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Interview questions they always ask, and those you wish they'd ask

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by SimplyAteacher, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. SimplyAteacher

    SimplyAteacher New commenter

    Why are teaching interviews always the same? They always ask the same questions: how would you use pupils' data to inform your teaching; a child comes to you saying they've been abused; how do you think your lesson went. I realise that they want to ask the interviewees the same questions, out of fairness and to allow for comparison, but really - so boring and predictable.

    Having conducted many interviews outside of teaching it is the norm to add a 'curve-ball' question, one that allows interviewees to show how they can think on their feet and is less easy to predict by those who shine at interviews because they can remember the 'good' answers.

    I bought this in when I was asked to conduct teaching interviews. As an example, when interviewing for a Head of English, as well as the usual boring questions I asked them all what one book would they take to a desert island. This allowed us to see the real them, as well as assess their love of their subject. One candidate who had been quite bland and uninteresting in his replies really came to life. His book was the complete works of Shakespeare, he argued how the whole of life can be found between the covers, how he could make the characters real to keep him company - he had the whole panel enthralled. He got the job, and proved to be a wonderful teacher.

    What question(s) are you always asked at a teaching interview, and what questions do you wish they'd ask.
    Curae likes this.
  2. cellerdore

    cellerdore Occasional commenter

    What will your pupils say to their children about you?

    I know it is a bit wishy-washy but I think this would drill down into what teachers feel is truly important about teaching, or their teaching in particular.
    englishdragon likes this.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    The interview questions are all similar because they are focusing upon the information you need in order to decide whether the candidate is suitable for the post. Some Curve ball ( horrible Americanism which shows its origins) questions really say very little when you analyse the answers. The favourite a few years ago was what Animal would you be... !!
    That said the answer above is interesting as his love of books came through in the interview, which presumably why he's a dedicated English teacher in the first place. How about "what motivates you to teach a subject "- that used to be a standard on in the 80's
    Curae likes this.
  4. snitzelvonkrumm

    snitzelvonkrumm Occasional commenter

    The best question I was ever asked was "How do children learn best?"
    Very open-ended. I paused and panicked for 15 seconds then talk for 45 minutes with the interviewer simply nodding and encouraging me to keep going.
    Now, when interviewing, my preference is to send my favourite questions in advance and ask them to select 4 out of the 10 to respond to.
    ruthwill500 and englishdragon like this.

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