Schoolzone: Typical interview questions

Typical first teaching post interview questions

Interviewers won’t try to catch you out but you might get questions that you just did not expect. If that is the case then take a pause and think on your feet. During my NQT interview I was asked about the last history book I read that I would recommend to students. I hadn’t expected that one.

In all likelihood the last question you will get is: Are you still a candidate for the job? The answer to this is definitely yes—be decisive—unless the answer is no in which case say no. If you feel deep down that the school is not for you then withdraw.

Presuming you say yes then shake everyone’s hand and leave the room. It might be that all candidates are asked to wait in the staffroom until a successful candidate is announced or it might be that you are allowed to go. If this is the case you will receive a phone call later in the day.

It is difficult to predict some interview questions but some are fairly obvious. So make sure you’ve got a response to these:

Why did you apply for this post?

What strengths would you bring to the role?

What attracts you particularly to this school?

What are your weaknesses?

How would you describe your behaviour management style?

What makes for great teaching and learning?

If one of your students was to describe you in three words what do you think they would say?

How do you know that students are making progress in your lessons?

Describe a good lesson that you have taught recently

Describe a lesson that did not go so well. Why didn’t it go well and what would you do to improve it?

How do you think the lesson you taught earlier in the day went?

How would you improve it?

Tell me about a scheme of work or part scheme of work you have developed whilst training. What did you try to achieve during a sequence of lessons? Did you manage it?

How do you effectively differentiate in your lessons?

How do you stretch the brightest students?

What is your approach to using teaching assistants in your lessons?

In what ways do you deploy ICT in your teaching?

What is the role of ICT in your subject?

How do you promote literacy development in your lessons?

How do you encourage students to read?

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

What is the most enjoyable part of teaching?

What part of the job do you enjoy least?

What do you think will be the major difference between your training year and your NQT year?

What are you most looking forward to about starting your first teaching job in September?

What are you least looking forward to?

Who has been the biggest influence on your teaching career?

Why did you want to become a teacher?

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