When hiring a paraprofessional, it’s important to get a sense of their experience and philosophy. These para interview questions will help.
Effective interviewing is essential for finding the right paraprofessional to join your special education classroom. Asking the right questions during the interview process can help ensure that they are the best fit for your class and that they bring the skills and experience you need.
In this article, you will find advice on what interview questions to ask when looking for a paraprofessional to join their team.
35 of the Best Para Interview Questions
While not all of the questions below may be appropriate for your school, they can be easily adapted to work for your situation.
Choose the para interview questions that you feel will give you the best understanding of the person applying for the position.
If you disagree with something the teacher is doing, how do you address the issue?
How do you handle conflict with co-workers?
What do you feel is your role as a paraprofessional in a life skills classroom?
Can you start each day by giving each student a clean slate and not holding what happened yesterday against the child?
Can you run in the case of elopement?
Do you know how to work without having your phone out for personal reasons?
How do you feel about changing diapers and helping students on the toilet?
How do you feel about feeding students and tube feeding?
Situational questions such as: If Stephanie was agitated because she couldn’t complete her work and it was time for you to work with her, what would you do?
Are you willing to lift (can you lift)?
In your opinion, how important is adult attendance in the special ed classroom?
Can you chase and redirect students without picking them up?
Are you comfortable using a radio to call for assistance?
We are mandatory reporters would you be able to report possible issues of abuse or neglect?
Why do you think teaching life skills is important?
What do you do when you get angry?
How comfortable are you with technology?
What is the biggest draw to working in a class like this?
What would some of the biggest challenges for you be working in a class like this?
Would you describe yourself as an active person?
How are you with multitasking?
Are you comfortable with collecting data?
What would you say the key is to a good work relationship?
Would you consider yourself thick-skinned?
What makes you a good fit for this position?
Do you have the initiative to do things that you see need to be done without being asked or told to do so?
Can you focus on the positive rather than the negative or tell a student what they should be doing rather than what’s not right?
Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
Can you handle kids kicking, hitting, scratching, biting, running, talking back, etc.?
Do you know what an IEP is?
Do you think all children are capable of growth and learning?
What do you think causes negative behaviors in children? How do you correct negative behavior?
What familiarity do you have with dealing with children with multiple and/or complex disabilities?
What do you think is the most important thing a student can learn from you?
Do you have a sense of humor?
Things to Look for in a Para
When hiring a paraprofessional for your special education classroom, it is important to look for someone who is patient, organized, and has the skills and experience needed to work with children with special needs.
Not everyone is a good candidate for a para, and that’s okay. The questions above should help you determine how the candidate would do in a para position.
Ideally, they should be well-versed in behavior management strategies and understand developmental disabilities. They should have good communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively with teachers and other professionals in the classroom.
Most importantly, they should be passionate about working with special needs children and committed to providing them with quality instruction.