Top Substitute Teacher Interview Questions with Example Answers [2020]

Prepare for your Substitute Teacher interview by going through these most asked Substitute Teacher interview questions. Additionally, get access to sample answers and interviewer's expectations.

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  • Question: Why do you want to be a substitute teacher?
  • Question Overview: You will want to ask this question to get a sense of the interviewee's motivations. Are they looking for a temporary job or do they have a long-term interest in education? You will also want to get an idea of how much they know about your school and the community.

    Sample Answer: I have always been interested in education and want to help out in any way I can. I have been a substitute teacher for three years and have enjoyed it every time. I am looking for a long-term position, but I am willing to take any job that comes my way.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Motivation for the job
    • - Understanding of the school and community
    • - Knowledge of the local area

  • Question: What would you do if a teacher didn't leave the plan for you?
  • Question Overview: Substitute teachers can be called to fill in at the last minute. You will want a candidate who is able to read a plan quickly and understand the curriculum. Use this question to determine how well they can adapt to new situations and how well they can read and comprehend plans.

    Sample Answer: I would look through the plan and see if there were any notes from the main teacher. If they left me a lesson plan, I would go through it and make sure I understood the curriculum. If not, I would ask the administrators at the school for help.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to adapt to new situations
    • - Quick comprehension of plans
    • - Ability to read and comprehend plans

  • Question: Tell me about your self.
  • Question Overview: This is a general question that you can use to get a feel for the candidate's personality and how they will interact with your students. You can also use it to determine how well they can adapt to different situations and how well they can work with others.

    Sample Answer: I am a very outgoing person who loves to be around people. I have been a substitute teacher for five years and have worked in several different schools. I am very adaptable and can work with a variety of students.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to work with others
    • - Personality
    • - Ability to adapt to different situations

  • Question: What would you do if you arrive to a classroom and there are no lesson plans?
  • Question Overview: Substitute teachers might be called to a school on short notice and have to fill in for a teacher who is out sick or on vacation. You want to make sure that the potential hire is able to handle these situations and will not panic if they arrive to an empty classroom.

    Sample Answer: If I arrive to a classroom and there are no lesson plans, I will ask the students what they have been learning. I can read and understand a variety of subjects. I can then use this information to create a lesson plan for the day.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to improvise
    • - Knowledge of curriculum
    • - Ability to read or understand lesson plans

  • Question: What would you do if a student disrupts the class?
  • Question Overview: You will want to know how a potential substitute teacher would handle a disruptive student. You can use this question to determine how well they can think on their feet and how well they can handle a variety of situations.

    Sample Answer: I always try to get the student to focus on the lesson at hand. If that doesn't work, I will ask them to step out of the classroom for a few minutes. If that doesn't work, I will ask them to leave the classroom for the rest of the day.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to handle a variety of situations
    • - Quick adaptation when necessary
    • - Ability to review older material

  • Question: What activities would you do with a toddler and a preschooler?
  • Question Overview: You will want to ask a potential substitute teacher what they do with younger students. You can use this question to determine how well they know the age group and what they do to keep them engaged.

    Sample Answer: I would probably start with a few songs and rhymes with the toddler. I would then move on to some basic games that are appropriate for their age. I would probably use some of the same activities with the preschoolers, but I would also try to incorporate some of their favorite books into the lesson plan.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Knowledge of age group
    • - Activities to keep them engaged
    • - Ability to adapt to different situations

  • Question: How do you feel about public speaking?
  • Question Overview: Public speaking can be a big part of the job of a substitute teacher. You will want someone who is at least confident in their ability to speak in front of a group. Use this question to determine how well the interviewee can present themselves and how well they can speak to a variety of people.

    Sample Answer: I have been in front of groups since I was young. I have always been able to talk with confidence and clarity. I have never had any trouble speaking in front of others.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Confidence in public speaking
    • - Ability to speak to a variety of people
    • - Ability to speak with confidence

  • Question: How will you engage the students in class activity?
  • Question Overview: Engaging students in class can be a challenge for substitute teachers. You want to make sure that your potential hire is able to keep the students' attention and get them involved in the lesson. Use this question to determine the interviewee's ability to engage students and their ability to think on their feet.

    Sample Answer: I always start by asking the students what they know about the subject. From there, I can gauge their level of understanding and adapt my lesson plan accordingly. I will also ask them what they want to learn about the subject and incorporate that into the lesson plan.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to engage students
    • - Quick thinking
    • - Adaptability

  • Question: What do you expect to achieve while working here?
  • Question Overview: You will want to know what the potential substitute teacher's goals are for the position. You can use this question to determine if they are looking for a long-term job or just a short-term one.

    Sample Answer: I am looking for a long-term position that will allow me to work with a variety of students and teachers. I want to be able to learn from the other educators and help students learn in my time here.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Goals for the position
    • - Long-term goals
    • - How they will achieve these goals

  • Question: If you have a problem in the school, who should you speak with about it?
  • Question Overview: A substitute teacher will need to be able to communicate effectively with the school's administration and other staff members. You can use this question to determine how well the interviewee can communicate with others and how they handle problems.

    Sample Answer: I would speak with the main teacher or the principal. If they are unavailable, I would ask another teacher or administrator for help. I would try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

      What the interviewer is looking for:
    • - Ability to communicate effectively
    • - Quick adaptation when necessary
    • - Ability to review older material