Interview questions for a teaching or teacher assistant job

The interview is undoubtedly the most important part of searching for a teaching or teaching assistant job. A number of qualified candidates, who look great on paper, aren't chosen due to poor interviewing skills. It is the one part of the application process that will either make or break your chances of being hired. Put your best foot forward by preparing thoroughly for each interview. Research the school you are interviewing for in-depth. Learn their strengths and imagine how you will add to those. In addition, consider your career development plan, suitability for the role, qualification, experience and your own strengths as a teacher.

Personality and motivation

Interviewers will want to know why you feel you are suitable for the particular role you have applied for. They will want to know a little more about you than what is listed on your CV, for example, your motivation. In your interview, you will likely be asked a number of questions concerning your reason for applying, why you chose teaching, why you chose your particular subject area or key stage and how you would handle behavioural issues in the classroom. Typical questions might include: "How would you motivate a reluctant child?"

Training and qualifications

Interviewers will be interested in your training as well as your knowledge and understanding of best practices, governance and educational targets. They might ask you three or four questions concerning where you were trained and what additional qualifications you hold, how you interpret high-quality teaching, how you would encourage parental involvement and how you would ensure that all children are involved in the learning process. You will also be asked about working with children who struggle with learning. For example, you might be asked: "How would you accommodate a student with an Individualised Education Plan (IEP)?"

Skills and experience

Your interviewer will ask you a number of questions related to the experience you listed on your CV. They will also question your experience with trends, issues and methodologies which are current in education. It is important to prepare by doing a little research in these areas, especially as they relate to your specific curriculum or key stage. Interviewers might ask if you are flexible as a teacher and how so. They might also be interested in what you found to be most difficult during your training and why. A common question asked in this area is: "How do you assess and evaluate students?"

Core Competencies

During your interview, the interviewer will ask several questions relating to key teaching skills, such as time management, the ability to communicate efficiently and classroom management. They may ask about lesson planning, for example, how you would modify a lesson for a gifted student. Interviews will be particularly interested in whether or not you can work efficiently in a team and if you are able to effectively lead a team. One question you may encounter is: "Give an example of an activity you participate in during your spare time which requires you to organise group activities."

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About the Author

An American writer living in the United Kingdom, Christy Mitchinson began writing professionally in 2000, during her career in laboratory science, pathology and research. She has authored training materials, standard operating procedures and patient/clinician information leaflets. Mitchinson is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing with The Open University.

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