If you’re preparing for a teaching interview, running through the common questions will help your chances of success. You’ll be able to practise answers for questions that will inevitably come up, and you can feel comfortable when you do eventually face the panel. Although there’s no way of knowing what you’ll be asked, there are some topics that are bound to come up.
Remember to back up your answers with examples wherever you can, even if you’re not asked to, and focus on the results that your actions achieved. The panel will refer to your resume, so make sure you know it well and you’re prepared to elaborate on the items on it.
Run through the teacher interview questions below and see which areas of your interview repertoire need some work. Once you’re confident, ask a friend if they’ll stage a mock interview with you.
More advice for interviewees:
What are the most common teaching interview questions?
Suitability to the role
Why did you apply for this particular role?
What are the qualities of a good teacher?
What are your core strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What can you bring to the role that other candidates may not bring?
The school and staff
What makes a successful school?
What importance do you attach to cooperation with colleagues, such as those who are teaching parallel classes?
How would you cope with a lack of enthusiasm from colleagues?
Why do you think you are suited to this school’s environment?
How would you contribute to the life of the school beyond the classroom?
How do you feel about parent helpers in the classroom?
How would you work with a teaching aide in your classroom?
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?
Teaching and learning
What is your understanding of high-quality teaching and learning?
Are lesson aims and objectives more important than learning outcomes?
What are the ingredients of a good lesson?
Describe a lesson that did not go well. What were the reasons for this?
If I came into your classroom, what would I see?
How do you cater for students with different abilities/learning styles in a class?
How do you incorporate technology into your lessons?
What is your view on a holistic approach to education?
What assessment strategies would you use?
How do you ensure that all children are involved?
How do you assess and record your children’s progress?
How do you know if a lesson has been successful?
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?
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 cooperating?
How would you deal with a disruptive child?
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?
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?
Describe a difficult situation that you encountered in the classroom and what you did to overcome it.
Child protection issues
Have you ever felt uncomfortable about a colleague’s behaviour towards children in a previous job? 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 some 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?
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?
Tell me about your leadership style?
What have been your greatest challenges in your school?
What has been your most significant contribution to your school?
How do you develop and maintain rapport with students?
Give me an example of when you have had a safeguarding concern about a child? What happened?
How would you approach the challenge of dealing with a teacher who isn’t performing up to expectations?
How would you seek to foster a positive and effective relationship with the key stakeholders in the school community?
At the end of an interview, it is very common for the interviewer to ask if you have any questions for them in return. It is always a good idea to have a couple of questions up your sleeve. Some examples are:
What support is available for new teachers at your school?
How well resourced is the classroom/department/school?
What behaviour management policy is in place?
What is parental/administrative support like?
What facilities are available for the students/teachers (playgrounds, gym. etc)?
How would you describe the academic standard of students at your school?
How many staff work in the department/year group/school?
Do teachers usually plan units of work individually or collaboratively?
How many contact hours make up a typical teaching week at your school?
What is the possibility of the position lasting beyond the initial vacancy?
What extracurricular responsibilities do you expect from your staff?
Do you employ many overseas teachers at your school?
What is your student/staff population?
What is the multicultural/socioeconomic make-up of your school?
How many ESL (English as a second language) students do you have at your school?
Is the school easily accessible by public/private transport?
How many classes are timetabled per year group/subject area?