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Difficult Interview Questions

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by jxmescm, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. jxmescm

    jxmescm New commenter

    Hi there Tes Community,
    I'm currently preparing myself for an interview at a fantastic school in my area. Really hoping to get this job as it would be more than ideal.

    The location, pay and school environment is just what I'm looking for! :)

    I haven't interviewed for a good while so I'm a little out of practice. I know that I'm probably going to get a good few curveball questions in my interview. What are some of the most difficult questions you've been asked in an interview and how did you answer them?

    Any pointers would be HUGELY appreciated.

    - James :D
    Minafeet likes this.
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I was once asked "How would you run this school differently?", which still bemuses me several years down the line. I suppose many panels like to offer "the quirky question".

    At most interviews you will be asked "have you any questions?" towards the end, and in a way that is your most important response. If you say "no" then it can represent disinterest or arrogance, but if you say "yes" then it will equally be at them shuffling in their seats waiting to end the interview and get back to their to-do list. There's the goody two shoes approach, where you ask "would I be able to run some clubs" and there's the practical approach "what resources/facilities/rooms do you have where I could do x/y/z with the pupils"; ultimately there's no right or wrong, you just have to be yourself.

    Having sat on an interview panel myself, just once, our favourite response was from a candidate who said "from what you have seen of me so far, are there any areas in particular where you think I may need to turn to other staff for advice?", and they went on to get the job.

    Best of luck to you.
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    One 'quirky question' I got asked was: If we were to give you £200 (this was 20 years ago!) what would you buy for the school? I muttered something about ICT equipment and I got the job. Another candidate for a different post in the school answered 'a piece of original art' and she got the job too.
  4. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Questions could include:
    • Why did you apply for this job/to this school?
    • How would your colleagues/pupils describe you in three words?
    • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
    • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
    There is usually a safeguarding question - maybe be overt or you may be asked what you would do in a given scenario and they would want to see that you are aware of appropriate procedures.
  5. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    There are interviews where none of the questions are difficult, answers flow and the panel nod and smile. On others occasions there are complete blanks, you hardly know your name and the panel wince and sigh. What is the reason for this - I have no idea.

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