Acing Instructional Assistant interviews is an art and has little to do with knowledge of the Instructional Assistant position.
This does not mean that you should not go prepared for the job description.
Knowing the job is very important, but then so is knowing how to answer the series of questions put to you. Let’s face it.
Interviews are vexing events in our lives – events that we pray for and fear. So a few helpful tips and tricks can make this harrowing experience somewhat – well, less disturbing!
Here are a few tips that you can follow to make an Instructional Assistant interview easier:
- Starting with determining who you are and what you want
- Gathering work samples to determine what accomplishments you have to your name
- Developing and polishing stories that demonstrate excellence
- Using your network to learn more about who will be interviewing you
- Conducting interview preparation and practicing with mocks
Interviewers use many tactics to scare candidates and see how they react when rattled.
If you see that a potential boss is using intimidation tactics, play him at his own game.
He may do this by waiting a few seconds after you have finished answering a question, before reacting or asking a new question. Take it in your stride. Move on!
See also: Instructional Assistant Resume
Here is a sample interview conducted for the position of an instructional assistant that might interest you. Take a look!
Instructional Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
What are the typical job duties of an instructional assistant?
An instructional assistant is responsible for helping the teacher in planning and implementing the lesson, organizing classroom study material, bulletin boards maintenance, homework communication, collection and checking, one on one tutoring for special needs children and assisting the teacher in keeping reasonable classroom control.
Why do you feel that you can do justice to working as an instructional aide?
I believe that I have what it takes to work as part of a team to achieve classroom objectives. I am patient, calm, and able to communicate well with my peers, supervisors, and students. Additionally, I am independent enough to know when to take the initiative and when to draw limits.
What would you do if you overheard a student talking about being abused at home to another student?
The first thing I would do is inform the lead teacher about the incident. Together with her, I would want to talk to a higher authority who is in a better position to handle the matter.
What do you know about special-needs students? Have you had any experience with them?
Special needs students are often extremely intelligent. Their intelligence just needs to be channelized in unconventional ways. I have worked as an SNA (Special Needs Assistant) with three students and have found the experience to be fulfilling and quite informational.
How would you handle a conflict between two students?
Handling conflicts are situationally dependent. If I am aware of whose fault it is, I will intervene to set him right through tactical communication. If I am unsure of what has happened, I will ask for both sides of the story before arriving at a conclusion and providing mediating services.
Do you have any experience in assisting special needs students?
Yes, being a student of psychology, I have a deep-rooted interest in working with students having special needs. I have been working with them for the past two years. I have worked with kids who are physically disabled as well as those who have cognitive/mental deficits.
Have you ever handled a bullying situation in the classroom? How?
I have seen many bullies in my career. Bullying can severely damage a child’s confidence, and bullying behavior is also indicative of psychological imbalances in the child who is bullying. I take such matters very seriously and counsel the kids regarding bullying and its adverse effects. If the situation does not settle, I immediately refer to the bullying child to the school counselor or class teacher.
What would you do if you suspect a child is being abused at home?
In such a scenario, I would inform the lead teacher and the school authorities immediately and make sure the matter is thoroughly investigated.
What are your main strengths as an instructional aide?
I believe my physical agility, knowledge of student’s special needs, background in child psychology, patience and deep-rooted passion for improving the present day’s educational system are the strengths that support me in this role.
Share a professional achievement where you did something above and beyond your duties?
Last year we had a new girl in class who was having unusual difficulty settling in. I evaluated her on various social and cognitive scales with unsatisfactory results. She was referred to the doctor and was timely diagnosed with a rare visual deficit that was causing social and academic problems, but the child was unable to communicate it. She received treatment and is a high achiever of her class now.
What are the main aspects of classroom management?
Classroom management involves discipline implementation, provision of cognitively stimulating and facilitative learning environment, opportunities for positive social interaction, group activities, and organization of lesson and supporting activities.
What strategies do you utilize to instill discipline among the children?
I invest a lot of time in building a trusting relationship with each student in the class since it is based on an informal contract; I seldom need strategies to implement discipline. However, if required, I am a fan of the behavioral school of thought and use intrinsic rewards and sometimes time-out for disciplining my students.
Why should we hire you?
You require an instructional aide for your mainstream classroom, and my profile offers the specific competencies you are seeking in the ideal candidate. Additionally, I am first aid and BCLS certified and also bring diverse experience in handling students with special needs and those coming from other cultures.
Are you good with technology?
I would say very well. I am proficient in using a computer, MS office, internet, email, and social media sites. With a strong aptitude to learn new things and keep my knowledge pool updated, I am a regular user of online research journal libraries and e-articles related to instructional assistance.