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Special Education is not your everyday teaching profession and as such, Special Education interview questions are more often personal. Special Education teachers are in themselves special because they work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities.

Special education is a job that requires a lot of skill, patience and training because students with disabilities are unique individuals with a variety of needs. As a special education teacher, you will be challenged to discover the specific interventions that will fulfil the needs of your students

Unlike others, Special Education is generally considered to be a challenging teaching position and should only be taken on by teachers who are fully prepared to help those who need their talents and training the most.
Considering the sensitivity of this job position, Special Education interview questions are very personal. You may even be asked, “how many children do you have”. Such a question is inevitable because you are going to be working with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities.

It’s exciting when your resume, professional image, skills and abilities lead to an interview for the position of Special Education Teacher. Don’t let all that good work go to waste by being unprepared for your interview. There are a number of things to consider during the interview stage to maximise your chance of being a successful candidate. These include:

  • your personal presentation, including what you wear,
  • body language,
  • punctuality (not too early and not late),
  • understanding the employer and the school need,
  • knowing what skills to highlight,
  • how to answer interview questions, and
  • how to manage nervousness during the interview

Below, you will find Special Education interview questions that you ought to know and how to answer.

100 Most Asked Special Education Interview Questions

  • Are you able to provide leadership in the role as a ___ teacher?
  • Describe a lesson plan that you put together and implemented recently. Was it successful and how?
  • Describe a lesson that failed and how you handled it.
  • Describe a time you encountered a major challenge at work, and what you did to overcome that.
  • Describe the most difficult student you’ve ever worked with and why. How did you work with them to succeed?
  • Describe the referral process from beginning to end (the end being a student receiving services).
  • Do you have any experience with writing a Manifestation Determination or a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)?
  • Do you have experience creating and maintaining documentation for your students?
  • Does the district provide any type of mentor program?
  • Explain how you will keep communication open with parents.
  • Explain how you will use data collected to guide you in lesson planning.
  • Explain how you would de-escalate a situation.
  • Explain how you would handle a parent confronting you about another student in the class.
  • Explain how you would plan for and differentiate a lesson.
  • Explain the IEP process.
  • Explain the major parts of a student’s IEP.
  • Explain to me an IEP? What is the difference between an IEP and a CSE?
  • Has there ever been an autistic or special needs child in your life that has inspired you?
  • Have you ever had to calm a person down, what happened?
  • How can you illustrate to me your dependability?
  • How do you feel about all of the paperwork?
  • How do you feel about working with students, that can sometimes be difficult due to their circumstances?
  • How do you feel about working with support staff who have more experience than you?
  • How do you foster positive relationships with parents?
  • How do you implement inclusive practices?
  • How do you meet a wide variety of needs for the students you support?
  • How do you motivate a student who is reluctant to learn?
  • How do you plan to adapt lessons to allow your students to access grade-level content?
  • How do you plan to adapt lessons to meet the state standards?
  • How does the administration support the teachers?
  • How is the culture of the school fostered school-wide?
  • How often will you collect data on IEP goals and objectives?
  • How will you address teaching hygiene and other life skills?
  • How will you communicate with paraprofessionals in your classroom?
  • How will you communicate with your parents?
  • How will you communicate with services (OT, PT, Speech, etc.)?
  • How will you handle different levels of classroom behaviours?
  • How will you handle discipline in your classroom?
  • How will you manage the other adults in your classroom?
  • How will you work cooperatively with other faculty members in educating these students?
  • How would friends describe you?
  • How would you approach a co-teaching situation?
  • How would you build or maintain a positive relationship with a frustrated or angry parent?
  • How would you describe your passion for teaching children?
  • How would you direct a paraprofessional who does not follow instructions?
  • How would you get students engaged to participate in lessons?
  • How would you handle a situation with a parent who is upset at an IEP meeting?
  • How would you handle a student who refuses to complete work?
  • How would you utilize related service providers in the classroom?
  • How would you utilize support staff in the classroom?
  • If you could do anything different in your education, what would you do?
  • Imagine you have a student with a moderate mental disability. You notice they’re being bullied by a classmate
  • because of their condition, but they can’t defend themselves. What do you do?
  • In your opinion, what is the most important part of the IEP?
  • Tell me about a difficult situation you were presented with.
  • Tell me about a stressful time in your life. How did you handle it?
  • Tell us about how you include parents and support staff in the educational process.
  • Tell us about how you lesson plan.
  • Tell us more about yourself. What is your experience teaching?
  • The following questions are for you to ask the interview team at the end of an interview.
  • To what specific area of special education are you most attracted and why?
  • What are the benefits of progress monitoring?
  • What are your 2 greatest strengths?
  • What are your 2 weakest points?
  • What curriculum are you familiar with?
  • What do you believe, makes you effective at teaching special needs students?
  • What do you do if a parent disagrees at an IEP meeting?
  • What do you enjoy most about teaching?
  • What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a Good Teacher?
  • What do you hope to contribute to the special education field?
  • What do you know about our educational program?
  • What do you think you will most like about being a Special Educator?
  • What exposures have you had in Teaching?
  • What is the last professional development book you read or are currently reading?
  • What is the school culture like?
  • What is your classroom management style?
  • What is your experience teaching with technology?
  • What is your experience with Individualized Education Plans?
  • What makes you stand out among other applicants?
  • What makes you the best fit for this position?
  • What methods do you use to maintain discipline in your classroom?
  • What professional development opportunities are available for teacher growth?
  • What types of data do you use in the classroom?
  • What was your most difficult course in college?
  • What will you bring to the team?
  • What would you do if a parent calls or emails you upset about something that happened at school?
  • What would you do if you had a student refusing to follow all directions?
  • What would you do to integrate a student with learning disabilities into the classroom?
  • What’s the biggest challenge/reward in working with students who require special education?
  • When did you make the decision to teach autistic students?
  • When did you realize you wanted to be a special education teacher?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 10 years?
  • Which teaching strategies do you prefer and why?
  • Who is responsible for scheduling and running the IEP meetings?
  • Who is your greatest role model?
  • Why did you choose to work with students with disabilities?
  • Why did you want to become a special education teacher?
  • Why do you want to work for this district/school?
  • Why do you want to work in our school?
  • Why should we hire you?

Interview question sources: 

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