After spending hours slaving over an application, you’ve landed yourself an interview for a position at a fantastic school – wahoo! To increase your chances of winning the position, you know that need to prepare – but how? Choosing that all-important interview outfit is a big part of this and, if you are having a Skype interview setting up your station and testing out your lighting and sound is super beneficial. However, the biggest part of all is practising how you would respond to questions you may be asked. And that means practising out loud – not just in your head!
Recently I had several Skype interviews for out-of-town positions and, having never had a Skype interview before, I decided to video myself responding to potential questions. Yes, I sounded like a bit of a weirdo asking myself a question and then responding to myself, but it was a great exercise. I picked up on distracting body language (I overuse my hands when talking) and saying the answers out loud really cemented what I would say if asked the same question in the interview. Whether it is a Skype or in-person interview, it is always a good idea to practise before hand. While a school may throw a few tricky questions at you, often there are core questions that are the same, or very similar, in every interview. The more you practise, the more confident and fluent you will become in answering them!
Below is a list of questions that you might like to use to practise for a interview for a teaching position. The questions are all ones that I have been asked during interviews.
Why did you apply for a position at our school?
What do you know about our school and why would you fit in?
Talk about your teaching philosophy and how it would fit with our school.
What are the top qualities a teacher needs to be effective?
What four words would your colleagues use to describe you?
How do you cater for the varied abilities of learners in your care?
What would your classroom look like? Walk and talk us through it.
How would establish rapport with pupils at our school?
How do you manage behaviour?
What strategies do you use in the classroom to manage behaviour?
A tricky parent has approached you to say that their child is being picked on in the playground. How do you resolve the situation?
Curriculum and Assessment
What are your curriculum strengths?
What are the guiding principles in your area of strength that you’d like your pupils to know?
Maths is our focus – how would you contribute to the development of this curriculum area?
What do you think of the New Zealand curriculum?
What assessment for learning practises do you use?
How do you integrate technology into teaching and learning?
How do you collaborate with staff?
Are you a team player or a leader?
How would you contribute to the staff culture?
How you would make efforts to join an established staff?
How would you communicate learning goals with parents?
The next set of questions have been taken from a Facebook discussion on the strangest questions ever asked at an interview for a teaching job – so glad that I have never been asked any questions like these!
How would you hide an elephant?
If you were an object, what would you be and why?
If you could be a character in any movie – what would you choose and why?
What cartoon character do you most relate to and why?
What animal would you be if you could be any animal?
If you got the job would you be prepared to join our touch rugby team?
If you were a toy, what would you be and why?
Sing the national anthem for us.
For more ideas of questions you might be asked at an interview, this document from an American university provides a pretty extensive list. https://www1.udel.edu/CSC/pdf/InterviewTeach.pdf