Interviews can be a very daunting; no matter how confident or well prepared you think you are, there is always a possibility that you may be asked something you haven’t prepared for.
There are a lot of websites and blogs to help with getting a job in education, so I thought I’d join in too.
I don’t pretend to be the perfect interviewee but with a good idea of what questions you may be asked, you can prepare yourself with an idea of some answers.
I wouldn’t recommend writing and rehearsing answers to any of these questions as this gives you false confidence; they WILL ask you a question you haven’t prepared for and you’ll struggle because you haven’t rehearsed an answer!
I have begun to compile a list of questions that various friends, colleagues and myself have been asked at interviews, as well as some advice given by some head teachers and will continue to add any that I receive in the future.
The first question is likely to be a ‘settling in’ question; it should be something that you will be able to talk about easily such as yourself or your teaching.
And onto the list:
- Tell us about your pedagogic approach.
- Why do you want to be a teacher?
- Can you give an example or scenario of a safeguarding issue and how you dealt/would deal with it?
- How would you raise standards in our school? (research their Ofsted and possibly link to areas for improvement or make reference to subject leadership)
- What is the purpose of pupil tracking?
- Can you give an example or scenario of a time when you have had issues with parents and how you dealt with it?
- Tell us about your approach to behaviour management.
- How do you cater for children with SEN in your class? (remember G+T here too!)
- Why do you want to teach in our school?
- If we walked into your classroom, what would it be like?
- How would you use assessment of learning?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What would you change about our school?
- How do you use TAs to ensure you get the best from them?
- Can you think of any times where you have had issues with other members of staff and if so how did you resolve this?
- Areas of development for you as an NQT?
They are also likely to ask you to reflect on your lessons if you have taught one, so make some notes!
Questions specific to interviews relating to subject leadership:
- What personal and professional skills do you have that will enable you to be a good subject leader?
- Why do you like the subject?
- Why is the subject important?
- What to you think about the new national curriculum in relation to the subject?
- How would you change the national curriculum for your subject? (what would you add or take away?)
- How would you monitor the subject?
- What would be your first actions in your first term?
- How might you use ICT in the subject?
- Can you give us some examples of activities in the subject?
This is by no means a comprehensive list and will be updated. It would be good to have an overview of how you might answer these questions, or questions on a similar topic, rather than rehearsed answers.
If you have had an interview and had any questions that are not on the list that you feel may help others then please add a comment and I will amend the post.
Good luck and remember that everyone interviewing you has been in that position before… even if it may have been a long time ago…
Please also see here for advice on applications, interviews and interview lessons: http://peteyeomans.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/giz-a-job-writing-a-personal-statement-or-letter-of-application/