Top Tips

Top Tips for Teaching Interviews

Published on 25th November 2016


Interviews can be daunting and it is always good to be prepared. Once you are at an interview, it is likely that it will focus on your application, your teacher training and school experience and previous work experience.

Interviewers may ask you about your interests, suitability for the particular school, and what you can contribute. You may face questions from pupils.

You may be invited to an interview day which can include a tour of the school, panel interview, and teaching a sample lesson.

If you are invited to an interview, confirm as soon as possible whether you are able to attend or if you need to rearrange and if you are unsure of the location, check directions, where to go when you arrive at the school and who will be involved in the interview process.

Top Tips for Interviews

  • Dress smartly and appropriately for teaching in case you have to take a sample lesson. A pencil skirt may look great but may not be ideal for sitting on the carpet and reading to Year 1 pupils.
  • Make an entrance. First impressions do count. Smile, make eye contact with each of the interviewers and greet them.
  • Do your research on the school: Read previous Ofsted inspection reports, the headteachers’ blog, find out about the aims and ethos of the school, speak to pupils and parents beforehand if possible to get a good overview of the school.
  • Come prepared. It is likely that you will be informed of the format of the interview prior to the date, however, it is best to be prepared. The perfect way for interviewers to get an idea of how well a teacher can teach pupils is to see them in action and you may be asked to lead an activity with a group or teach a sample lesson. Ensure you have prepared for the potential lesson and bought along any resources you may need for the sample lesson.
  • Demonstrate your effectiveness as a teacher with examples based on your experience. Answer any questions by referring to your experience and learning.
  • Have ideas and questions. Be enthusiastic, tell the interviewers why they should appoint you and what you can bring to the school.
  • Don’t be afraid to give examples of where things have gone wrong in a class or activity but ensure you emphasise what you learnt from that situation and how it has impacted on your teaching style.
  • Be passionate and knowledgeable about your specialist subject and demonstrate your knowledge through your experience.
  • Engage and show your personality. Often your experience will take you so far but interviewers will also be looking for your personality traits and how well you will fit into the year or school. They will also be looking for a positive can-do attitude so try and demonstrate this during the interview.
  • Answer the question. Listen to what the interviewers are saying and make sure your answer responds to the whole question. Try and avoid yes/no answers unless you are asked a closed question but try not to waffle.

Learn from your experiences. You can’t get every job you apply for and so try not to be disheartened. Ask your recruitment consultant for feedback and learn from it for the next time.

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