Best Way to Prepare an Interview for Teaching Positions

Some teachers stay in the same school for so long they practically become a part of the decor. Others may stay for a considerable period of time before deciding to move onwards and upwards in their career. Yet more may jump from school to school every year until they find a place where they are happy to settle. However long you stay in your current position, and regardless of how many interviews you may have had throughout your career, once you have decided to test the waters elsewhere, it is essential you prepare.

Many interviews for teaching positions can last the whole day. You will be given a tour of the school and an introduction and welcome from the Headteacher. In addition to the actual interview you may be asked to teach an example lesson, observe a class, and meet with poten­tial new colleagues. Most schools will decide who is the successful can­didate that day, but you may have to wait a bit longer before you find out how you fared.

Teaching Interview Best Way to Prepare an Interview for Teaching Positions

It is often impossible to find out what a school is really like until you actually start teaching there. However, during the interview process, if you feel that the role or the school does not meet your expectations, don’t be afraid to retract your application and pull out of the interview process. After all, it is important you feel comfortable in the school you work for.

The questions you will be asked in the actual interview will depend on the type of school or position you are applying for. Always do some background research into the school and consider what kind of person they are likely to look for.

Typical questions you may be asked in an interview

  •    Why did you decide to become a teacher?
  •    What attracted you to this position?
  •    What kind of teacher do you consider yourself to be?
  •    What kind of qualities do you think you will bring to this role?
  •    How do you encourage students to learn?
  •    How would you handle a student who seems gifted, but presents a discipline problem?
  •    Describe a lesson that you feel was particularly successful and tell us why.
  •    How do you differentiate your teaching for SEN or G&T students?
  •    How do you establish authority/discipline?
  •    How do you react when a discipline problem arises?

Be prepared for the opportunity to ask your own questions. If you need to, write them down beforehand. This will show any prospective employer how prepared you are and how serious you are about gaining the position.

Remember: in all interviews it is crucial to sell yourself. Never be afraid to talk about your skills and accom­plishments – be proud of what you have achieved. You are the product that you want a prospective employer to buy: make sure you look and sound professional, motivated and deter­mined from the very first moment you meet them.

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