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Interview questions!!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by saf_nqt, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    I've got a interview tomorrow!! Does anyone have any interviews questions that you think they would ask??

    Would really help!!
  2. Well I had an interview the other day and awas asked:
    Tell us about yourself.
    What makes an effective teacher?
    How do you assess children and how did teaching a mixed-year class effect your teaching?
    What would you do if a child refused to work?
    What can you bring the school?
    Can you provide an example of when you have worked as a team?
    What can we do for you next year?

    Questions I have been asked at previous interviews:
    Numeracy/Literacy that went well and why?
    What will you need to work on in your NQT year?
    How would you rate yourself as a teacher out of 10 and why?
    How do you stay motivated?
    What is your view of inclusion?
    What would your classroom look like in October?
    How would you involve parents and the wider community?
    Whats your approach to diferentiation?
    Whats your opinion/experience of targets?

    Thats all I can think of right now! GOOD LUCK!
  3. Did you get the job?
  4. Thanks for the questions guys. I've gone through and really just written what came into my head!! Do you think these answers are good enough or what else could in inculde??

    Tell me a little bit about yourself.
    Well I?m 26 years old, I currently work in blah blah school as a year 1 teacher. I have experience of working with reception and year 3 children. I live in blah with my husband and daughter who is 19months.

    Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
    In five years time I feel I would have gained enough skills and knowledge to become part of the senior management team. I would like to take responsibility for a curriculum area such as Literacy or the foundation stage.

    What made you become a teacher?
    Well since I?ve been in secondary school I have always wanted to become a teacher. As people say, some teachers just make a lasting impression and you never forget them. This was the case with my tutor who really helped me throughout my school life. This inspired me to go into teaching. Also as I struggled with many concepts and ideas that we were learning about, one of my science teachers showed me what it meant to be patient. She would sit with many of us after class and go through whatever it was we were learning. I couldn?t believe the patience she had. This made me realise that if I was to become a good teacher I needed to have patience just like my teachers had with me. So I will willingly sit there and go through whatever we are learning with that child again and again until they have understood it or grasped it to their ability.

    What do you like about this school?
    Well it?s an Islamic school, it is a school which is making great progress ( I remember your school winning the schools competition at the gpu). Reading the Ofsted report it has showed many strengths such as your providing a good quality of education, teaching is good, your getting average sats results, children are happy and show good behaviour, they have a good attitude to learning, you have a lot of extra curricular activities, and the most important thing of all is that children know right from wrong and how a good Muslim should live. And that is our main aim at the end of the day.

    What would you do with an awkward parent?
    Well it would really depend on what circumstances the parent was acting award towards. I would be very polite but firm and inform them that I can arrange a more suitable time to discuss this matter further. I would make sure they understood that I knew it was important to the parent and I would defiantly follow up the issue.

    What would you do to develop positive relationships with pupils?
    Well firstly it would depend on the age range of children. If it was young children like my year 1 class I would build positive relationships by firstly making sure they saw I was a kind and approachable person. I would make a lot of effort to learn their names. I would set out with the help of the children guidelines for successful learning in our class. These would be like golden rules which you have in schools. In these rules behaviour, working hard, respecting each other , all these things would be included. I would set up reward system such as a star chart which I have found has worked really well. The children have to get the most stars by the end of the week and they get a prize. I would make sure that Golden time is really fun and it?s what the children really want to do. These strategies would build positive relationships because the children would behave according to the schools rules to achieve these rewards.

    How can you contribute to whole school life?
    I think it is very important to take part in the whole school life. I would always get involved with activities and projects that are going on outside the school. Also as mentioned in my personal statement I would like to run a writers club. This is because as we know literacy is very important and one of the components to access all other learning. So if I can improve children?s literacy and engage them in books, I feel it would aid in rising up literacy levels.

    What are some of the ways you get to know your students personally?
    Well at the beginning of the year I carry out lots of projects and activities about getting to know the children. So I would have ?All about me? activity booklets for children to complete. I would play lots of name and memory games. I would send out of teddy to go with each child every weekend. This is what I am doing at the moment and have found to be very successful in knowing the pupils on a individual basis. So for example, we have a bear called Tiny Ted and if children work really hard or it is a special occasion then Tiny Ted goes home for the weekend. The children write about what they did with Tiny Ted and take some photos. When they come back on a Monday they share what they have done. Also children in the class ask them questions. E,g where did you go with tiny ted, did you have fun etc. This really helps in getting to know the children personally.

    What is your approach to life?
    Always look on the bright side of life. Always think positive. Always be happy with what you have. Always compare yourself to others less fortunate and be thankful for what you do have.

    What are the biggest challenges facing schools at the moment?
    I would have to say behaviour. This is still very much what hinders learning in many schools. However, I feel your school does not face this challenge. The challenge more in your school reading the ofsted report would have to be monitoring of planning and teaching and marking. Which seems to suggest to me that this isn?t happening as much as it should be.

    What difficulties did u encounter using the NLS and NNS?
    At the beginning I think it was the timings. As the lesson was split into introduction main and plenary. Also at times the Literacy and Numeracy felt rigid without any flexibility. But as time went on and teachers go used to the strategies and felt confident to adapt them, this is when successful literacy and Numeracy occurred. When teachers were able to link ideas to topics and other themes we were learning about.

    What makes a good maths/literacy lesson?
    I think what makes any good lesson is if children have firstly understood the learning outcomes and then have been successful in achiving these outcomes throughout the lesson. Also there behaviour and work pattern. So for example if there on task, if there doing what you?ve asked of them, if there asking questions, engaging with other children, enjoying thmesleves and having fun. If there able to or the teacher is able to make judgments of how much they have understood at the end of the lesson. I feel this would make a good lesson.

    What would you do if u asked a child to do something and they said 'NO'?
    I would not tolerate it. I would make it very clear to the child what I want of them and ask them to explain why it is that they are unhappy to do so. If with dialogue they still are saying no I would remind them of the school?s behaviour policy. So for example, in our school at the moment children?s names would go up to miss 5minutes of golden time, then 10 minutes of the child isn?t still listening. If it becomes more serious then this, there behaviour will get recorded on a behaviour sheet, sent out to another class for time out, parents called in etc.

    What experience do u have of assessment, and what do you see as the role of assessment?
    I think assessment plays a big part in teaching and learning. It will become impossible to know if the children are learning and moving up levels without any assessment framework. My planning always includes assessment opportunities such as teacher based or children based. For example, the teacher might make informal judgements during a lesson which will be recorded on the evaluations of the lesson section in the planning. Or it could be that the teacher asks the children to assess their own work against criteria or peer assessment. At the end of terms I would always use tests and assessment schemes to find out what level children are on. For example at the end of the spring term in Numeracy we carried out a test, in science we carried out a science investigation which children then needed to explain to show their understanding. In Literacy a piece of extended writing was levelled using ros Wilson criteria and reading was assessed through using Pm bench mark. All this information will inform teaching and planning for next term. So assessment is very important if children are to progress and reach their full potential.

    How can u ensure that EAL children are supported?
    Firstly I speak Bengali. So if any of the children or parents speak the same language I would be able to communicate in their home language. I would make the learning environment as accessible as I can for these children. This would be things such as having pictures and labels in dual language. Have resources associated with the different languages so children are not so unfamiliar. If I have an LSA I would let them work with these children on their spoken English language. Or pair up more able children with an eal child so they can support them. What else I have found that has worked really well is for these children to have whiteboards. So if they don?t always know the language they can draw or write something down which can show their understanding.

    How do see the role of the school governors? How can you work with the school governors?
    The role of the governors is very important. They want the best for the school and are working just as hard to achieve this. I would always try to work with them so that we can achieve the same goal. I would welcome governors into my class, so they can get an insight to what we do. I would engage with them at staff meetings or other meetings.

    If I was to look at your planning, what would I see?
    Depends what type of planning you were looking at. However, regardless of if it was medium term, long term or short term plan they would always be very detailed. I always make sure to include what I am doing the start, middle and end of a lesson. What activities groups would be doing? If this included a LSA/helper with that group. How I would differentiate for sen/eal children. What resources I will use. Evaluations and recommendations for next lesson. I feel that the more detailed your plans are the more successful your lesson will be because you are prepared really well. This will make your teaching better and success criteria achieved for your pupils.

    How would I promote good behaviour in the school?
    Firstly, I would show examples of good behaviour through myself as an example and other well behaved children. I would adhere to the school?s behaviour policy and implement these. So for example as mentioned earlier, I would introduce the star chart, I would have table points, make golden time fun etc. This would help children want to show good behaviour as in return they will get these things. Of course of they don?t show good behaviour then negative reinforcement needs to take place. e.g behaviour record sheets, time out in classes, letter to parents etc.

    What could I contribute to the school?
    I would be able to bring a sense of humour, lots of energy, good teaching, involvement in whole school life, and always giving 100% in whatever task I do.

    How would I ensure effective learning in my class?
    Firstly, ensure that the learning environment fosters learning. This would be through the areas in the classroom, access to resources, accessible for eal and sen children. Then whenever I teach a lesson I always make sure to go through the learning outcomes and success criteria. That way children know exactly what I am looking for in that lesson. I would be able to see if learning has taken place through the plenary where misconceptions are discussed. Children ask questions, I ask questions which all shows their learning that lesson. This would then inform my planning for next time.

    How important are parents in the school life?
    Parents are very important in the school life. Parents showing interest and wanting to become involved in their children?s learning is a fantastic thing. In my class I always make sure I am approachable and have good relationships with children?s parents. This way they feel at ease to ask me questions about there children?s learning and what they can do to help. I always encourage parents to come into class to help with reading, spellings, trips etc. The more involved a parent is the more of a chance that child will have at being successful in school.
    What has been your best day in teaching and why?
    I couldn?t really say one best day in teaching as I have had many. These have been lessons which I have thoroughly planned for. Exciting lessons with a lot of resources the children have enjoyed and had fun. Lessons where the children have said, ?I hope we can do that again?! Where I feel the children have achieved and made progress.

    Can you give an example of something that has gone wrong in your present or previous post. What did you learn from this experience?
    Well I think at the beginning of the year as I had never taught year 1 before I may have aimed learning either to high or easy for the children. For example, sometimes I might have wanted the children to write a paragraph when really they were only capable of writing one sentence! Going through this process helped to aim the work at the right level for the children.

    What has been your biggest challenge this year? How have you responded to it?
    My biggest challenge this year has to be the noise level and working at tables. As these were young children it was understandable that noise level was going to be high. However, I felt at the start of the year this was to high to teach and learn in. Once the right level was established using positive reinforcement I felt more learning was taking place and less time wasting. Also as the children had just come from reception they were not used to sitting at tables and working together. Again with strategies like table points and rewards they quickly improved on this. Again this meant they became independent learners.

    What makes an effective teacher?
    Mostly a teacher who is reflective. So at the end of each lesson she reflects on what has gone well, what she could do next time, what the children have learnt, what the children need to do next time. This has to be coupled with have the qualities such as being patient, kind, understanding, approachable, a good role model etc.

    maybe this will be helpful to someone?

  5. One thing i would add, is that although your answers all look good, make sure you inject some of your own personality into them too and make sure your enthusiasm shines through - anybody can rehearse answers they think are right, but on the day they will look beyond this to find the candidate who sparkles.
  6. Thats what i thought to impluce. I wasn't gonna do any preparation and my hubby was like thats crazy!

    So then i started looking for interview questions!

    But like you said i was thinking because i have 3 years expereince i should be able to answer any question and my love for teaching should come through the way i answer the questions and get a chance to show my fun peronslaity???????
  7. Sorry saf_nqt yes I did get the job. I used lots of words like "I'm a strong advocate of...", "I am committeed to...", "I'm passionate about...". I didn't try to say thing I thought they were looking for I just told the truth and was myself (I was even 20 mins late, ha ha). Let us know how you get on.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Just a thought - don't just say 'it's an Islamic school', say why you think this is a good thing (e.g. strengths of such a faith school, etc).

    Thanks for asking about interview questions by offering your ideas for answers. usually, people just come on here wanting to be told what to say.

    Good luck with it.
  9. hi guys,

    They offered me the job but didn't take it because they wanted to pay me 10,000 less then what i get paid now. :(
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I only noticed after I'd posted my words of wisdom that you must have had the interview by then!

    Sorry it didn't work out for you, but with your attitude and approach, I'm sure you'll get something that's right for you soon.

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