaching Experience Interview Question
The purpose of this question is to find out what you consider to be ‘challenging,’ whether you can show a logical approach to problem-solving, and how you respond to and overcome difficult times.
To show yourself positively, select a difficult classroom situation that you did not cause, and you can quickly explain in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem, the options, why you selected the one you did, and the outcome. And try to always end on a positive note.
Always communicate positively and share with the interview panel how you took the correct action and prevented it from happening again. Don’t talk negatively about anything in the interview.
How to Answer this Tough Teacher Interview Question
Dig deep to uncover some of the problematic/hard work situations you have experienced as a teacher and use the best example. There can be many events to communicate in the meeting, usually any delicate issue with another teacher, a student, a parent, or a severe distinct challenge with a project.
Using the correct wording to respond to this interview question will greatly impact the impression you will make in the education interview.
Every school wants an experienced teacher who can rise above complex situations. Therefore, describe a professional situation where you used your strong personal and professional skills. Maybe you had to rely on excellent communication skills, negotiation skills, persuasiveness, or other valued traits. Make it a point to highlight why that quality was essential to solving the challenging teacher experience.
A past challenging experience can be in any job role, new responsibility, career opportunity, career change, or even a new position. It is best to keep the example you use relevant to the posts you wish to secure.
For example, if you were promoted to lead and manage your grade team, it is considered a challenging professional experience. Another example is managing changes in the workplace as it requires using external information and utilizing different resources.
In most cases, the interviewer wishes to observe learning agility (i.e., quick learning ability) and the ability to adjust to changes (i.e., tolerance skills). These two factors can be the most important deciding factors for candidate selections.
First, decide which of the toughest teaching experiences you wish to discuss in the job interview. Several factors classify the gravity of the experience, so it would be wise to select a valuable one.
Here’s how to structure your answer:
1. Address the teaching challenge and experience that you’d like to talk about.
2. Explain why it was challenging for you and the goals you set to achieve it.
3. Use action words to tell how you planned, initiated, originated, established, decided, listened, guided, coached, led, motivated to achieve the above goals.
4. Finally, analyze the positive results, explaining the lessons you learned from the teaching challenge.
Be expressive enough to communicate if you handled the problem or obstacle alone or whether you required assistance from other teachers, resources educators, or your supervisor. This step is important because follow-up questions can cross-examine the answer.
Receiving assistance from others is absolutely OK as it shows that you know how to communicate and ask for help from other people. It provides evidence that you are not afraid to use others; strengths and knowledge to help you. Collaboration with others is an excellent way to overcome many teaching challenges. It shows you can work effectively in an education team environment.
If your situation involved receiving critical feedback from your supervisor, you would need to be careful in the wording you use to communicate the learning you achieved by addressing the feedback head-on.
Have you ever been asked in a teaching job interview about the most challenging teaching experience you had? How did you feel the response to the question go?
Nervous about what other types of questions you may be asked in the interview? Reach out to Candace for more help today!