Give Your Best In Your Special Needs Teaching Job Interview With These Top Tips

13th January 2021

Going through a special education job interview is just a one-stepping stone in becoming a special education teacher. Just like any other job interview, doing well and responding to questions in a precise way can help you to grab the position. Being a special education teacher with a special needs course is an amazingly worthwhile career. You will get the opportunity not only just to engage with special needs individuals but also to shape how they learn, nurture, and see the world around them in a different way.

In order to make the special education job interview a successful one, you will need to prepare for it. You will be enquired numerous general teacher interview questions but you will also have to knob interview questions that are specific to special needs education.

These interview tips are intended to aid you to put your best foot forward as you try to step into a special education classroom.

Formulate Your Portfolio

You will need to make a specific portfolio. After formulating it make sure your portfolio is being seen over by a professional who works in the special educational sector. Include your credentials, achievements, degrees, awards and certificates well. You will also need to incorporate your teaching philosophy as well as sample lesson plans in this portfolio. Generally, a teaching portfolio consists of different samples of the projects and assignments that you did. This shows the kind of assignments you hand out while your teaching career.

Prepare For the Tough Questions

Teachers, usually working with special education needs students go through at least one interview before landing a job. Just like the other interviews, the job interviews of teaching the special education needs students also include some tough questions. For example –

  • “Tell us how you manage out-of-control behaviour, and how you prevent it.”
  • How have you managed a very disruptive student?
  • How have you cooperated with general education teachers to help your students?
  • “What teaching techniques for conflict resolution do you feel are suitable to apply in your classroom?”
  • How do you boost students to explore learning opportunities?
  • How do you teach and encourage socially suitable behaviour to your students?
  • Have you ever encouraged parental engrossment in student learning?
  • Why do you want to become a special education teacher?

We are sure there are more but these are the most commonly asked questions! Now…how will you answer these questions?

Well, there are no right or wrong answers to this special education interview questions precisely. When the recruiter will ask you about how you will manage out-of-control behaviour, you can deliver some of the examples of at least two different teaching approaches that are effective for those particular students.

How will you collaborate with general education teachers to help your students? You can highlight your role in the team as a supporter for your students. You can highlight your aptitude to work collaboratively and show them that you can be a valuable resource by providing specialized activities, modifications, IEPs.

Now comes a tricky one – teaching the socially acceptable behaviour to your students. Here, perhaps you can add subjects like clearly communicating the significances of socially acceptable behaviour, evaluating the source of improper behaviour to design a behavioural support program and so on.

Dress Properly

Dress cleanly and show an unsoiled presence that represents you as an organized person and ready for action as probable. Just try to be stress-free and pleasant, while keeping it professional. Well, you do not need to wear a suit, but you should dress in a professional way. Try to be confident in a way that displays you can facilitate a special classroom also in a way that will set your students at ease.

Prepare a Lesson Plan

Well, some special education needs schools may ask to create a brand-new lesson plan. The school will give you a topic (sometimes) to teach along with the age range for the students whom you will teach (if you get selected). Even if the school do not ask you to create a lesson plan, preparing one out can help you during the interview. You can refer that lesson plan when you face the questions about the teaching methods and the activities that you would use in the classroom.

Follow Up Questions

We would recommend always follow up with a few questions of your own. At the end of the special education interview, ask those questions. This displays that you have a thoughtful interest in the post and you really want to grow as a special education teacher. You might ask about the exact number of students in each one of your classes, how frequently parents participate in those classes, some of the matters that special education students in that specific school have and so on.

Try to have a clear understanding of the role of the special education teacher. Always send a thank you letter after your teacher job interview. Try to be as honest as possible, however, stick to some of the parts of yourself that are applicable to the type of teacher they want to hire. Acing well and responding to the questions in the right way by receiving the training from special needs course can aid you to nail your interview.

Don’t over-think it. Even if you aren’t picture-perfect and display a bit of nervousness, it is because you’re only human!

Written By: Gargi Sen      

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