The best candidate will be able to explain and demonstrate why they are the best person for the job and for the school, and give personal rather than just generic answers to the questions they are asked.
Before your teacher interview, make sure you are prepared for a range of questions, and research the school district and the school where you will be working if you are hired.
Some common teacher interview questions:
- What makes you a good teacher?
It is important to highlight your relevant skills here, such as organisation, communication and critical thinking. Aside from enjoying working with children (obviously important) you need to outline what else you can offer and provide examples.
- What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The interviewer is looking to see your passion and enthusiasm for teaching here, and wants to hear that you are keen to build relationships with students and staff, become part of a community and that you ultimately want to see students develop.
- Tell me about a time when you dealt with challenging behaviour and how did you manage the situation?
It is worth ensuring the interviewer knows that you understand that managing challenging behaviour is different for every assignment and that each school has different policies. When giving an example, focus on de-escalation and knowing the triggers, and how you attempted to prevent challenging behaviour and promote positive reinforcement. Outline an example in which you dealt with the situation in a professional, calm and compliant manner.
- Tell me what you would do if a child came to you in confidence to speak to you about an incident either at school or at home?
There is a certain protocol that teachers abide to when a child comes to them in confidence, and this revolves around reassurance and escalation. The interviewer is keen to know that the candidate will not keep the student’s secret, but will listen to the student and explain to them that the information will be shared with someone who can help further.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
When answering this question, first think about strengths that can be applied to the role and give specific examples. If you can demonstrate that this strength is critical to the success of your job, it will convey that you are somebody who they should invest in.
The weakness question is one that many candidates dread, yet it is a popular one and needs to be answered well. Do not be afraid of discussing real life weaknesses from your career, as by doing so you are demonstrating that you have the insight to realise your flaws and you are continually learning and evolving. Personal reflection is a great way to improve, so back up your flaw with how you overcame it.
It is important to come prepared to the interview with questions, as it demonstrates your enthusiasm for the position. Good questions for the candidate to ask the interviewer are:
- What are the goals for the school?
- What do you think are the school’s greatest strengths?
- Do you get a lot of support from the community?
- How many students are in an average class?
- Is there a set professional development plan for teachers?
N.B: Avoid questions about salary, benefits and holidays, and make a list of your questions ahead of time.
If you would like further advice or are interested in applying for a role as a teacher, please contact a friendly member of the Integra Education team on 01925 594 203.