Being a teacher means being a master of preparation. Preparing lesson plans is a major part of the everyday life of a teacher. Preparation should also be a big part of the process of getting a teaching job to begin with. By studying these teacher interview questions and answers, you’re setting yourself up to present well at your interview. Preparing for the interview will help get you in the classroom.
How do you incorporate the use of technology into your classroom?
Research is an important part of this question. There is no point in telling the panel that you would plan lessons in which all the class can use their own laptops if that facility is not available in the school. Find out about the types of technology available to teachers in the school and describe creative ways of incorporating them into your lessons.
How do you assess pupil progress?
This question gives you the opportunity to talk about different types of assessment i.e. the type of assessment you carry out quickly during the lesson itself, assessment when grading a specific piece of work, and overall assessment at the end of a term or assessment period.
What do you believe is the importance of regular assessment?
The interviewer wants to know that you understand the relationship between assessment and planning, and how one feeds into the other. You can talk about assessing a pupils’ understanding during lessons through questioning, and assessment of individual pieces of work to point you in the direction of areas that need further development.
As a visitor to one of your lessons, what would I expect to see?
You need to tell the interviewing panel what makes up the facets that contribute towards a successful and outstanding lesson. This means you need to think about what the pupils should be doing, i.e. staying focused, actively participating, discussing, and working appropriately, as well as what you should be doing, i.e. questioning at different ability levels, actively monitoring understanding and progress, and managing behaviour. You could also talk here about classroom environment and its role in promoting pupil self-esteem and displaying their achievements.
Why do we teach your subject in school?
No matter what your subject is, the panel wants to know what it contributes to the pupils’ lives as a whole, from promoting a greater understanding of the world around them to fostering teamwork and cooperation. You could mention encouraging a love of lifelong learning, improvement of skills in other areas, and even instilling a sense of self-discipline. The important thing here is that you have thought more deeply about the nature of your subject and its greater importance to the world.
Which qualities do you think students look for in a teacher?
The interviewer wants to know that you can look at education from the child’s point of view, which is essential in terms of pastoral care and effective teaching strategies. You need to express an understanding of the student’s needs, i.e. a fair and understanding practitioner with good communication skills and an ability to make their subject engaging.
Can you evaluate your lesson?
Many schools will ask candidates to teach a lesson to a class before their interview. If you are asked to do this and then to evaluate it, it’s important to sum up both positives and negatives to show that you have a clear understanding of where things could have been improved. A school wants to know that their teaching staff can be flexible and adaptable, able to recognise areas for development and change, as well as highlight strategies that worked well.
What is the role of a student in your classroom?
The school is looking for a teacher that expects more from their pupils than just passive learning. If you are asked this question, you need to stress the importance of active participation in learning, about the need for taking responsibility for themselves, and about their need for self-discipline and good behaviour.
How do you cope with stress?
The teaching profession is more stressful today than at any other time, but it’s important for the interviewer to know that you won’t take these stresses out on your class. You need to express the importance of maintaining balance and calm in your classroom and alternative methods of handling difficult situations.
Can you explain how your non-teaching employment has benefited your current practice?
This question is relevant to those who have spent some years working in another industry before embarking on a teaching career. The interviewer wants to know how your previous experiences of employment in other sectors has informed the way you react, and how your former employment informs your teaching today.
The nature of your previous employment affects how you will respond to this question; however, aspects such as effective communication, teamwork, people-management, time-management skills, and a broader perspective on society, are all facets that can be explored here.