How to Answer the Teacher Interview Question “Tell Me About a Time When…”

How to Answer the Teacher Interview Question “Tell Me About a Time When…”


So you are at your teacher interview, and you just KNOW they will ask you one question that is somewhere along the line of, “Tell me about a time when…”

-Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a co-worker

-Tell me about a time that a lesson didn’t go as planned

-Tell me about a time that you would have changed one of your lessons

-Tell me about a time when you were proud of one of your accomplishments

The list goes ON AND ON.

Teacher Interview Sample Questions

Good news! There is a simple formula you can use to answer any type of question that I like to call “Tell me about a time when” questions.

The first step comes with interview preparation (you can find more information about this in my 6 ways to ace your interview FREE notebook- linked here!). When you are preparing for your teacher interview, you want to think of 3-5 versatile stories that are connected to teaching experiences that you have had. Think of stories that can be used to answer several questions at your teacher interview.

After you think of a story, you are going to want to use the STAR interview method to answer these interview questions. The STAR interview method is a behavioral interviewing technique that you can use to MASTER teacher interview questions. It stands for:

S: Situation

T: Task

A: Action

R: Result


Give the people who are interviewing you some background information on what happened, or as I like to say, “Set the scene.”


Tell them what you were tasked to do.


What action steps did you take to complete the task or solve the problem?


What happened? What are you going to do differently next time? How did you solve the problem? At least one of these questions needs to be answered to finish answering your teacher interview question.

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Teacher Interview Answers

Here is an example question and answer:

Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a co-worker.

S: When I was student teaching, I was partnered up with a teacher who used a non-evidence-based method of teaching reading instruction (and that a method that I did not prefer to use).

T: She had asked me to take over small group reading time, and the expectation was that I would teach the students using the method she had implemented in her classroom.

A: I told her that I had been learning about this innovative, evidence-based method of teaching reading, and that my teachers said that if we had any opportunity at all to implement it, that we should. I asked her if I could tell her more about the method, and if she would be okay with me trying it out with her students.

R: After we talked, she said that she was excited to implement something new, and allowed me to implement this new practice with my reading small groups. She liked it so much, that she started to incorporate pieces of it into her reading instruction even after student teaching was finished for the year.

Looking for support in the teacher job search and interview process? Want to work through that first year of teaching together? I got you!