Despite the recruitment and retention crisis we keep hearing about, it is far from easy to walk into a teaching job in some parts of the country.
The teaching is the easy bit, it’s the interview questions that aren’t.
Interviews are a strange and unpredictable beast and wholly dependent on the panel – if they aren’t up to the job then actually getting a job is a tall order.
The questions a panel ask you at an interview can be guessed in some respects but you just never know and that’s why it is always good to prepare for a range of possibilities.
I’ve been asked lots of questions for the positions I’ve applied for and have asked plenty too. Here are some of them. How would you answer them?
- Briefly state you own teaching philosophy?
- Describe your teaching style.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?
- Articulate your own discipline philosophy in one or two sentences.
- What classroom rules do you use (or plan to use)? Why these specific rules?
- When and how should teachers present their classroom rules to children?
- Should you smile before Christmas?
- Should teachers get shy children to stand up and speak in front of the class?
- What are three things teachers can do to assess students’ prior knowledge?
- What is active assessment?
- What strategies do you use to make sure that vulnerable learners make progress and achieve well in your class?
- Tell us about an educational myth that you have read about.
- Which seating arrangements do you prefer and why?
- How do you prioritise when pressure to prepare for tests conflicts with the activities and lessons you believe are necessary to include in your curriculum?
- What do you understand by the term ‘curriculum intent’?
- What role should social media play in the classroom?
- How do you make learning fun for children?
- What would you do if a child made a disclosure to you?
- How do you feel about categorising schools as ‘outstanding’?
- Do you think mobile phones should be allowed in school?
- What’s one research-based method that guides your teaching?
- What does collaboration mean to you?
- Name three qualities effective teachers have.
- Tell us about a lesson that didn’t go well and what you learned from it.
- How do you make sure that all learners are engaged and learning in your lessons?
- Which techniques have you used successfully used to motivate reluctant readers?
- How can we use music and art to enhance reading?
- How can you incorporate exercise into the day in addition to P.E.?
- What would you do to calm an angry parent?
- What is one thing that every teacher should avoid?
- What do you want your students to remember about you 20 or 30 years from now?
The thing is, no one knows what they will be asked on the day but panels have a responsibility to get the best out of people they are interviewing.
Interviews don’t always go pear-shaped because of you but because those asking the questions don’t always understand the question themselves or the answers you give.