There’s no surefire way of knowing what you’ll be asked in a teaching interview, but 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 of your actions.
The panel will refer to your CV, so make sure you know it well and you’re prepared to elaborate on the items on it.
Run through the 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.
Teacher job interviews: the common questions
- 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?
The school and staff
- What makes a successful school?
- How much 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?
- What is your impression of the school?
- How do you feel about parent helpers in the classroom?
- How would you work with a teaching assistant 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?
- Describe 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?
- Describe the teaching method that you find most effective.
- How would you organise teaching and learning for a mixed-age group?
- Do you differentiate between outcome or task?
- What are the important things to consider when setting up a classroom?
- What assessment strategies do you use?
- How do you ensure that 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 and so on, 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?
- 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?
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?
- Are you prepared to go on courses?
- 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?
WATCH: Typical teacher interview questions (part 2)
WATCH: How to answer 'How do you...?' questions
WATCH: How to answer interview questions (part 1)
WATCH: How to answer interview questions (part 2)