Substitute Teacher – Interview Questions and Answers

Employing a substitute teacher is a delicate process that requires critical attention. This is as a result of the fact that a substitute teacher must be flexible and versatile enough to fill in the gap created by the absence of the regular teacher. The substitute teacher must be able to continue the teaching process with as minimal interference to the teaching-learning process as possible.

Examples of interview questions and answers geared towards improving an employer’s ability to select a suitable substitute teacher are provided below.


1. What qualities do you possess that are required to be an accomplished substitute teacher?

I possess widespread knowledge in core subjects as Math, English, Science and History. The above provides me with a larger range of knowledge required to adequately fill in vacancies created by the absence of the regular teachers. I am also a very patient with enviable creative and organizational skills.


2. The substitute teacher’s transition and introduction to the class can be very demanding. How would you attain the respect and due regards from the students?

The process of transition to fill in a vacancy created by the absence of a regular teacher is best approached in a gradual and sensitive manner. First and foremost, the students need to know that you are a friend. The ability to remain fair and firm is also critical to building bonds and gaining respect from the students.


3. What assurances give you the confidence that you can excel at being a substitute teacher?

Besides the possession of the required academic qualifications, I am also very confident that my drive, knowledge base, experience and drive are ingredients needed to succeed at the profession of being a distinguished substitute teacher.


4. Teaching generally can be a tasking job; what motivational factors boost your enthusiasm about being a substitute teacher?

It is very satisfying and inspiring to be a substitute teacher. Contributing to the growth of the students is a joyful experience that continually helps to nourish my willingness to keep pursuing this profession.


5. How would you define the job requirements of a substitute teacher?

A substitute teacher essentially fills in for the lead teacher. The substitute teacher is responsible for the smooth running of the day to day activities and educational processes of the students. The job requirements of a substitute teacher are exactly the same as those of regular teachers. Some of these job requirements include instruction of students as well as evaluation and keeping of records of students’ performances.


6. What approach would you utilize as a substitute teacher to maintain decorum in the classroom?

This can be achieved through the administration of proper orderliness and organizational attributes. Good communication skills coupled with being fair and firm are qualities also needed in dealing with unruliness in classrooms.


7. What challenges, if any, do you think a substitute teacher faces?

A substitute teacher faces a lot of challenges. These are often caused by the temporary nature of the job. Substitute teaching as a profession is pseudo-nomadic. This fact results in substitute teachers being most unable to spend more time to bond with the students, and by extension, the inability to have complete cognizance and insights into the students’ attributes.


8. How would you overcome such challenges faced by substitute teachers as given above?

Overcoming the above-stated challenge can be attained through the practice of effective time management. Judicious use of time and other associated resources can help to maximize productivity and general output.


9. As a substitute teacher, how would you go about maintaining healthy interrelationships amongst all parties involved directly or indirectly with the educational system?

This can be achieved through the use of effective communication. Lack of/ insufficient interactions pave the way for poor understanding and gives rise to disputes. Displaying tolerance and maintaining a positive outlook helps to establish and promote healthy personal and working relationships between all and sundry.


10. How compatible are you with the use of technology and innovative methodology in teaching? Give an example of such techniques.

I am proficient in the use/ application of technological aid and techniques in supplementing the lesson plans. This kind of tools helps make the subject matter more interesting and comprehensible. Such methods include the use of computer-aided designs and PowerPoint presentations.

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