1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Pupil panel at interview

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by kirstymoss, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. kirstymoss

    kirstymoss New commenter

    Hi all,

    After searching for months for a job I have got an interview for maternity cover next week. Alongside my formal interview and lesson I will have a pupil panel. Does anyone have any tips or suggested questions that might come up any help would be greatly appreciated as I'm trying to prep for all parts of the day.

    katy_roberts85 likes this.
  2. newromantic

    newromantic Occasional commenter

    Pupils usually ask questions about you, your hobbies, family, fave subject etc. I was asked to tell a pupil panel my 'best'joke and say who was the person who inspired me most and why.
    Good luck!
    katy_roberts85 likes this.
  3. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Smile and be yourself! I've never been interviewed by children, but be prepared for some curve balls!
    cathr and katy_roberts85 like this.
  4. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    We have just interviewed for a post and school council were involved. Their questions were very perceptive and their evaluation of the applicants was extremely close to what the staff panel thought. I was very pleased with what they 'found out'.

    One of the key things they noticed about the successful applicant was that they spoke about the children as being central to what their job would b but th others spoke about themselves, no mention of children. I'm glad we didn't disagree with our school council, I didn't realise they were that perceptive!!!;)
  5. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    It's really important to build rapport. Try to use their names when answering their questions, smile and remain professional.

    Sometimes students will have questions that have been given that you would expect to be given in the head's interview about behaviour management, rewards, assessment/marking and so forth.

    Remember examples of anything they would find exciting e.g. extra-curricular, trips, enrichment, etc. that you have been involved in running. If you know successful examples throughout your career involving students - that will help to tackle most of the questions.
  6. kirstymoss

    kirstymoss New commenter

    Thanks all for your suggestions, fingers crossed!
  7. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    In my experience pupil panels are an absolute waste of time. What's your best joke? What's your favourite biscuit? What football team do you support etc. Some schools actually care what students think of you in this short space of time so for the more gregarious candidate its easy to impress but it hardly reflects on your professionalism long term.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with splinters 100%.
  9. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    Are we now having children making decisions on who to appoint for jobs? Good Lord. And i thought it was already bad out there.
    BTBAM, les25paul, bonxie and 4 others like this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I got a job once because the kids in the pupil panel told the member of SMT that they thought I might be a good teacher !
    agathamorse, Pomza and pepper5 like this.
  11. secretteacher2357

    secretteacher2357 Occasional commenter

    In some schools the student panel can be a very positive par of the recruitment process. It allows the member if staff supervising to see how you interact with the students when you aren't teaching them. I always try to get a dialogue going with the students to show the "pastoral" side of me in addition to the "teacher" side of me they see during the lesson observation.
    Landofla and Pomz like this.
  12. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    Ask them questions! Find out what they love about the school and what they would love to see happening in the department (if it's secondary) or in the school overall.

    My oddest two questions were:
    Which of these designers would you kiss, marry or kill.
    Sing a chorus from a song you like (that one was the hardest!)

    They always have someone supervising you and they'll have always carefully picked the pupils and checked the questions. It won't be as difficult as the formal interview section.

    Good luck!
    secretteacher2357 and Pomz like this.
  13. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I would not have complied with that request. I can read music and can tell when something is out of tune but what comes out of my mouth when singing would have people covering their ears.

    So, would singing lose me pupil support, or would refusing to sing lose me the job?
    I'd turn it around to asking them questions. Do they achieve more when taught by a teacher whose hobbies, music choices etc are similar to their own? Do they have to like a teacher to benefit from their lessons?
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    In fairness I did pull out of the interview. The only interview I've ever pulled out of. The school just wasn't for me. It was clear that management didn't have a good control level within the school of any behaviour.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I feel that such a serious decision as to employ a teacher is not for children, particially nor entirely. It is professionalism, not to be trendy. Not to take someone because they don't support your football team or know a latest dance song does not mean that they are not the best fit teacher for the post.
    bonxie and agathamorse like this.
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I am unsure about this as a selection process.

    What if the school appointed the teacher who was least favoured by the student panel? What sort of disadvantage would they be at in their first weeks?

    However, I do like the point expressed by @secretteacher237 about enabling the school to see how you interact with pupils.

    If it happens, then the school must vet the questions and avoid any of the daft ones such as


    Governors should also be held to account and have their questions pre-vetted, to prevent this sort of thing which can be unnnerving and might mean that you scared off a potentially very good colleague.

    Best wishes

    bonxie likes this.
  17. Jont29

    Jont29 New commenter

    I have been through a couple of student panels/ meeting students during breaks, etc., and they are far more enjoyable experiences than the formal interview.

    I have never been asked questions such as, ‘can you tell us a joke’, or ‘what is your favourite sports club’. The questions posed to me were pratically the same sort of soft questions I had answers prepared for the formal interview. Really hard hitting; I thought they must all be budding journalists.

    But without hesitation, I believe nailing these aspects of the interview process got me jobs on two occasions! How you build rapport with the students, how you engage them and your ability to manage the process can separate the candidates.

    I would not put too much emphasis on trying to remember everyone’s names, address the whole panel when answering one particular Q, each member will ask one question (typically). Students are impressed by experience and knowledge, so do not use lay terminology - hit them hard and clarify definitions later if you have to. These are usually quite high achieving students so being engaging and challenging helps. Enjoy it, this is the fun part!
    Northern_Miss likes this.
  18. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I really like your suggestions above of what to ask the students.

    However, if any member of staff at a school thought it wa appropriate to have students ask me the questions you mention, I'd withdraw immediately.
    jubilee and Teachallover like this.
  19. SweethomeChicago

    SweethomeChicago New commenter

    It can tell you a great deal about the students that you are likely to teach as these are often selected because they are the pick of the school or particularly strong verbally and into school activities. If they are only able to think of weak questions then this can paint a picture of the wider school environment.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    I went through one of these interviews recently. The children asked relevant questions about home work, discipline etc but I noticed in the background an adult who appeared to just be there (we were in the library). I do think that person was subtlety observing what was going on. So, bribing the panel with sweeties will not go down well!:D
    agathamorse likes this.

Share This Page