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Tips and Tricks - 16-02-2024 - - 0 comments
How to Ace Your Next Teacher Interview

First of all, congratulations on landing an interview! You've tackled the first hurdle, but the biggest challenge is just over the horizon. If you're an ECT looking for your first teaching job, you might be more nervous than excited right now. Don't just wing it - go in as prepared as you can be with our top interview tips for teachers.

Research common interview questions

One of the most important tips we'll share is to do your research on some of the most common questions you might get in your interview.

"Tell me about yourself" might initially sound easy to answer, but if you're not prepared, its open-ended nature can stop you in your tracks on the big day.

Research common teacher interview questions and prepare answers for these to ensure you're one step ahead.

Practice using the STAR method for competency-based questions

Interviewers ask competency-based questions to find out whether you have the right skills for the job. Many questions will ask how you’ve acted in the past, or ask you how you’d deal with a situation in the future.

To tackle these questions, pick out some of the key competencies stated in the job description and think of some examples for each one. Practice crafting strong and concise answers to these questions using the STAR method, using examples from your previous experience.

Your examples can be from a previous job, your education or even an extra-curricular pastime, such as sports teams.

What is the STAR method?

STAR stands for ‘Situation’, ‘Task’, ‘Action’ and ‘Result’. This method is a useful way of communicating key points clearly and concisely in an interview.

Situation: Briefly explain the situation, or set the scene.

Task: What did you need to do, or accomplish?

Action: Explain the action you took to accomplish the task.

Result: What happened as a result? Why was this positive?

Once you’ve identified these four points, pull them all together into a brief, but good-quality answer.

Most importantly, don’t lie. They will ask you questions about the subject, and any embellishments you’ve made will be quickly found out!

Research the panel to find out more about who will be interviewing you

Knowledge is power, especially when facing an interview panel. Not only could researching your interviewers help you stand out to the panel (as it'll show you've dedicated the time to do this), but it will also give you the chance to make more in-depth conversation as they won't be complete strangers.

This might also help you come up with some questions for your interviewers regarding their careers and experience at the school, as well as potentially calm your nerves about the big day.

Check the travel route to the school in the morning

It goes without saying that turning up late to an interview isn't a good look. While you might have your own strategies to ensure you're on time, it's important to ensure you prepare for your journey well in advance.

For example, triple-check any public transport or map app to find out how long it'll take you to get there, and as close as you can to the interview, check for any delays, road closures or cancellations. It's a good idea to make sure you can get there via an alternative route just in case there's an unexpected hitch in your plan.

Be prepared to discuss the negatives

Nobody's perfect! Overcoming challenges and being ready for a challenge is a great asset, so instead of pretending negatives don't exist, talk about how you've tackled them.

Demonstrating self-awareness, resilience and problem-solving skills will be hugely valuable to your interviewers. Just make sure you end on a positive, and don't go too far with ruminating on the negatives.

Don’t try to be somebody else

Authenticity is key! It's important to be professional, but remember not to lose sight of what makes you, you. Be yourself and make sure your personality shines through. If you try to be like everyone else, your unique ideas and perspectives won't show, and you won't stand out.

Feel free to express your individuality and how your unique skills and life experience will suit the school and the role.

Ask for feedback after the interview

It's important to show your continued interest in the role by politely requesting feedback after the interview. This will demonstrate your commitment to self-improvement, and if you're not successful, you'll know exactly why and be able to apply your learnings to the next role.


For more interview tips and information about securing your next teaching or other school role, chat to us. We’re looking for teachers to work at schools across the Midlands, North West and South Yorkshire, and can support you every step of the way.

Browse our current teaching jobs or call our team of recruitment consultants on 0121 392 6570 to learn more.

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