Your issue is that you are a good teacher and you are confident in delivering lessons but you don’t do well at interview because you are caught out by questions that you were not expecting during your teacher interview.
The solution is to pre-empt what questions to expect during the Teacher Interview and then have a good think about how you will answer these questions to convey yourself in the best possible way.
Good preparation will ensure you won’t slip up during the interview and ruin your chances of securing a job offer.
Have a think about the message you want to convey
Remember, interviewers are just as interested in how you answer questions as well as what you say. Your enthusiasm towards teaching and the school should shine through at all times and your answers should be sufficiently detailed to make you stand out from the other interviewees. They should not however be so long that you talk your way out of the job!
Taking time to deliver your answers is a good idea, you don’t want to rush into the answer and say something that does not convey your message properly. Remain confident when answering questions and if you don’t understand what the interviewers are looking for from the answer, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question. Pay attention to your body language, you should not be too relaxed but should also come across friendly – this will give the interviewers the confidence that you will in well with the staff team at the school
What questions can I expect at a Teacher Interview?
Below are some questions that you might expect to be asked. Of course, the questions will depend upon what role you are interviewing for whether this be a primary school class teacher role, a secondary school subject specialist, an ECT position or a responsibility role. You can expect some more specific questions based upon the role but these questions may well be asked at any teacher interview.
About you as a person
Tell us about yourself – Keep in mind, if it is the first question asked, it will set the stage for the interview, so it needs to be extremely strong.
Tell us about yourself and what inspires/motivates you?
Why did you decide to get into teaching? / Decide to teach this particular age group?
When/Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
What are your key strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
If I overheard some colleagues talking about you, what would I hear them saying?
What can you offer the school?
What personal interests do you have that could be of value to the school?
What can you bring to the school that other applicants can’t?
What are you main strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
If we decided not to appoint you, what would we be missing out on?
What is your least favourite aspect of teaching?
What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?
Why do you want to work in this school?
Give me an example of when you have worked effectively within a team?
Attitudes to teaching
How do you know when you have had a good day?
What is your understanding of outstanding teaching and learning?
Describe a good lesson
What makes a good lesson?
What does good teaching look like?
If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see and hear?
How would you plan a scheme of work?
What do you think is the best way to motivate pupils?
Why do you want to leave your current post?
What makes a good school?
How would you support the ethos of this school?
Tell me about the best lesson you have ever taught. Why was it so good?
What is most important teaching or learning?
Why do we teach x in school?
What 3 skills would you like your students to leave school with?
How would you seek to cultivate the moral, social and cultural development of your pupils?
How might the current political climate affect your teaching?
Behaviour Management and Differentiation
Can you tell me about a successful behaviour management strategy you have used in the past that helped engage a pupil or group of pupils?
What would you do if your strategies for behaviour management are not succeeding?
How would you cope with a child constantly interrupting your lesson?
Tell me about a time you have had to deal with challenging behaviour?
How would you raise a child’s self-esteem and aspirations?
How do you prepare for differentiation in your class?
What does good differentiation look like?
How do you reach the gifted learner and struggling reader in the same classroom?
How would you go about differentiating to the differing needs and abilities of pupils?
How will you ensure that all pupil make good progress?
What does good Assessment for Learning look like?
Coping under Pressure
How do you handle stress?
Tell me about a time when you experienced failure in a professional context. What did you do moving forward?
How would you react if a senior member of staff queried or criticised some aspect of your teaching?
Describe a recent lesson that didn’t meet your expectations?
Tell me about a bad lesson you have taught. What would you differently if you could teach that same lesson again?
Safeguarding and Parents
How have you ensured a positive relationship with parents?
How would you establish and maintain good communication with the parents of your students?
What would you do if a child arrived at school and told you they had been hit at home?
Safeguarding children is an important part of our work. Can you give me same examples of how you would contribute to making the school a safer environment for children?
Consider how you would answer these questions and back up with examples of past teaching experience and you will be on course for securing that job offer. The list isn’t exhaustive and interviewers will always have their own style as to what they want to find out from the interview but you will be well prepared for the interview if you turn up with good answers to these questions.