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Teacher Interview: 10 Questions To Prepare For

Simon Taylor
31 Jan 2024
5 min read
Teacher Interview: 10 Questions To Prepare For

As a teacher, preparing for a job interview can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. The interview is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills, experience, and passion for education. To help you feel more confident and prepared, we've compiled a list of 10 questions commonly asked in teacher interviews in the UK, along with example answers to guide you.

Looking for Teaching Assistant interview questions? Check out our dedicated TA interview questions here!

1. "Why do you want to be a teacher in our school?"

This question is designed to assess your motivation and fit with the school's values and ethos. It's essential to demonstrate your passion for teaching and your understanding of the specific school's unique attributes. For example:

"I am excited about the opportunity to join your school because of its strong commitment to inclusive education. I believe that every student deserves equal access to quality education, and your school's focus on diversity and inclusion aligns with my own values as a teacher."

2. "Describe a lesson that didn't go well and how you resolved things."

This question aims to evaluate your problem-solving skills and ability to reflect on your teaching practice. Share a specific example, highlighting how you analysed the situation, adapted your approach, and changed your planning to address this. For instance:

"In a recent lesson, I noticed that some students were struggling to grasp a concept. I quickly realised that my initial explanation was too complex, so I decided to incorporate more visuals and hands-on activities to make the content more accessible. By providing additional support and differentiating instruction, I was able to address the students' needs and improve their understanding."

3. "What makes a great teacher, and what are your teaching strengths?"

This question aims to gauge your understanding of effective teaching and how you leverage your strengths in the classroom. Highlight qualities of teachers that have made an impression on you, and how these relate to your own qualities.

"A great teacher is someone who inspires their students to learn, creates a safe and inclusive learning environment, and cultivates a love for lifelong learning. One of my teaching strengths is my ability to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of my students. By using various instructional strategies and providing individualised support, I can ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed."

4. "Describe a time you had to address a safeguarding issue."

Safeguarding is a crucial aspect of teaching, and schools want to ensure that their teachers can handle such situations appropriately. Emphasise the importance of student welfare and your commitment to following Keeping Children Safe in Education, as well as the school's safeguarding protocols.

If you haven’t experienced this, explain the steps you would take to report a safeguarding issue appropriately by writing down everything a child has told you, reporting to the Designated Safeguarding Lead, and following all of the school’s policy on safeguarding.

5. "How do you handle a situation where a student is being disruptive/reluctant/distant?"

This question assesses your classroom management skills and your ability to connect with students effectively. Demonstrate your understanding of the underlying causes of different types of behaviour and highlight strategies you’ve used to effectively support students in the past.

"When faced with a disruptive or reluctant student, I believe in taking a proactive approach. I would first establish a positive relationship with the student by showing empathy and understanding their perspective. Then, I would work with the student to set clear expectations and provide them with opportunities for active participation and choice within the classroom. By using positive reinforcement and building on their strengths, I aim to motivate the student and create an environment that fosters their engagement."

6. "What makes a good lesson?"

This question evaluates your lesson planning skills and your ability to create engaging and effective lessons. Discuss the importance of clear learning objectives, differentiated instruction, and utilising various resources to cater to different learning styles.

"A good lesson is one that captures students' interest, encourages active participation, and promotes deep understanding. To generate new lesson ideas, I continuously seek inspiration from a variety of sources, such as educational publications, online platforms, and collaboration with colleagues. By adapting and incorporating innovative teaching strategies, I can create lessons that meet the diverse needs of my students and foster their curiosity."

7. "How do you assess student progress and ensure all students are supported?"

This question focuses on your assessment practices and your commitment to personalised instruction. Highlight your use of formative and summative assessments, data analysis to inform instruction, and differentiation strategies.

"To assess student progress, I employ a variety of assessment methods, including quizzes, projects, and observations. I also regularly review and analyse student data to identify areas of growth and areas where additional support may be needed. By providing timely feedback, adapting instruction based on student needs, and offering individualised support, I ensure that all students receive the necessary guidance to succeed."

8. “Outside of the classroom, how would you contribute to the wider community of the school?”

This question about contributing outside the classroom is a big deal for schools. It's not just about running after-school clubs or sports. It's about being part of the school's heart and soul, helping out at events, and making sure everyone – students and staff – feels included and grows together. It's a chance for teachers to show they're more than just teachers: they're key players in making the school a welcoming, supportive place. Mentioning relevant personal interests can help to sell yourself to schools!

"Outside my classes, I'd really like to get involved in different ways – maybe run a music club or a football group to get kids excited about stuff beyond textbooks. I'd also jump into organising events or helping out with school-wide projects."

9. "How do you incorporate technology into your teaching?"

This question evaluates your proficiency in using educational technology and your understanding of its potential to enhance student learning. Highlight your experience with specific tools and explain how you integrate technology to promote active engagement and digital literacy skills. How you have used technology to support students with SEN (Special Educational Needs) in the past would be useful to mention here, too.

"I believe that technology can greatly enrich the learning experience for students, and I regularly incorporate it into my teaching. For example, I use interactive whiteboards to facilitate class discussions and collaborative activities. I also encourage students to use educational apps and online resources to explore topics independently and develop their digital literacy skills. By integrating technology thoughtfully, I aim to prepare students for the digital world they will encounter outside the classroom."

10. "What do you want to achieve next in your teaching career?"

This question highlights your commitment to continuous professional growth and your willingness to stay updated with the latest educational research and practices. Discuss any relevant workshops, conferences, or online courses you have attended.

"I am passionate about cultivating my professional skills and staying informed about current educational practices. Recently, I attended a workshop on differentiated instruction, which enhanced my ability to meet the diverse needs of my students. Additionally, I have been actively engaged in online communities and educational blogs, where I can exchange ideas and stay updated with the latest research in my subject area. By pursuing these opportunities, I continuously strive to refine my teaching practice and provide the best possible learning experiences for my students."

Final Thoughts

Preparing for a teacher interview can be challenging, but by familiarising yourself with common questions and crafting thoughtful answers, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to showcase your passion for teaching, highlight your relevant skills and experiences, and demonstrate your commitment to ongoing professional growth. Good luck with your interview!

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