Interviews can be a daunting time for anyone. There are, however, some key things to remember when preparing yourself which may help calm the nerves and will ensure you make the right impression.
We have put together a brief list of key things to remember when interviewing in schools as well as some potential questions which you may be asked (and some for you to ask in return).
- Do you research about the school. Look at their Ofsted report, website, local news etc. Look at what they do well in and how you can contribute to the success and well-being of their students.
- Plan your journey, is there parking? How far is it from the nearest tube, rail, bus stop?
- Be early – it is likely that someone will already be observing you whilst you are waiting.
- Maintain eye contact,
- Good posture,
- Dress appropriately,
- Use appropriate language,
- Listen to the questions and respond honestly and confidently whilst trying to use examples.
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of weaknesses can, in fact, be a strength!
- Interview them – it is a 2-way process, and the interviewers would want to have some interaction rather than just fire questions at you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask about training, career progression, CPD, staff retention etc.
Depending on the position you are interviewing for, there may be certain questions you could be asked. It is essential to back up your answers with examples.
Some examples of interview questions relevant to the education sector are:
- Tell me about yourself.
Keep this short and don’t waffle. Talk about the steps you have taken to lead you to the decision to apply for the role or work in the education sector. Many any sports you play or hobbies you. Include any extra-curricular activities you do that could bring value to a classroom so you can link it back to how it will help the students in your care.
- What first made you want to work in schools, and do you feel the same way now?
- What do you think your key skills are that would make you a great addition to our school?
- What is your understanding of the role of an LSA in the classroom?
- What do you think students look for in their teachers?
- Why have you applied to work in our schools?
- How do you approach dealing with pupils are being disruptive?
- How would you handle a situation where you thought a pupil may be at risk?
- What is your understanding of health and safety in the classroom?
- How do you schedule your marking work?
- How would you handle a disagreement with a parent about their childs progress?
- How do you keep up with developments in the world of education? What issues interest you at the moment?
- How do you use ICT in your lessons?
- How do you challenge children in your classroom?
- What can you tell us about safeguarding?
- What are you experiences of SEN and Differentiation?
- How do you meet the needs of all learners?
- How do you cope with stress?
- What was your favourite subject at school?
This may seem an awful lot of questions to remember but the interviewer is trying to gauge your experience, knowledge and most of all personality to work with both the pupils and other staff members.
Make sure that you have the opportunity to ask questions and it is essential to incorporate this into your interview as it shows willing, enthusiasm and a genuine interest in the role. Whilst they are not necessarily expecting you to turn the tables and being to interview them, it is important to have interaction rather than just answer whatever questions they have for you.
Possible questions for you to ask may be:
- How do you support staff, their development and their well-being?
- Will there be opportunities for further training, career progression, teacher training?
- What resources do you have available in the classrooms?
- Are there any areas of the school you are looking to develop this year/next year?
- Ask for feedback and when you may hear back from them?
- Don’t forget to thank them for their time.