The interview

The interview

by Academy Admin

Preparing for the interview

  • List the key issues that are likely to be raised during your interview
  • Think of the difficult questions, the ones that you don't like and the ones that may show up a job/technical weakness
  • Ask for a pre-visit
  • Visit the school beforehand - in the evening or at the weekend - walk around the area
  • Visit their website

Attending the interview

Take with you the following:

  • copy of application form
  • job description
  • your CV
  • examination and professional certificates
  • record of successful projects, portfolio of work
  • letters of commendation/testimonials
  • A4 pad and pen
  • written list of your questions

What interviewers are looking for


  • ethics, morals, sincerity, honesty 
  • responsibility, dependability, and genuineness

Ability to communicate

  • nonverbal communication (voice, eye-contact, gestures, posture, nervous mannerisms, handshake, facial expressions)
  • verbal communication (language, grammar, ability to organise and express ideas in answers and questions)
  • ability to listen

Physical bearing

  • poise, appearance (neatness, appropriate dress, grooming)
  • personality and human relations skills
  • ability to create a favourable first impression
  • understanding of others, tolerance, empathy, sense of humour, warmth
  • ability to relate, interest in and desire to help people, compassion, objectivity, tactfulness, open mindedness
  • independence, self-reliance


  • appropriate for age, status, and experience; reasons for wanting to be a...
  • understanding of the field and daily work of a... 
  • knowledge of trends, issues, problems, strengths and weaknesses, and developments in the chosen field
  • realistic self-concept


  • strength of desire to enter the field, desire to attend this school
  • initiative, drive, enthusiasm, perseverance, knowledge of this school

Emotional stability

  • ability to handle pressure and stress
  • ability to carry out responsibilities, self-discipline, self-confidence, mental alertness


  • vocational (vocationally oriented curricular and extracurricular activities in college, work with people in the chosen field)
  • non-vocational (non-vocationally oriented curricular and extracurricular activities, work experiences, working with people)


  • of current events
  • of the theories and practical applications of these theories to the chosen field

Prepare for the questions

Some employers look for emotional literacy and ask non-cognitive questions.

  • “Can you describe a time when you have had to deal with pressure? What made it challenging? How did you cope? How did your reaction affect others around you?” The interviewer is looking for resilience and adaptability.
  • “Schools and classrooms are places of constant change and it is important to respond positively. Describe an example of when you have  needed to be flexible.Was there a tension? How did you resolve it?” The interviewer is looking for flexibility.
  • “Can you describe a good professional relationship that you have developed with someone at work or during your time as a student? What made this work so well?”
  • “If talking to each other, what do you want the pupils to say about you?” and “what about respect?”
  • “If you can’t think of such a situation, what do you believe contributes to positive  professional relationships?” The interviewer is looking for aspects of professionalism.
  • “Tell me about a time when you have been able to influence a group of people. Who were they? What impression did you make? Did you have to counter any arguments? What happened as a result?” The interviewer is looking for interpersonal skills.
  • “What are your weaknesses?” tell them you have one; tell them you have identified it; tell them you have sorted it (95%), for example, “I tend to be overgenerous with my time”.
  • “If we offer you the position, will you accept it?”, if you are not sure, you might say you have questions. You might need time to think, say that you would want to discuss it with a partner/friend/colleague - perhaps ask for 24 hours to “think about it”.

Computing questions you may be asked

  • “What do you think are the values of teaching pupils to computer program?” - be prepared to talk about computational thinking and then other attributes associated with computer programming including: tinkering, creating, debugging, persevering and collaborating.
  • ICT is not a subject - just a set of skills. Comment.
  • “What do you think of: class voting systems; interactive whiteboards; tablet PCs; VLEs; online documents; learning platforms?
  • “What is abstraction and give an example?”, “The London Tube map is an abstraction of London, why?”, “The definition of abstraction is simplifying a complex system by removing unwanted detail – describe why programming is abstraction?”
  • “What is the difference between the internet and the World Wide Web?”, “What is the internet?”, “What is the World Wide Web?”, “What is the hardware of the internet?”
  • “Which aspect of computer science do you think is the most interesting and how would you teach it?”, “How would you introduce the topic to pupils? What resources would you use?”

Ideas for questions to ask

  • how do you see the position changing in the next two years?
  • how do you see the new structure changing in the next two years?
  • what will my priorities be?
  • what are my opportunities for CPD and/or continuing my academic studies?

Before leaving the interview

Do not forget to tell them how much you want the job...

  • exciting prospects
  • good career move
  • best thing since sliced bread
  • be positive


S smile H Happy
O open posture A able
F forward lean R responsive
T touch - firm handshake D dynamic
E eye contact E energetic
N nod N nice

Teaching a lesson