No special needs classroom is complete without support staff, and it always feels good to be prepared for an upcoming interview.
Interview questions range, especially when it comes to being special education staff.
Stress no more! Get ready to feel confident and prepared at your next interview for a special education paraprofessional position.
Below is a list of 65 (and growing!) interview questions for paras, and a few questions you could potentially ask the interview team.
Tell us more about yourself. What is your background with students with special needs?
What led you to apply for this position?
What makes you the best fit for this position?
Why do you want to work for this district/school?
What is something you struggle with, and how do you handle it?
What is one of your biggest strengths? Weaknesses?
What is your experience with ____ classroom setting?
What do you feel are your roles and responsibilities as a para educator?
How do you view yourself when working as a member of a team?
What is your role in the classroom and how do you handle situations that may arise within the team?
Our population of students require adults who are patient, loving, and dependable. Would your previous employer say you are patient, loving, and dependable?
What qualities do you possess that would make you an effective special education aide?
What is your philosophy on disability driven behavior versus intentional behaviors?
What is your philosophy on discipline?
How would you handle a challenging behavior such as biting, kicking, elopement, spitting, etc.?
Behavior is a form of communication and not a personal attack on you. How would you handle behaviors?
Can you remain calm in a stressful situation?
You are working with Max on matching letters. Max has a communication device. He starts to get upset and hits you. What do you do?
Tell us about a time a student tested your patience.
If a student begins screaming because he wants to do something else, what do you do?
If a student begins throwing things, what do you do?
When working with the special education teacher, how do you see your role within the classroom?
How do you accept feedback?
How will you assist the classroom teacher(s) with modeling correct procedures?
How would you work with teachers who have more/less experience than you?
How do you plan to support the teacher and the students?
What do you do if the special education teacher asks you to do one thing with a student, but the teacher from the regular education class a student attends asks something different of you?
Tell us about a time when you had a difficult coworker and how the situation was resolved.
What would your reaction be if you observed a classroom teacher indulging in unfair acts?
Tell us how you would handle a classroom teaching disagreeing with you on something?
Tell us about problem solving steps or strategies that you could take to help support the classroom teacher and students in the classroom.
How would you foster communication with students?
What experience do you have with communication devices or communication books?
Explain how you would connect with a child that does not communicate primarily with their voice.
Do you know American Sign Language (ASL)?
Would you rather allow a student to allow a student time to independently accomplish a task or help the student to finish a task for themselves?
Tell us how you would be proactive to support the needs of multiple students.
Are you flexible? Meaning can you step in and do someone else’s job at the drop of a hat.
How do you handle multitasking? Data, behaviors, engagement all at once.
What does progress mean to you? And how do you deal with little sign of progress?
What will you do when a student is in a class and is not following directions or doing the assignment but is not disrupting others either.
Are you comfortable running small groups?
How comfortable are you with taking direction from a classroom teacher?
How comfortable are you with technology?
What are your thoughts on behavior management?
What does structure look like to you?
If the teacher is teaching, what do you think your responsibility is?
Are you comfortable assisting with toileting, changing, and/or feeding?
How would you handle another staff member being out, with no substitute to replace them?
How do you feel about medical emergencies or needs of students(as pertaining to students in the classroom)?
How will you interact with parents?
A parent comes up to you and starts asking questions about the classroom (about their own child and other children). What do you do/say?
If a parent was to approach you, outside of school, to voice concerns about the classroom/teacher, how would you respond?
How would interact in public with parents that start asking questions?
How would you balance the workload of helping and being with students, as well as any classroom duties?
Are you comfortable lifting students as needed to aide in mobility or changing?
How would handle a student coming to school sick?
Tell us about a time you taught a child how to do something.
What are some methods you use to help you stay calm in a stressful situation?
Define confidentiality. What does confidentiality mean to you?
How would your I handle [insert emergency situation]?
Do you feel comfortable escorting student(s) around the school?
How will you aid in implementing inclusive practices?
If an administrator walked into the classroom where you are working, what would they see you doing?
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 10 years?
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INTERVIEW TEAM:
Can you describe a typical day in this role?
How will my performance be measured?
What types of professional development opportunities are available for support staff?
What is the school culture like?
How is the culture of the school fostered school-wide?
Looking for interview tips to nail the job? Check out my guest blog post over at Full Sped Ahead here.