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Job Interview Preparation Tips

When it comes to job interviews, preparation is crucial!

Many teachers suffer from an incredible lack of confidence when it comes to job interviews. Even the most capable of teachers, those able to confidently manage a classroom of children, parents, and school leaders, can crumble under the pressure of job interviews. This is largely due to inexperience and, happily, it can be overcome! All you need is adequate preparation and rehearsal.

Most teaching job interviews follow a fairly similar format, with variations on standard questions being asked. If you prepare quality responses to some of the more commonly asked questions, you will come across poised, prepared and confident.

What do schools want to know?

  • Why do you want to teach?
  • What are your future plans?
  • Your subject knowledge, qualifications and training
  • Your experience in and of teaching, and your capacity to learn
  • Are you a good fit for the school?
    • Prepare to discuss how your experience, skills and qualities fit the needs of the school
    • Prepare questions ahead of time to ensure the school is a right fit for you.

What should you focus on in preparing for your interview?

  • Your teaching experience – subjects, key stages
  • Pastoral experience
  • Extra-curricular clubs, trips, etc.
  • Your classroom management experience, with a range of examples for low level and escalating behaviour incidents (be prepared to give responses for a range of scenarios)
  • ICT knowledge and how you use it in learning activities
  • Assessment for, of and as learning
  • Marking, feedback and reporting on progress

Typical interview questions

Some of the more commonly asked interview questions include:

  • Tell me about a favourite lesson that you have taught. What was it that made it special?
  • Tell me about a lesson that went wrong, and what you would change to ensure success next time?
  • How do you monitor student progress to ensure every child in the class maximises their potential?
  • What strategies do you use to meet the different learning styles of your students?
  • How do you differentiate your lessons and approach to ensure you effectively meet the different needs and abilities within the class
  • How do you promote high standards of discipline in your classroom and encourage positive behaviour?
  • What methods would you use the build up effective relationships with parents?
  • What are your strengths as a teacher? How do you plan to further develop these?
  • In which areas do you feel you need further development?
  • How will you be an asset to this school?
  • What are your long term career goals?

*with thanks to George Abbot School for the information contributed