General interview questions
Many thanks to a number of posters who shared with us the questions that they had been asked.
Do remember not to prepare answers, but to use mind maps for the main areas that are relevant to you.
Here's what one poster tells us:
I calculated that I was asked somewhere in the region of 70 questions so trying to prep for individual questions really is impossible - mind mapping worked so much better.
Using mind-mapping for interviews
You will see that some questions come up, in similar wording, in more than one set of questions.
- Why did you apply for this job?
- Describe your classroom to me 3 weeks after starting in your new job.
- Writing is a focus for school improvement this year. How would you help your Y1 pupils to develop into enthusiastic writers?
- For NQTs, behaviour management is often a focus area in the first year. Describe the way in which you will promote good behaviour in your classroom.
- A parent comes to you at the end of the school day and tells you she is concerned about the standard of reading in the parallel class. What would you do?
- During a PE lesson, you notice a child has a round burn mark on their arm. You make a casual remark about it and the child tells you their father did it last night with his cigarette. What do you do next? TG's hint: Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers plus A typical Child Protection Policy
- Describe a successful lesson to me which you taught recently.
- Why was it successful?
- Tell me about a less successful lesson.
- Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
- How would you ensure all children in your class have equal opportunities?
- Are you still a firm candidate for the job?
- If I walked into your classroom what would I see?
- Could you explain what you would do in your class to ensure each child achieves their maximum potential?
- Extension – how would you use assessment to help this?
- How would you deal with children with behavioural difficulties?
- Can you talk through a lesson or unit of work that you feel has been a real success and why?
- What has been the best bit of advice given to you and how did you act on it?
- What do you think you can offer our school? TG's hint: Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question?
- We like to develop strong relationships between home and school. As a class teacher how would you contribute to this?
- What current issue in education particularly interests you and why?
- Please can you tell me why you have applied for this post?
- What skills you can bring to it? TG's hint: Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question?
- In your opinion what are the key elements that need to be present in a mixed year group class to ensure successful learning for all pupils?
- What does the creative curriculum mean to you and can you provide an example of a lesson which was observed as good or outstanding?
- Can you tell me how you use assessment to support learning?
- What strategies would you use to deal with challenging behaviour?
- The children are getting changed for PE when you notice that one of them has a clear handprint on their back. What would you do? TG's hint: Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers plus A typical Child Protection Policy
- Do you have any questions for us? TG's hint: Questions to ask at the end of your interview
- This post is subject to an enhanced CRB check. Is there anything you wish to tell us about in relation to this?
- Are you still a firm candidate?
- Would you consider a Job Share post?
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you have applied for the teaching post in our school? TG's hint: Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question?
- What do you think are the main qualities of a good teacher?
- What are your main strengths? What areas you would want to develop further?
- You start to teach in September. What will your classroom look like after the first term?
- I’m a 7/8/9/10-year old (as relevant to age group) entering your class, why will I enjoy being there?
- An irate parent bounces into your classroom at 9.00am one morning, how will you handle this situation?
- How would you handle a disruptive child?
- What methods and means to you use to manage the behaviour of children?
- How would you react if a senior member of staff queried or criticised some aspect of your teaching?
- Please tell us about your experience of assessment for learning and assessment of learning.
- Teamwork is a key feature of a successful school. What does teamwork look like?
- Safeguarding children is a vital part of our work. Can you give me some examples of how you would contribute to making our school a safe environment for the children? TG's hint: Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers plus A typical Child Protection Policy
- Do you have any questions? TG's hint: Questions to ask at the end of your interview
Personality profile questions:
- Tell us a little about yourself and why you have applied for this post TG's hint: Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question?
- What particular strengths can you offer our school?
- What made you go into teaching in the first place?
- What made you decide to apply for this post?
- What words would you use to describe yourself as a teacher?
- Are there any areas in your professional development that you would like to develop?
- What is your greatest satisfaction of the last two years?
Suitability to the role
- Why did you apply for this particular role?
- Why did you choose to teach this particular age range?
- What are your core strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What can you bring to the role that other candidates may not bring?
Classroom management questions:
- Tell us about your classroom management style.
- If I walked into your classroom what would I expect to see?
- Describe what classroom management means in terms of behaviour and organisation.
- What teaching methods have you found most effective for (specific relating to Curriculum)
- What differences are there in teaching, for example, a class of Year 7 and Year 11?
- How do you deal with behaviour issues in your classroom?
- What behaviour management policies have you experienced, and what do you consider as having been effective?
- How would you deal with a pupil who is not co-operating?
- How would you deal with a disruptive student?
- What do you think is the best way to motivate pupils?
- Some people say you should demand respect from children. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
- What do you understand by the term 'providing support' for the pupil?
- Bullying is often a serious issue that has to be dealt with in all areas of work with children. In your experience, what is the best way to deal with it?
Lesson planning and curriculum questions:
- Give an example of a lesson you felt went particularly well.
- Give an example of a lesson you felt went particularly badly, and explain why. How did you resolve the situation?
- When planning a lesson, what elements do you ensure are covered within it?
- How do you organise homework for your class?
- Some of our classes are mixed age. How do you ensure that in a mixed age class you meet the needs of all of the children?
- How do you ensure that all children in your class make good progress? and how do you communicate this with others?
- Tell us about a children’s book that you have read and used successfully with a class or group.
- What is your understanding of high-quality teaching and learning?
- Describe a good lesson
- Describe a lesson that did not go well.
- What were the reasons for this?
- If I came into your lesson, what would I see?
- Describe the teaching method you find most effective
- How would you organise teaching and learning for a mixed-ability group?
- Do you differentiate between outcome or task?
- What are the important things to consider when setting up a classroom?
- What assessment strategies would you use?
- How do you ensure all children are involved?
- How do you assess and record your children's progress?
- How would you motivate a reluctant child?
- How would you meet the needs of gifted and talented children in the class?
- Have you had experience of a very high attaining and very low attaining child in your class?
- Tell us about your experience of assessment for learning and assessment of learning
- If a child doesn't show signs of improvement after all your planning, monitoring, assessing etc, what do you do next?
- What strategies do you use to manage children with special educational needs?
TG's hint: Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers plus A typical Child Protection Policy
- What do you understand by Safeguarding?
- How do you ensure that children in your class are safe?
- What would you do if a child disclosed….?
- Have you ever felt uncomfortable about a colleague's behaviour towards children in a previous job? TG's hint: Don't just say No, go on to say what you would have done if Yes
- What were your concerns, what did you do, and how was the issue resolved?
- Safeguarding children is an important part of our work. Can you give me same examples of how you would contribute to making the organisation a safer environment for children?
- Tell me about a time when a child or young person behaved in a way that caused you concern. How did you deal with that? Who else did you involve?
- Why do you want to work with children? What do you think you have to offer? Give an example of how children have benefited from contact with you.
- How did your previous organisation tackle child protection?
The school and staff
- What makes a successful school?
- What importance do you attach to co-operation with colleagues, such as those who are teaching other sets of the subject?
- How would you cope with a lack of enthusiasm from colleagues?
- What is your impression of the school/organisation?
- Do you find it difficult working alongside older, more experienced staff?
- What is the most difficult piece of feedback you have ever had to give, and why?
- How would you react if a senior member of staff queried or criticised some aspect of your teaching?
- How will you develop yourself as a professional teacher?
- What is your understanding of effective performance management?
- What are your plans for the future?
- How would you like to see your career develop?
- How long do you expect to stay here?
- Would you aim to widen your experience by seeking posts in other schools after a reasonable period here?
- Do you hold any key responsibilities within your school?
- Have you been involved in any extracurricular activities?
- How have you ensured a positive relationship with parents? governors?
N.B. (from Theo) if they ask you at the end if you have any question that you want to ask, don't bother inventing a question to ask to impress. The panel would much rather that you said Thank you, no, I don't need to ask anything as I have all the information that I need.
We absolutely HATE being asked questions just to impress us. Especially if it's a question totally TRITE such as: What did you do in your Inset days last year?
Ask if there's something that you absolutely MUST know (although really you should have found that out before). Otherwise, don't ask anything. That allows us to get on with interviewing the next candidate.
People have been known to talk themselves out of a job by the stupid question at the end . . .
Questions to ask at the end of your interview
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