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Special Education Interview Questions

Special education teachers teach and work with children with special needs such as those who face challenges in learning, challenges in communication, and emotional and behavioral disorders. Such children need additional or special educational services. These techniques include using unique teaching approaches, latest technology, specific teaching area, and proper resources. Appearing for an interview for a teaching job requires preparation in certain specific areas. The job of a special education teacher is certainly challenging compared to other jobs in this field. Compared to job interview questions for teachers, special education teachers face very different and field specific questions. Given below are some of the most commonly asked sample interview questions.

Question 1: How would you like to introduce yourself?

Answer: This is the most commonly asked question at the beginning of the interview that gives you an opportunity to present your best qualities in short. You need not elaborate much upon personal aspects, but talking about your education, work experience, and strong urge to work in the field of special education would be just fine. The interviewer only wants to know some of the hints about your personality and passion towards your work. Your answer to this question creates a platform for you to talk confidently in the rest of the interview.

Question 2: Why did you choose a career in special education?

Answer: Here you can mention how you first developed interest in this field. Make sure that you do not narrate a long story, but just elaborate the incidence or a personality that influenced you to work for the children with special needs. You can also impress the interviewer by an answer such as 'Working for the children with special needs as a teacher is challenging and I enjoy challenges in life'. Besides this part, it is also a prestigious job that imparts professional satisfaction.

Question 3: Specify the disabilities and disorders that you've been working with.

Answer: This question is factual and demands your honest answer. You can tell all the types of disorders you have dealt with while working for children. They can be physical handicaps, speech disorders, language and processing difficulties, autism and Aspergers disease, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), behavioral disorders and many others. It is absolutely fine to share one of your experiences, if time permits.

Question 4: How do you set your teaching goals for special education? How have you monitored the progress of each child?

Answer: This is a real crux of the interview that might decide your selection or rejection, simply because your answer to this question will test your actual attitude towards the area of special education. You can explain your individualistic approach of teaching children and setting of goals according to the special needs of the children. The interviewer would expect your teaching goals to be in ascending order. Emphasize on the practice of being updated with the progress of every child regularly.

Question 5: How would you define success in special education teaching?

Answer: Success can never be defined, but depends on your perspective. If you are in the field of special education just to work for children, then your success should be connected with the children's success. Answer this question intelligently in such a way that "a teacher's success lies in students' success".

Question 6: Have you conducted (or participated) in meetings of the Committee on Special Education (CSE)? Describe your role in these meetings.

Answer: Elaborate your participation in the meetings and interactive sessions of CSE. Describe how you plan your presentations, paper readings and individual points in discussions. Tell the interviewer that you always concentrated on points that are beneficial to the children and impact their progress. Do not forget to mention if you had ever given some suggestions to the CSE for special focus on the special education.

Question 7: What particular qualities do you possess as your strengths as a special education teacher?

Answer: The very first quality that you must mention is that you possess patience. Patience is an essential aspect of a teacher, may it be for normal children or for those with special needs. You can explain in brief your qualities that make you stand apart form the rest of the crowd. They can be hard work, systematic approach of working, ability to handle children skillfully, enthusiasm, interesting way of teaching children, etc. Try and mention qualities that will help you obtain the job.

Question 8: Should students with disability participate in the regular education programs if possible?

Answer: This question is generally asked to check your social attitude about such issues. It is better to give your honest opinion here, but a diplomatic answer is recommended.

Question 9: How do you spend your spare time?

Answer: The interviewer wants to know your personal interests that are productive, creative, and interesting. Instead of mentioning general interests such as watching movies, hanging out with friends, chilling, etc., mention only a few of your extra-curricular hobbies that exhibit your innovative and creative nature to the interviewer. Reading can also be mentioned, if you are a fond of books. Reading signifies that the person might be knowledgeable and thoughtful.

Question 10: Any questions for me?

Answer: Always answer this question as 'yes'. Make sure that you ask a logical and relevant doubt that would not take too much time Do not forget to mention that you would like to work with that particular institution in the near future.

This unique profession of a special education teacher requires adapting and adjusting yourself to the needs of children. Thus, it tends to develop expertise in some special education fields. The guidelines provided above can be of definite help if you are getting ready for an interview at a special education institute or school.

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