Interviewers usually have a multiple choice answer sheet in front of them when interviewing a candidate. This makes it easier for them to decipher the interviewee’s response. Here is a gauge that you will be judged at:
1. Unacceptable Response
2. Acceptable Appropriate Response
3. Average Appropriate Response
4. Above Average Response
5. Superior Response
Depending on what majority you get on this scale, you may or may not be offered a job. For actual questions, here is a set that you can refer to:
Paraprofessional Interview Questions and Answers
Please share your experience as a paraprofessional with us.
I possess a degree in special education and have been trained in this area specifically. I am experienced in handling students with a variety of disabilities, including mobility, speech problems and emotional limitations. I have managed emergent situations by employing both CPR and first aid activities, and have assisted the lead teacher in employing special education training programs.
What type of responsibilities do you specifically see yourself performing in this position?
Under the supervision and direction of a lead teacher, I will deliver special education programs and will be responsible for handling the emotional and physical needs of each student. Additionally, I will be given some non-student responsibilities, such as handling records and managing filing duties.
Why did you choose to work as a paraprofessional?
Working with children who are not able to handle everything on their own gives me great satisfaction. I am a passionate individual who has an inherent love for children and trained in providing them with special education.
Do you think this work is challenging?
The work of a paraprofessional is extremely challenging. Every child is different. Every child’s problem is different. It takes a lot of effort and research to decipher what a child needs particularly before planning and implementing special education programs. Since there are a lot of limitations in this work, it often becomes challenging to provide what children need the most.
What do you feel is your limitation as a paraprofessional? How do you propose to overcome it?
As a paraprofessional, I am proficient in all areas. The only limitation that I have at the moment is handling speech therapy. And to overcome this, I have enrolled in a speech therapy program which is due to end this month. I have learnt much during the course of the program and will be able to overcome the only limitation I have at this moment.
What skills and knowledge do you think a paraprofessional should possess to be prove to be successful?
A paraprofessional needs to be a good at everything he or she does. Effective communication skills, which are not limited to conventional methods of communication are foremost. Ability to assist lead teachers in imparting special education lessons and capability of managing problems such as accidents and emergencies is also imperative.
What associated skills do you believe that you will need in order to become a successful paraprofessional?
Working as a paraprofessional is highly challenging. One cannot do justice to the role if one is not highly skilled in all areas of this work. Ability to carry out instructional programs in a variety of environments, meeting the objective of each IEP (Individual Education Program) and ability to work with other professionals, such as therapists and social workers is also paramount.
How do you make sure that the environment in which you work with children with special needs is conducive to their safety and wellbeing?
Assessing the environment before you begin your work is imperative. Depending on the nature of disabilities of students, I make sure that no sharp objects are present, all corners are rounded and that constant watch is maintained on every student.
How do you manage stress associated with this work?
If one doesn’t stress, one is not fully involved in this work. Stress is something that is a constant in the life of a paraprofessional and I deal with it as it comes. Taking one moment at a time and making sure that I meditate takes the edge off.
What clerical duties have you performed which are associated with a paraprofessional’s job?
I have been involved in taking and recording student attendance, maintaining student records and ensuring that all teaching materials are copied and filed.
What does confidentiality mean to you?
Confidentiality means everything to me. Children with special needs and their families are sensitive and it is our duty as their caretakers to ensure that no information is leaked or given to unauthorized personnel.
Recount a time when you had no choice but to involve someone from the management while doing your work.
There was a child whom I was looking after. He had visible marks of violence on his body. As soon as I discovered that he was being physically abused by his parents, I notified the lead teacher who brought in the authorities to investigate.
If you were given a chance to take up another career, would you? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t take up another career even if it paid me in pure gold! Because the satisfaction and love that you get from working as a paraprofessional is enough payment to last a lifetime!
Imagine that you are doing playground duty and a student who cannot verbally communicate his injury gets hurt. What precautions would you undertake to ensure his safety?
My first instinct will be to make him stay still and ask for someone to call the school nurse immediately. I would then administer First Aid or CPR (whichever one is needed) and ensure that I maintain his vitals until help arrives.
As a paraprofessional, what is your role in developing curriculum content and learning strategies?
Mostly, a paraprofessional simply implements the curriculum. In some instances, I have been asked to provide feedback in curriculum development as well, owing to my vast knowledge of special education. As far as learning strategies are concerned, my role will primarily be to assist small student groups and individuals with lessons, practice exercises and monitoring seatwork. Furthermore, I am responsible for monitoring students’ progress and communicating findings to the lead teacher.