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Biology Teacher Interview Questions

Biology Teacher Interview Questions

In this post, I will discuss some Biology teacher interview questions, how to prepare for an interview and land the job with the contract you want.

Whether this is your first interview for a Biology teaching position or your 21st you need to do what you can to prepare to give you the best shot at landing a job.

Being prepared for your Biology teaching interview questions is going to help set your answers apart from your competition and help you be more confident and relaxed.

Finding your Job

One strategy I used when trying to find a job near my family in another state was to identify all of the schools within driving distance of where I would live.

Next, I add the schools employment pages to my favorites. You could also pin the tabs and have all of the pages open every time you open the browser. Either strategy will work, just make sure you check in frequently since the deadlines for submitting you application are very short.

Applying for Your Biology Teaching Job

Have multiple packets of your clearances, references letters, resume, certification documents, transcripts and any other documents that you will need. Your cover letter and resume must be free of typos!

I have taken it a step further and included things like a copy of a newspaper article written about an award I received for exemplary employee of the year and even article about specific projects I did with students.

When applying at a job fair, I had photo of myself in a suit on the top right of my resume. I did it because I want to set myself apart and stand out from the crowd of people that were also interviewing. One of the recruiters commented “your a smart guy” when he saw my resume. Several days later, I was signing a contract with that district and years later I was recruiting other teachers with the same guy!

Below are some interview questions you can expect. When you practice answering the questions be sure to respond using specific examples from your own experiences. If you get caught off guard by a question just answer honestly.

Remember to dress to impress, relax (but not too much), have good posture, make eye contact and talk professionally.

Interview Questions for Biology Teachers

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you want to work here.
  • Tip- Do not go on forever telling your life story, tell the interviewer information that is relevant to the position like your education, work history and personal history connected to the school if applicable.
In what way do you plan instruction to engage students?
  • Use specific examples of ways you have engaged students.
What do you believe is the most important part of classroom management?
  • Developing positive relationships with students and procedures. Explain specific examples of how you have done do these.
Describe a lesson that you think went well. What do you think made it successful? How do you know if it was successful?
  • Be specific about a lesson. When talking about why it was successful you may want to mention how you designed the lesson (i.e 5E model, differentiated for all learners), predicted areas where students would struggle and provided the necessary support and scaffolding at the right times, used specific questions techniques that fostered higher level thinking. You know it was successful because you use a variety of assessment strategies (be specific to your lesson). Check out this assessment strategy for an excellent model.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Describe how you see yourself in their school, working towards a higher degree, fine tuning the curriculum, having a well-established positive reputation, coaching, sponsor a club. Ect.
Note: We will be offering a FULL YEAR of Biology Lesson Plans starting  August 2017.  Detailed plans for every day, every worksheet, lab, assessment, presentation. Every day planned for you.  Sign up here to get email reminders, updates and free activities to your inbox.
How do you handle a student who is disrespectful to you?
  • This is an opportunity to talk about how you manage the class. Mention that though you work hard at establishing an environment of respect, students do have bad days and act out. If you have not checked out the classroom management form <–click here and look it over. It is a specific tool you can mention in the interview.
How do you handle a student who has a negative attitude toward Biology?
  • Foster a positive relationship. Admit that not every student is going to love the subject as much as you do but you will try your best to get them to love it. Your passion is going to help them become passionate.
If I walked into your classroom yesterday, what would I have seen?
  • Describe the component of your lesson from start to finish. Describe your lesson in a way that shows your interview that you can design cohesive instruction.
What made you want to become a Biology teacher?
  • I can’t help you here. Just avoid saying “I couldn’t find a jobs anyway else with my biology degree”
Provide an example of how you have differentiated instruction.
  • Here you will want to discuss high differentiation and lower differentiation. Check out this activity to get an idea of what higher differentiation can look like.
Describe two strengths and two weakness you have as an educator.
  • This is a balancing act. Make your negatives sound positive. For example, instead of saying I struggle with classroom management say sometimes I care too much about the small behaviors that can get my students off task, however I am learning how to deal with them better each day (use a specific example i.e. proximity). This is probably the most difficult question.
What would you do if your lesson that involved technology did not work due to a technology issues?
  • Describe a situation where you have encountered this and describe how you made an adjustment.
Why should we hire you over the other candidates? Why you?
  • Mention experiences you have that are unique like you worked in a title 1 school for X number of years, you have a vested interest in the school, you will out work anyone, teaching is your passion and not a job, willing to learn, a team player.

Do not be surprised if you encounter a wild question. I recall my first ever interview being asked “if I could be any animal what would it be.”

What you could encounter in the interview.

You could be asked specific content knowledge questions. They are usually embedded into lesson design questions. For example, describe a lesson you taught on evolution. Yes, you may be asked about evolution.

As a biology teacher, you should expect this question. Regardless of how you feel about teaching evolution, for many states it is an assessed area and you must teach it.

You may be asked to answer a question (s) in writing.

After the interview

Send an email or a thank you card to the interview team.

If you are selected, you may be asked to come back and teach a lesson to the team. In fact, at my current job, I was ask to teach to the team (topic: evolution) and again to students another day (plants).

Signing the Contract

Do not sign the contract until you are comfortable with everything in it. Ask questions if you do not understand something. Ideally you will have read the contract prior to your interview to help you determine if you even want to work there.

Common Contract Issues:

  • Permanent vs Temporary Position (temporary can mean full time permanent but NOT tenured so be sure to read the contract)
  • Years of service may not be honored. You may have to negotiate your years of service. Know the contract before having this discussion.
  • Benefits-health, pension contributions. Your pay could look great however, when you look at the amount you have to pay for your health insurance, the competing school offering you $10,000 less per year may actually be a better financial decision.
  • Educational benefits- Most states require you to continue your education. Does the school pay for it? If so, how much? Do not be afraid to negotiate here.
    • If you get the job, you may want to take classes during the summer. Ask the school to pay for those classes even before your contract begins.

Finding your Job

One strategy I used when trying to find a job near my family in another state was to identify all of the schools within driving distance of where I would live.

Next, I add the schools employment pages to my favorites. You could also pin the tabs and have all of the pages open every time you open the browser. Either strategy will work, just make sure you check in frequently since the deadlines for submitting you application are very short.

 

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