As a teacher, you’ll probably expect your students to complete homework. To be a teacher, you first need to do some homework of your own in preparation for your teaching interview. These 15 teacher interview questions will give you a good idea of what your teaching interview will be like.
The tips will help guide you on how to answer but make sure to take some time to really think through what you would say if asked these questions. It’s a good idea to grab a friend and do some practice interviews. Actually talking through your answers as if it were real can help you discover your interviewing strengths and weaknesses.
What encouraged you to join the teaching profession?
This will reveal to the interviewer something about your character and motivations. The reasons behind your decision to pursue a teaching career can show the panel that you see the profession as a vocation rather than just a job.
Why do you want to leave your current school?
Do not say anything negative about your current employer, regardless of why you want to leave. Be positive about the school that is interviewing you and give reasons why they could offer you better career prospects.
Why did you choose to apply to our school?
This is your opportunity to show off your research about this school. You could mention its excellent results, its good local standing, its reputation, and opportunities that it can offer you in the future.
What can you offer our team?
This is your chance to demonstrate your assets. Here you should mention any specialist skills, interests or experiences that you have. For example, if you are prepared to run an after-school club for the pupils, assist with a school sports team or mentor pupils, make sure to emphasise this now.
How do you view the role of a teacher?
Don’t stop at the basics. Yes, you can mention the primary duties, but there is a lot more to the teacher’s role than that. The interviewer wants to know that you understand both the educational and pastoral elements of the teaching profession.
Which key stage do you prefer to work with?
It’s important not to tie yourself down here. Although you may be applying for a role in one key stage, schools often move teachers around, so you may end up working in a different part of the school. Show your commitment to the profession as a whole and say positive things about all key stages, although it is acceptable to say that the majority of your experience is in one particular area.
How would you describe your working relationship with other professionals in your classroom?
The interview panel wants to know that you value and respect your colleagues, their ideas and opinions. If you will be working with a teaching assistant, a job-share teacher, or external professionals working with individuals in your class, the school needs to know that you are capable of working cooperatively and productively without causing friction.
How can you ensure that your whole class learns effectively?
This is your chance to talk about different styles and teaching methods. Talk about providing a range of opportunities for those who learn in different ways, such as kinaesthetic, visual, and auditory learners. Provide examples of times that you have done this in the classroom and achieved good results.
How can you ensure good behaviour management in your classroom?
First and foremost, you must stress here that you will always adhere to the school’s own behaviour management systems and strategies. If you can do research before your interview, find out which strategies and methods are being used in the school’s classrooms and talk about using them effectively. Give examples of times that you have managed behaviour well and talk about a few different strategies that work well for you.
What do you think is the best way to encourage active learning?
The panel wants to know that you are the kind of teacher who can really engage their pupils in their work. In today’s schools, there is an expectation that children will actively participate in their work rather than simply sitting at desks copying out of textbooks. Talk about opportunities for encouraging children to actively cement their learning, from making a human model of the solar system to creating and performing their own plays.
How do you see the parent’s role?
The panel want to hear that you support parent participation and understand the vital role that families play in the child’s education. Offer examples of times that you have involved parents in the classroom or in home learning, and emphasise the importance of parents in partnership with schools. The message you are giving here is that good working relationships with parents are key to persuading children of the importance of education.
What qualities do you have that make you stand out as an excellent teacher?
This is another opportunity to sell yourself, however this question is not only about your qualifications and experience, it is about your personality too. What is it about you that makes you special in the classroom? How does your individual character help you to get better results from your pupils or forge stronger and more positive relationships?
How can you motivate your students?
This question gives you the chance to talk about your classroom practice and experience. Which tactics have you used to encourage hard work and good behaviour? Whether you give certificates for achievement, a star of the week badge, or rewards for receiving a target number of stamps for good work, be sure to mention your successes.
How will you provide work that suits the needs of all pupil abilities?
This is a differentiation question. The interview panel needs to know that you understand that children learn at a different pace and need work to suit their level of skill. They want to hear that not only will you provide less difficult work for the least able pupils, but that you will ensure that the most capable children in your class will be challenged and pushed to achieve even more.
Don’t forget to talk about careful deployment of learning support assistants – it’s important for the more able groups to benefit from learning support assistance, and for teacher focus to be spread evenly throughout the week on all ability groups.
What achievement in your educational career are you most proud of?
This will of course depend on your own personal circumstances, but ensure that you have picked an achievement that shows off your ability to engage with your pupils and achieve excellent results. You may have made excellent inroads with a pupil who arrived at the school with very little English, or turned around the poor behaviour of a troubled pupil.
Perhaps your class achieved the best results in the school, or you were instrumental in setting up a particular school policy or scheme of work. Your achievement should be something that sets you apart from the crowd and demonstrates your excellence as a teacher.