Math Teacher Interview Questions

Preparing for a job interview is not only important for the person being interviewed, but also for the interviewers. Asking all the right questions can get you a good idea of who the candidate is and how they operate as a teacher. Here is a list of good interview questions that Lisa and I gathered from the responses we received via Twitter.
  • What would your dream school look like?
  • Share with me what you think a good piece of mathematics is - something you really like.
  • How would you make math class great for the students who feel like the "dumb kid?"
  • Do you have any experience with Web 2.0 tools?
  • Are you familiar with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics? NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics?
  • Why did you choose to become a math teacher?
  • What is your relationship with mathematics? Why do you love it and why should anyone care about it?
  • How do you make the content relevant and engaging for all learners? How do you make the content more accessible?
  • Tell me about a lesson that went well and why.
  • Tell me about a lesson that didn't go well and why. How might you improve that lesson?
  • How do you use technology in the classroom? As a personal/professional learner?
  • What skills and technologies are you most interested in improving upon or learning?
  • Do you find any particular courses/subjects/topics intimidating?
  • What professional materials (books, websites, blogs) do you read?
  • Describe a typical day in your classroom.
  • Which math is your favorite to teach and why?
  • How do you teach coverage of all topics while teaching students how to think/problem solve?
  • How would you work with a particularly difficult parent or student?
  • How do you incorporate problems that promote reasoning and sense making into your classroom?
  • How do you feel about implementing backwards design into your curriculum?
  • How do you determine a student's grade?
  • What is your homework philosophy?
  • What do you do when a student doesn't understand a concept?
  • How do you differentiate instruction in a class with students who can't multiply and students who understand complex math ideas?
  • What were your favorite classes in high school and/or college?
  • How do you determine what you teach?
  • How do you get students to practice math?
  • Give an example of a lesson when your students were really engaged.
  • How do you get students interested in the problem solving process?
It was also suggested to have the candidate substitute for a class, teach a lesson, and follow that up with some reflection with the interviewers (similar to a formal observation).

Hopefully some of you (interviewers and interviewees) will find this list useful in the future. Add any others that you can think of in the comments!


Jason Buell said...

I just read this article somewhere about Sergey Brin from Google asking his "hardest question" which was something like... "I'm going to leave the room and come back in five minutes. Teach me something complex that I don't already know." What I thought was interesting was that the guy who wrote the article said something about how Sergey figured that even if the interviewee wasn't going to work out, at least he could learn something from the interview. So...long story short, I think I'm going to need to figure out more ways I can learn stuff from doing interviews.

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