Teaching Interview Preparation: A Guide

Two people sitting across from each other at a desk with a pinboard and shelf of folders behind them.

What does a teacher interview traditionally look like?

Teaching interview structures can vary depending on the school and the employer. As teaching positions are flexible as schools adapt to current trends, the interview patterns have begun to do the same.

Below are six of the main areas a teacher interview will focus on.

  • Your application
  • Your teacher training and school experience
  • Previous work experience
  • Interests
  • Suitability for the particular school
  • What you can contribute

As well as verbally discussing your visions for the company, the school may also offer you a guided tour of the premises and the opportunity to engage with students in their classes. This may include discussing topics with pupils and marking classwork to demonstrate your capabilities.

What skills do interviewers for teaching jobs look at?

Moving on to the particular skills you should demonstrate at your teaching interview, there are several important ones to note.

Firstly, it’s vital to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively with both pupils and staff to ensure the most favourable outcome for everybody. This goes hand in hand with excellent social skills when motivating learners.

Teaching candidates must also demonstrate the ability to manage a larger group of children, particularly in a group setting. Not only this, teachers need to show professional knowledge about particular or several topics, depending on the role.

Interviewers will look particularly hard for areas you can reflect on your own performance and deliver an awareness of your own needs and how these can be adapted to suit the needs of others, too.

Teaching interview preparation tips

Below are four of our top tips to consider when preparing for your teaching interview.

Re-read all aspects of your application

Before entering your interview, ensure you have re-read your teaching application. This ensures that you have familiarised yourself with every aspect and are prepared to answer any questions about anything it covers.

This will also give you the confidence that you have covered each area of the skillset required and have something to mentally refer to when answering questions.

Make sure you have specific examples from your school experience

Bring specific examples of your work to your interview. Potential employers love to hear about real-life examples of your work and how this made a difference in the situation. This should include all aspects of the interview criteria.

Read the educational press

The ability to discuss current trends and news with the employer will prove that you are dedicated to improving and adding to the school’s learning structure and demonstrate your genuine interest in education. Not to mention your expanding knowledge on the topic!

Plan your journey and allow plenty of time to get there

As a general rule of thumb, always plan your journey as if something was to go wrong. If you are driving, do you have enough time to still make the interview if you were to get stuck in traffic? If using public transport, have you accounted for any delays or no-shows?

Ensuring your punctuality is spot-on is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression on your potential employer and prove that you are right for the job.

When to typically expect the results from your job interview

Occasionally, offers can be made during the interview, depending on the business’s current situation. However, offers are most likely to be made shortly after the completion of the interview, usually the same day or the following days.

Positions of authority, such as headteacher or management positions, are generally expected to receive a prompt answer due to the demand for their position fulfilment.


Author: Victoria Snee

Victoria Snee is the founder and owner of Always Flourishing Ltd., a BA Hons from Sheffield University, and an MA from the University of Reading. After a brief career in publishing, she has been a business owner since 2008 and set up Always Flourishing nine years ago. As a mother of five children with hugely varied educational needs, she says she ‘cannot express how important the right education and educational setting is for them’. Passionate about education, she aims to influence local schools positively to enable all children to achieve their goals.

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