How to prepare for a teaching interview

20/04/2022 | All

If you’ve been invited for your teaching interview, congratulations! You’ve already got one foot in the door of your dream role! You’re well on your way to getting your dream role. As with most job interviews, the process will vary from school to school. However, there are several ways that you can prepare for your interview to give yourself the best possible chance of success! Read on to find out our top tips on how to prepare for a teaching interview!

What questions could I be asked in my teaching interview?

If you’re about to prepare for a teaching interview, it goes without saying that it is essential to consider the questions you could be asked. Each individual school will have its own process of interviewing for teaching roles, often depending on the nature of the school and the role which needs filling. However, most teaching interviews tend to follow a two part structure – the formal interview and a chance to watch you perform. We will discuss the performance aspect of the interview later on but for now – what potential questions could I be asked?

Common teaching interview questions

  • Why teaching? Why this job?
  • Tell me about a series of lessons that you designed and taught. What went well and what would you change?
  • How do you make sure that all learners are engaged and learning in your lessons?
  • What strategies do you use to make sure that vulnerable learners make progress and achieve well in your classes?
  • Tell us about a time that you had to work hard to manage behaviour of a student. What did you do?
  • In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of your subject and how do you make sure that you teach this well?
  • What is good teaching and learning and how do you promote this in your classroom practice?
  • What will students, parents and colleagues say are your strengths/areas for development?
  • What are your career aspirations?

How can I prepare for my formal interview?

The formal part of the interview is aimed at getting to know you a bit better and is likely to be a traditional-style interview with a panel asking you questions. The best way to prepare for a teaching interview is to practice, practice, practice! We would recommend coming up with as many potential teacher interview questions (such as the ones above) and constructing answers to them. Memorise these answers and practice in a role play situation – ask a family or friend to be your interviewer! This will help you to more effortlessly answer questions and come up with relevant experiences when in your interview. 

It’s also essential when preparing for your teaching interview that you do as much research on the particular school as possible. Inspectorate reports and the school’s website are great resources to use for your research. Find out as much as you can on their vision, curriculum and behaviour policies and talk about how you relate to them as a teacher to give you that competitive edge in your interview!

Classroom observation

Most teacher interviews, whether first or final stage, will require you to teach at least part of a lesson to observe your teaching style. Rather than being nervous about this part of the interview, think of it as your chance to impress! After all, rolling up your sleeves and actually teaching children is what you’re here for! We have put together some top tips on how to smash your observation lesson:

Preparing for the lesson

  • Check with the school beforehand to ensure that you know the year level and content you are required to teach as well as how long you will be expected to teach for.
  • If you can, find out the seating plan and any student data in advance, so you can use it in planning your lesson.
  • Find out if you will be expected to take the register and build in time for this.
  • Write out a lesson plan (see our top tips on how to write a lesson plan!) and print out copies for the observers to follow along.
  • Plan ahead for resources 
  • Consider using an exit activity which you can use in assessment of learning

Getting started

  • Introduce yourself, write your name and lesson objectives on the board so that learners understand the context of the lesson
  • What’s your hook? Plan an interesting activity to get the students immediately engaged.
  • Remember classroom management starts from when students arrive at the door. How do you greet them? How do you settle them? What is your cue to start?

Classroom Management

  • If possible, find out the behaviour management policy and code of conduct beforehand
  • Plan for how you will manage
    • Low level behaviour challenges
    • Escalating behaviour challenges
    • Transitions
    • Group work dynamics
  • Try to involve as many students as possible
  • Plan how and when you will check for learning understanding throughout the lesson

What will observers be looking for?

  • Subject knowledge
  • Classroom management
  • Rapport with students 
  • Innovation and potential
  • Student engagement and progress

Remember – smile, be confident, listen to your students and respect their learning environment. This is your time to shine!

What should I wear and what should I take with me?

In terms of dress code, it’s important to dress smart but feel comfortable – first impressions count for a lot! You’ll never go wrong with a suit, smart skirt, dress or trousers!

It’s always a good idea to take the following items with you to your interview:

  • Identification
  • A copy of your CV/application
  • DBS check if required
  • Notepad and paper
  • Lesson plan if you have prepared one!

What questions should I ask?

Preparing relevant, thoughtful questions to ask your interviewer can help you appear calm and confident during your interview. Asking questions can help to communicate your passion for teaching, your interest in the school and your commitment to the role. If you are asking questions, it is important to make sure that you avoid asking anything obvious or irrelevant. Here are some examples of good questions to ask at your teaching interview:

  • What is a typical day like for a teacher at this school?
  • What extracurricular activities are available for participation?
  • What are your expectations of me?
  • What is the culture of the school?
  • What opportunities does this school offer for professional development and growth?

How can i-teachers help you prepare for a teacher interview?

At i-teachers, we pride ourselves on our fantastic interview preparation. We are the UKs highest rated education recruitment consultancy and our team are dedicated to making a positive difference to education through placing high quality candidates. The i-teachers approach is entirely personal – we pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our candidates and schools to ensure the best possible fit. Our dedicated education consultants provide thorough interview preparation advice to all of our candidates going for an interview for one of our teaching roles. Contact us to find out more and let us help you to prepare for a teaching interview!