Teaching Assistant Interview Questions and Answers Teaching assistant: job overview Teaching assistants interview questions and how you should answer them Useful tips Conclusion
Teaching Assistant Interview Questions and Answers Teaching assistant: job overview Teaching assistants interview questions and how you should answer them Useful tips Conclusion
Updated 14/12/2020

Teaching Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Want to land a teaching career? Having a job interview invitation is a great start. With our list of the most common interview questions and answers, you will surely make a positive first impression.

Want to land a teaching career? Having a job interview invitation is a great start. With our list of the most common interview questions and answers, you will surely make a positive first impression.

Becoming a teaching assistant is the first step to being a teacher. It is a career filled with everyday challenges, learning, and improvement. In 2019, there were almost 1.4 million teaching assistants solely in the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 4% employment growth for TAs from 2019 to 2029.

This data indicates the profession’s market demand and popularity, so many specialists find it hard to stand the competition and pass a teaching assistant job interview successfully. Even though you can’t fully prepare in advance, it is a good idea to get familiar with possible questions and the best answers. In this article, we will share the 15 most common interview questions for teaching assistants and how to answer them in the best way.

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Teaching assistant: job overview

Teaching assistants work with teachers and help them manage classroom activities of any kind. Higher-level classroom assistants also work with students with special educational needs, teach classes, and give grades. TAs can become kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle and high school teachers, and special education teachers after obtaining necessary education, licenses, and training.


  • Handling instructional materials, textbooks, and other learning sources;
  • Supporting good performance and development of students;
  • Managing pupils’ behavior;
  • Reading to children;
  • Monitoring children’s academic progress and reporting to teachers and parents;
  • Completing administrative tasks, for example, preparing and cleaning classrooms;
  • Administering first aid;
  • Helping students who need assistance with dressing or walking after an accident or injury;
  • Creating displays and exhibitions of students’ works;
  • Participating in school trips.


There are no specific requirements, so this job opportunity is a good starting point for high school and college graduates. Some schools may ask candidates for at least an A level education or CACHE diploma in child education and care. There are also part-time courses for those who want to work as teaching assistants. They cover such topics as legal requirements, professional skills, and useful techniques.

Average annual salary: $23,239. Experienced teaching assistants with additional specialization or those working with special needs pupils may earn $33,176 a year.

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Teaching assistants interview questions and how you should answer them

Preparing for interview questions beforehand will not only make you calmer but will also help you to look professional and confident. Below you will find the most common TA interview questions with advice and examples.

1. What are your career goals?

This is one of the most popular questions during a teaching assistant interview. It aims to help the hiring manager or employer determine whether you are willing to stay in the industry for a long time. Another variation of the question is ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’


“I enjoy working with children, and my goal is to become a teacher assistant to grow and improve my skills and knowledge. With time, I’d like to be an English teacher.”

2. Why is the teaching assistant role important?

The potential employer wants to see whether you understand the position and its importance. When answering, you can mention such duties as encouraging students to evolve and creating a secure environment.


“The TA role is important because it helps teachers concentrate on education, while assistants do repetitive tasks like arranging papers and preparing classrooms.”

3. What qualities make you a good teaching assistant?

Here you should discuss your strengths and skills that will be valuable for the school. Don’t forget to mention useful qualifications even if they don’t relate directly to the position. They include, for example, speaking a foreign language or playing guitar.


“I believe that education contributes to success and a happier life. I am constantly learning and want to share this passion with others. My enthusiasm and energy might motivate students to learn and have fun in the process.”

4. How do you manage conflicts at work?

Interviewers are looking for confident and stress-resistant employees, so this question is asked to see how good you are in social interactions.


“When facing a conflict, I start by asking questions to understand the opponent’s point of view. This helps to keep the situation under control and show a person that they are heard. Such an approach makes it much simpler to remain calm and find a compromise.”

5. Why do you want to work in this school?

It is a rather typical question which shows that you’ve researched the school and found something unique about it. Try to give a personalized answer.


“I have lived in this district all my life and attended this school. That is why I understand the problems and needs of the community. I share your vision and want to help local children in their academic path. I think working as a teacher is a great way to give back and contribute.”

6. If a group of students disrupts a lesson by talking and laughing, what would you do?

Often, teaching assistants face behavioral problems and have to discipline pupils. This question is asked to test whether you can handle complex situations. If you had such an experience in the past, try using the SAR (a situation, action, result) method.


“If I see that pupils are focusing on personal matters instead of studying, I conduct disciplinary measures accepted and agreed upon with the teacher. I had such a situation in my previous workplace and decided to seat students at different ends of the classroom. As a result, they focused on the lesson.’

7. Should children find school interesting and fun?

This is a more general question, so there’s no single answer. The interviewer wants you to ponder on the topic of teaching and education and show your position.


“I think yes, as it makes them more engaged and proactive. That's why I always try to create exciting extracurricular activities for kids, even though it is not required.”

8. If you disagree with the teacher’s actions, would you do anything about it?

Every day TAs interact with many people. This question shows whether you know how to manage conflicts, especially with the teacher. Here you should show your understanding of the work hierarchy, as well as interpersonal and communication skills.


“The teacher has the last word, but if I am interested in the topic and think that my thoughts might be useful, I would speak with the teacher privately to share my position.”

9. Can you tell me about your experience working with children?

Knowing how to build relationships with children is crucial for teaching assistants, so you should share examples of achieving positive results through interaction.


“I don’t have formal experience yet, but I worked as a nanny for two girls during high school. We did homework together, and I regularly invented games to make the studying process fun and interesting. Their grades significantly improved.”

10. What does a successful lesson look like?

Even though lesson planning is the teacher’s responsibility, understanding what makes a good lesson is very useful. You can discuss your past experience with successful lessons and your thoughts on the subject.


“The lesson’s quality depends on many factors, but the key is preparation. Once, our teacher brought samples of plants to show the diversity of the floral world. Each flower had a card with an accurate and detailed description. I think it is a great example of preparation.”

11. Do you know how to make the school environment safe?

TAs should know how to protect children and ensure their security. To prepare for this question, you can research current safeguarding issues and talk to people with corresponding knowledge.


“First of all, it is important to check the school’s safeguarding systems and ensure that they are working properly. Detecting a problem at an early stage might prevent tragedies in the future. It’s also necessary to communicate with children to explain the basic safety rules on school grounds.”

12. What do you like about working with children?

Working with children is quite challenging, so the interviewers want to see your genuine interest and resourcefulness.


“I love working with children because they are the future, and by helping them, I help the local community. Their curiosity and enthusiasm are priceless, and adults have lots to learn from them.”

13. Is it important to grade lessons?

The modern educational system is changing, and more teachers support gradeless classrooms. This question doesn’t have a right or wrong answer, so you can share your thoughts and visions freely.


“I believe that some skills, such as creativity and topic understanding, can’t be evaluated with grades. However, grading promotes personal responsibility. I will follow an approach accepted in a particular school but am open to experiments.”

14. Why did you leave your previous job?

The interviewer might be interested in any negative aspects of your last employment. However, you should focus on the good things like looking for new opportunities or being interested in working at this particular school.


"Even though my previous job was good, I wanted to do something meaningful, and I’m sure that teaching is such a field."

15. How will you help a pupil with learning problems?

This question shows the hiring manager if you have any experience addressing learning difficulties and dealing with them.


“Every child is unique, so it is important to solve the problem individually. I would identify how they learn best, listen to their problems, and create an educational plan based on their learning type.”
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Useful tips

Preparation for the above questions is not the only tool you can use to pass an interview successfully. Here are a few other tips you should follow:

  • Have a clear understanding of the TA’s duties and responsibilities to make your answers relevant;
  • Find out as much as you can about the school you are applying to. Show that you know their history and share their values;
  • Make a list of questions to ask at a teaching assistant interview. They will show your proactivity and interest;
  • Arrive a little early to even your breath and go through the main points;
  • Create a killer resume and cover letter with the help of our GetCoverLetter builder, and don’t forget to take them with you on an interview;
  • Use the SAR method to answer questions. It breaks the answer into three parts: situation (where you describe a specific work situation), action (what you did to solve it), and the result (what you managed to achieve).


It is impossible to predict what questions for interviewing teaching assistants a hiring manager will ask, but the examples above are the most common. Use the tips discussed in this article, create strong self-presentation documents, and prepare your answers to make a good impression on the potential employer.

Working as a teacher assistant is extremely rewarding, and you can make a difference in someone’s life, so spending some time and energy to prepare for an interview is a great starting point.

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