Usually, after the interview panel has discussed your CV, lesson observation and your philosophy of education, they will ask you if there is anything you would like to ask. Silence at this point will create a very poor impression.
Failure to think of relevant questions to ask at the end of a teacher interview makes it seem like you have very little interest in working for the school, and are not really committed to your application. If you are struggling to think of some relevant questions to ask at the end of a teacher interview, here are a few suggestions:
What is your induction process for newly qualified teachers?
If you are an NQT, this is a very good and indeed useful question. Finding out more about the mentoring and support system for newly qualified staff members will stand you in good stead if you are offered the position, it also shows the panel that you are keen.
What opportunities do you offer for ICT within the school?
This question shows that you are forward thinking and keen to incorporate ICT into your lessons, which makes you look like a desirable candidate. It’s also useful for you to know the extent of technology within the school should you be offered the job. After all, there’s no point in planning a term’s worth of lessons that require every child to have access to a laptop if the facility just isn’t available.
Are there any particular measures being put in place in the school for gifted and talented pupils?
This shows that you are keen to help even the most able pupils make accelerated progress and demonstrates your interest in differentiation. It also gives the school an opportunity to talk about what they have to offer more able pupils.
What CPD opportunities are available to staff within the school?
This question demonstrates that you are keen to develop your career without specifically asking about opportunities for progression, and is a neat way to circumvent potentially contentious issues.
What is your vision for the school?
This has been revealed to be a popular question among interview panellists and shows that you have a vested interest in the school’s future. It gives the head teacher the opportunity to talk about the way they would like the school to shape up, and will be useful in giving you a clearer picture of what may be expected of you, should you be offered the role.
What opportunities does the school offer for interaction between students, parents and teachers?
If you ask this question, it implies that you understand the importance of working with parents as partners, a key part of teaching today. It also shows that you have an interest in developing positive working relationships with children and their families.
What is the average class size?
Although this question may not reveal much about you as a teacher, it is actually a very useful question and you can use it to expand briefly on your experience with small or large class sizes as appropriate. It will also benefit you to know whether you will be teaching a small group of pupils or 30+ students, and to tailor your planning accordingly if you are offered the post.
What opportunities are there for me to get involved with extra-curricular clubs and activities?
This is an excellent question as it reveals your eagerness to get involved with the wider life of the school. It also shows that you are not afraid of school commitments outside of class time and that you have a deeper interest in getting to know pupils across the school and working with them.
Do teachers work in teams in this school?
You can use this opportunity to discuss briefly any previous experience you have had with team teaching if this is practiced at the school, and to express an interest in this style of teaching. It will also help you to be prepared for the role expected of you should you be given the job.
Would I be expected to cover any other duties outside the classroom, for example lunch duties?
If you choose to ask this question, be sure to frame it in a positive light. If you sound like you are unwilling to take on extra duties, you may find that you’ve talked yourself out of a job. You could put this question in context of having performed similar duties in the past or in your current role, in order to appear flexible and willing to take on extra duties.
Do you find that parents and the local community are supportive of the school?
You will be demonstrating here that you know the importance of local community and parent partnership to the success of an institution. It also gives the school the opportunity to talk about their outreach programmes and the work they do to include parents as part of the school community. This information may be useful to you if and when you are offered the job.
Which whole-school disciplinary measures are in place for pupils?
Asking this question will show your commitment to following school procedures and also your awareness of the importance of whole-school discipline. Again, the response will help you greatly in the long-term if offered the post.
How does the school tackle issues around bullying?
This shows your interest in pastoral care and gives the school the opportunity to impress you with their own practice. Their response also gives you a clear idea about what to expect if you join their teaching team.
What do you think are the school’s greatest strengths?
If you are looking for safe questions to ask at the end of an interview, this is a good one. It reveals your interest in the school as a whole, but is however non-contentious and allows the head teacher to impress you.
Does the school follow a creative curriculum?
This shows an interest in different teaching approaches, strategies and styles, and shows that you are informed about different ways of approaching education. Again, it helps you to know what to expect if offered the job, and gives you a brief opportunity to talk about your experience in planning and delivering a creative curriculum.