Common Interview Topics for Teaching Jobs - Mock Interview Preparation

Being a teacher is a very important role and potential employers will have certain things in mind when they are looking to select just the right person for a job in their school. No more than any other particular skill or trade out there, there are certain aspects of a teaching role that a potential employer will want to ask you about. By considering how you might go about answering these common questions in advance, you can do a lot to make yourself feel more at ease when the actual interview comes around.

Why do you want to teach?

This may seem like a silly question to some, but how would you answer? You may think it should be obvious to an interview that teachers have a calling to educate and help pupils through the education system, and that they might not need to ask such a basic question… but when faced with the question, how would you respond? Can you call on a time in your life when a teacher made a difference in your life? Are you passionate about helping others in life in general and this passion has led you to teaching? Perhaps you struggled with an aspect of your education and you developed empathy in this respect. There are many ways you can reflect on answering this question in a way that tells your potential employer who you are. Reflecting on what your teaching philosophy is, can provide you with plenty of food for thought too.

> FREE Download: 50 key questions to ask yourself before you prepare your job application for Assistant Principal, Deputy Principal and Principal roles in education.

Why should we hire you for our school?

You have studied for years to become a teacher. You have done everything right and now you want to get your dream job. Unfortunately…so have many others. It is now your job to tell your potential employer why they should hire YOU over all of the other people who are in the exact same position as you. Don’t miss this opportunity to stand out from the rest! Here are some things to consider; can you refer to the ethos of the school and state how you relate to this ethos? do you have a talent or a skill that would be invaluable to the school? perhaps you have a great idea for an initiative that you could help the school to implement; you may even have great tech skills that you could employ in your new school. Think of all the skills you possess, not just teaching skills but your all-round skills as a person and how these skills can translate to your role as a teacher.

Read ‘Irish Primary Teacher Interview Questions - Mock Interview Preparation’ here.

Classroom management

You might be thinking discipline here, but what is it about you that makes you a good teacher when it comes to making your students want to learn with you? Can you tell your interviewer how you would bring your students along with you in a way that they want to sit up and listen? Maybe you are firm but fair, sensitive to their needs, but no pushover. You may be able to give an example where you brought a student around to wanting to learn about a topic that previously eluded their understanding.

Describe the worst day you have had in your teaching career to date.

Yikes! Do I want to relive that day again and…do I want to share it here with a potential employer? The person who never made a mistake, never made anything. Don’t you think that the person interviewing you has experienced some shockers too?! This question is designed to see how you deal with tricky situations and what you have learned from it. This experience may have shattered your teaching rose-tinted glasses and awakened something in you that now makes you a better teacher for it. Take what was a negative experience and show how you got something positive out of it. This positive is now another tool in your teaching skill-set.

So, you know who you are and what kind of a teacher you hope to come across as in an interview. It is well worth taking the time to reflect on all aspects of your teaching experience and expectations. The interview is where all of this reflection can pay off. Don’t be afraid of it! You have done your very best to ace this interview and you should go in with confidence and faith that you are putting yourself forward in the best possible light.

Read ‘Conflict in School - How to Tackle that Interview Question’ here.

Read ‘Awkward Interview Questions - How do you respond to criticism?’ here.

I hope this advice has helped you and I am always here for more information and support should you need it. For CV, SAF or Interview Preparation help, get in touch with me at hello@orladempseycoaching.ie or find out more here.

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