Here are the top 10 most asked math teacher interview questions, with suggested responses for you to practice and be able to go into the interview with confidence.
1. Tell me what you like about teaching math.
This question provides an opportunity for you to show the interviewer you enjoy teaching math. Let the interviewer see your enthusiasm for helping people learn math. You will spend a significant amount of time carrying out the job, and the interviewer wants to know that the job will fulfill you. If you don’t find your job satisfying, you are less likely to give your full attention to it and more likely to leave the position. Before the interview, think about the most rewarding moments of your career. Think about the days you have gone home feeling immense satisfaction with your day. Use these stories to highlight what you like about teaching math.
Many students have negative feelings towards math. They find it difficult, boring or irrelevant. I enjoy teaching math because I like the opportunity to change the way students view math. I love the way math gives students a goal to work towards. They are aiming to get the right answer, sometimes with many options of how to get there. Seeing a student light up and realize they can do math makes me feel my job is worthwhile.
2. What attracts you to teaching math at our school?
Your answer to this question should show the interviewer you want to teach math at this particular school, not just at any school. Do your research before the interview. Use your research to show the interviewer you have a reason or reasons that you want to work there. Let them see that you want this job, not just any job. You could praise the reputation of the school, the curriculum, or the staff. Perhaps you have read a couple of articles about that school that said something positive. Maybe you know a parent or a teacher there and can relay the positive things they said about the school in your interview. You could also choose to focus on the grade level and highlight why your teaching style is best suited to the school. Choose a reason that makes sense to the interviewer. Show the interviewer you are a good fit for the school.
I want to work at a school that places importance on math as part of the curriculum and on attainment and improvement, particularly in math but also across all subjects. I know that a student from this school has qualified for USAMO recently, thanks to the math program the school has in place. I feel that my teaching style would fit in well with the program and could help encourage more students to enjoy math and to succeed at it.
3. What techniques do you use to engage reluctant students?
Teaching is a rewarding but difficult career, particularly when trying to teach math and compete with the many forms of instant entertainment and gratification available to students. Show the interviewer how you will engage with these students to build relationships and help them learn and possibly even enjoy math.
By choosing to teach math, I knew that I would routinely come across students who were reluctant to engage because they don’t see the relevance of math or they struggle with it. With reluctant students, I think there are many techniques that can be used, depending on the personality of the student, what I am trying to teach and how others in the class are doing.
For example, I had a student who was struggling with working with the concept of area. I knew this student enjoyed playing Minecraft, and I used Minecraft to connect with the student and show how to calculate the area of a shape in a practical way that the student could relate to. That wouldn’t work for every student, but I believe that by building relationships and getting to know my students, I can connect with them and help them understand math.
4. What can you contribute to our PLC for math?
Being a teacher is not just about teaching your classes and going home. Professional learning communities offer an opportunity to discuss a plethora of topics, including benchmarks, data analyses and lesson planning. Think about your strengths and highlight these in your answer. This is your opportunity to tell the interviewer what you can offer to your peers. It also offers an opportunity for you to highlight what you think you may learn from your peers.
I see a significant benefit in PLC’s as they offer an opportunity to share our strengths and improve our weaknesses. One of my particular strengths is in creating student-centered activities to aid students in learning and potentially even enjoying math. A PLC offers an opportunity to share that with my peers and also to get their feedback on how the activities are received by their students so that together we can refine the activities to make sure we help the students reach their full potential.
5. What do you consider to be the toughest thing about teaching math?
Many students often have preconceived notions of math as a tough subject, one that they do not or will not like. This prejudice can make math a difficult subject to engage students with. Math is also generally regarded as more difficult than many other subjects. Whatever you consider to be the toughest thing about teaching math, your answer should also show the interviewer that you are not discouraged by this.
Many students come into my class for the first time with a preconceived notion that they cannot do math, and that makes it harder to engage them in the class and get them to achieve what they are capable of. I know that not every student will be good at math, but I find it difficult when students are underachieving because of this preconceived notion. I always try to identify those students early in the school year, so I can work with the student to help them achieve their full potential. Having those students improve and succeed can be tough, but it is highly rewarding.
6. Tell me about your teaching strategies.
Your teaching strategies can tell the interviewer a lot about your personality. You might feel that your strict adherence to discipline in the classroom is your strong suit. Alternatively, you may perform at your best by keeping a relaxed, fun attitude in the classroom. Before the interview, it’s helpful to find out about the teaching styles at the school. Whichever strategies you focus on, be honest.
I find students perform best by having boundaries and structure. Having a set lesson plan helps to keep the students focused and to let them know what is expected of them. As part of the lesson plan, I always ensure there are interactive activities to help the students practice what we have learned and to keep them engaged. A lesson has to be a two-way process to keep the students interested and the interactive activities help add an element of fun to the lesson.
7. Are there skills and technologies that you feel would benefit your students?
Technology is always changing, and it is important that a teacher keeps up-to-date with technology and considers how best to use technology in the classroom. This question also allows you to show the interviewer you have an interest in your own personal development and keeping up-to-date.
Technology is an important part of daily life and should also form part of the classroom. As students grow up surrounded by technology, I think we need to continue to integrate this into learning. At the moment, we still rely heavily on paper and pen, and I would like to see more use of iPads and computers in the classroom to make lessons more interactive. Using such technology also helps engage with the students who are using iPads and similar technology daily. Also, there are a number of great free apps that combine math with games, and I find various ways to incentivize students to use those at home for extra practice.
8. Have you ever had a lesson that didn’t go well? What would you do to improve the lesson?
Every teacher experiences a lesson that doesn’t go well. This question allows you to show the interviewer you are capable of self-reflection. Tell the interviewer why you think the lesson didn’t go well and what steps you took to improve next time.
I had been teaching for about six months when I had to teach the students about volume. The students were not interested in the topic and were very rowdy. Instead of handling this calmly, I yelled at the class. This didn’t result in the students quietening down and taking part. In fact, it made matters worse. On reflection, I realize that yelling in that way did not earn me the respect of the students. Instead, I now keep calm and amend my lesson plan if the subject isn’t engaging the students.
9. What help do you expect of the school administrators and other personnel to allow you to perform your job successfully?
The interviewer recognizes that as a teacher, you may require help from others within the school to help you and your students succeed. This question allows you to show that you are open to receiving help and asking for it when necessary.
I want to perform the job to the best of my ability and help my students succeed, but I also recognize that occasionally I will need help and feedback from others. I think getting feedback is important to ensure that I continue to improve. I also recognize that students can have other things going on in their lives that can affect how they perform in school. Equally, some students may have special education needs. In these situations, I would hope to receive the assistance of counselors and special education teachers to help me ensure the students reach their potential and get the education they need.
10. What techniques do you use to assess students’ progress?
This question gives you the opportunity to share how you assess the progress and development of your students. Tell the interviewer about the different techniques you might use to ensure all students are assessed fairly. You can also use your answer as an opportunity to tell the interviewer how you would detect that a student was struggling and what steps you would take in such a situation.
Assessing a student’s progress requires a multi-faceted approach. Students have different strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to make sure we use different assessment strategies. I use practical and theoretical quizzes alongside group projects and oral reports to assess all aspects of the students’ learning. I also think it is important to have open lines of communication with the students so they understand what I expect of them and what they need to do to succeed.
Next 30 Most Asked Math Teacher Interview Questions
- Tell me a little about yourself.
- How do you identify a student who needs extra help? What action do you take on identifying such a student?
- What techniques do you use to help students develop a positive mindset about math?
- Tell me about your homework philosophy.
- Why do you think math is important for students to understand?
- How would your students describe you?
- Tell me about a time you successfully taught a tough concept. What steps did you take to enable a successful outcome?
- Have you ever had a conflict with a student? How did you resolve the situation?
- What is your favorite math subject to teach? Why?
- Describe a lesson that went well and why.
- What do you do to help students with their social-emotional learning?
- Tell me what makes you unique as a math teacher.
- How do you make math exciting for students?
- You are asked to cover a class for a teacher who has phoned in sick. How do you handle this?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- How do you deal with disruptive students?
- Your students are struggling to grasp a tough concept you are trying to teach them. What action do you take?
- Tell me what rules you have for your classroom.
- What do you consider to be your strengths?
- What qualities do you bring to a team?
- How do you plan your lessons?
- If you could only teach one math concept, which concept would you choose, and why?
- Are you willing to sponsor any clubs or activities?
- How do you balance the needs of both the advanced and slow learners in the same class?
- How do you include parents in the education of their children?
- Do you see any areas for improvement in our math curriculum?
- What techniques do you use to maximize classroom participation?
- What types of students do you feel you teach most effectively?
- How do you check for understanding as you are teaching?
- How would you rank content knowledge, relationship with your students and classroom structure in order of importance? Why?
10 Best Questions to Ask in a Math Teacher Interview
A math teacher interview is your opportunity to convince the interviewer you are enthusiastic about teaching, can explain difficult things simply, and can engage students. Once the interviewer has asked their questions, you have a further opportunity to find out more about the role and to continue to show your enthusiasm for the job by asking your own questions.
- What does a typical day for a math teacher look like here?
- How will you measure success in this role?
- How many students are in an average class?
- Is the district supportive of opportunities for continuing education for teachers?
- What are the goals for the school over the next twelve months?
- What are some challenges I can expect to encounter?
- What can I do in my first ninety days to contribute to the goals of the school?
- Is there anything you dislike about working here?
- What role do you think technology has in a learning environment?
- What qualities do you consider important in a math teacher?
Before the interview, do your research. Find out as much as you can about the school. Make sure you are familiar with the essential and desired skills for the job and think about how you will show the interviewer you possess these skills. Each of your answers should show the interviewer you are the right person for the job.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.