Interview questions to ask a candidate for an art teacher position

Updated March 17, 2017

Interviewing prospective art teachers differs from other educational jobs in several ways. Through their portfolios and previous project materials, candidates should be able to explain how they have motivated students. Since art is an elective in many school districts, interviewing committees also want to know how the teacher will motivate students to take his course. Candidates should also outline their artistic passions and career motivations, which will yield some important clues about their teaching methods.

How Will You Promote Student Interest?

This question typically comes up in high school settings, where art is an elective that students can choose to take if they wish, according to Applicants are expected to keep their answers simple by suggesting that the goal is to engage students in worthwhile art projects -- and that once the students see the results, they will feel motivated to create more of them.

Name Your Favorite Artists

Although not the most obvious question that school districts will ask, art teacher applicants should be ready to answer it. Interviewers should give less importance to candidates rattling off a list than to hearing them explain why they favour a particular artist, according to This type of narrowly focused question gives interviewees the chance to show how they would sell their passion for ideas or projects in the classroom.

Show Us Samples of Your Artwork

Since the job calls for teaching art, candidates should prepare a portfolio that includes a cross-section of their best material, advises Sample lesson plans and student work should also be included. These materials should essentially reinforce the interviewing committee's knowledge of a candidate's track record. Applicants should ensure that samples are appropriate for a school setting, Violent or suggestive works should be avoided.

What Were Some of Your Best Projects?

Interviewing committees and principals want to hear how a teacher has motivated students in the past. Using samples from their portfolio, candidates can outline highlights from previous positions, according to The interviewee should be able to name projects that engaged students artistically, yet still contributed something notable to their educational development. Photos from previous lesson plans should be passed out as well.

Why Did You Become a Teacher?

Candidates can expect this question in almost any interview. From a committee's or principal's perspective, this question is natural to ask people who will have so much responsibility for motivating children to learn. For the prospective art teacher, her answer should be equally straightforward, according to The applicant should state that she loves art, and wants to instil a passion for it at her new school.

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About the Author

Ralph Heibutzki's articles have appeared in the "All Music Guide," "Goldmine," "Guitar Player" and "Vintage Guitar." He is also the author of "Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton," and holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.