3 Questions To Ask During a Substitute Teaching Interview

Many substitute teachers find it advantageous to apply with and work for multiple school districts. This approach means becoming comfortable with the interview process, since that is what some districts require before subbing. While the number of questions are often limited and usually focus on classroom management and organization skills, the interview experience is an opportunity to ask a few questions of your own. The answers to these three questions will help determine if this is a school district where you want to work. Even if your district doesn’t interview substitute teachers formally, these are still great questions to find the answers to at any school you’d like to work.

How long is the substitute teacher list?

Substitute shortages are a common problem for schools, therefore it’s no surprise that there is usually a rolling substitute teacher job posting. During the interview, ask what the substitute situation looks like in the building. If there is a surplus of candidates then it is possible that you will not be called for many jobs – at least until you make connections with teachers who know to request you specifically. The bigger issue, however, is if the school indicates that they are extremely short on subs. While this may mean that you will have a steady job offers, it may also mean that you will have to cover additional classes in the event that the school is short on any given day. For many substitute teachers, teaching all day with no break or lunch is a deal breaker.

How is poor student behavior generally addressed?

At first glance, this sounds like a question that could be asked of a substitute teacher candidate. But asking this to the interviewer will provide insight into what the school culture is like and how teachers are supported by the school administrators. If the person interviewing you struggles to answer the question, then it’s likely that students don’t know the consequences either.

Are there anticipated job openings in my content area in the near future?

Many student teachers accept jobs as a means for becoming visible and making a good impression in a school. It is not inappropriate to make it clear during the interview process that you value an opportunity to secure a full-time position at the school. The answer to this question may not cause you to reconsider accepting a substitute teacher position, but it will better define your possible trajectory in that particular school.

Substitute teaching gives you the opportunity to see what it is like working in a number of different schools. The interview process is an opportunity for you to make informed decisions on where it is that you want to work. What kind of substitute teacher interview experiences have you had? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below, or contact us!

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