Can’t think of any good questions to ask in an interview? Usually, after the interview panel has discussed your CV, lesson observation and your philosophy of education, they will ask you if there is anything you would like to ask.
Silence at this point creates a very poor impression. Failure to think of a few good questions to ask in an interview makes it seem like you have very little interest in working for the school, and are not really committed to your application. Here are a few simple but effective questions to ask at the end of a teacher interview:
20 Good Questions to Ask in an Interview for a Teacher Position
1. What is your induction process for newly qualified teachers?
If you are an NQT, this is a very good and indeed useful question. Finding out more about the mentoring and support system for newly qualified staff members will stand you in good stead if you are offered the position, it also shows the panel that you are keen on becoming a part of their community.
2. What opportunities do you offer for ICT within the school?
This question shows that you are forward thinking and keen to incorporate ICT into your lessons, which makes you look like a desirable candidate. It’s also useful for you to know the extent of technology within the school should you be offered the job.
After all, there’s no point in planning a term’s worth of blinding lessons that require every child to have access to a laptop if the facility just isn’t available.
3. Are there any particular measures being put in place in the school for gifted and talented pupils?
This shows that you are keen to help even the most able pupils make accelerated progress and demonstrates your interest in differentiation. It also gives the school an opportunity to talk about what they have to offer more able pupils.
4. What CPD opportunities are available to staff within the school?
This question demonstrates that you are keen to develop your career without specifically asking about opportunities for progression, and is a neat way to circumvent potentially contentious issues.
5. What is your vision for the school?
This has been revealed to be a popular question among interview panellists and shows that you have a vested interest in the school’s future.
It gives the head teacher the opportunity to talk about the way they would like the school to shape up, and will be useful in giving you a clearer picture of what may be expected of you, should you be offered the role.
6. What opportunities does the school offer for interaction between students, parents and teachers?
If you ask this question, it implies that you understand the importance of working with parents as partners, a key part of teaching today. It also shows that you have an interest in developing positive working relationships with children and their families.
7. What is the average class size?
Although this question may not reveal much about you as a teacher, it is actually a very useful question and you can use it to expand briefly on your experience with small or large class sizes as appropriate.
It will also benefit you to know whether you will be teaching a small group of pupils or 30+ students, and to tailor your planning accordingly if you are offered the post.
8. What opportunities are there for me to get involved with extra-curricular clubs and activities?
This is an excellent question as it reveals your eagerness to get involved with the wider life of the school. It also shows that you are not afraid of school commitments outside of class time and that you have a deeper interest in getting to know pupils across the school and working with them.
9. Do teachers work in teams in this school?
You can use this opportunity to discuss briefly any previous experience you have had with team teaching if this is practiced at the school, and to express an interest in this style of teaching. It will also help you to be prepared for the role expected of you should you be given the job.
10. Would I be expected to cover any other duties outside the classroom, for example lunch duties?
If you choose to ask this question, be sure to frame it in a positive light. If you sound like you are unwilling to take on extra duties, you may find that you’ve talked yourself out of a job.
You could put this question in context of having performed similar duties in the past or in your current role, in order to appear flexible and willing to take on extra duties.
11. Do you find that parents and the local community are supportive of the school?
You will be demonstrating here that you know the importance of local community and parent partnership to the success of an institution.
It also gives the school the opportunity to talk about their outreach programmes and the work they do to include parents as part of the school community. This information may be useful to you if and when you are offered the job.
12. Which whole-school disciplinary measures are in place for pupils?
Asking this question will show your commitment to following school procedures and also your awareness of the importance of whole-school discipline. Again, the response will help you greatly in the long-term if offered the post.
13. How does the school tackle issues around bullying?
This shows your interest in pastoral care and gives the school the opportunity to impress you with their own practice. Their response also gives you a clear idea about what to expect if you join their teaching team.
14. What do you think are the school’s greatest strengths?
If you are looking for safe questions to ask at the end of an interview, this is a good one. It reveals your interest in the school as a whole, but is however non-contentious and allows the head teacher to impress you.
15. Does the school follow a creative curriculum?
This shows an interest in different teaching approaches, strategies and styles, and shows that you are informed about different ways of approaching education.
Again, it helps you to know what to expect if offered the job, and gives you a brief opportunity to talk about your experience in planning and delivering a creative curriculum.
16. What is the whole-school pupil assessment process?
Not only will this question show that you understand the importance of assessment processes and procedures to inform pupil progression, but it will also help you to find out how often you will be expected to prepare and submit pupil data to the leadership team if you get the job.
17. I saw in your OFSTED report that the school is working on developing (a particular area of the curriculum), how are you implementing this?
This shows that you have done your research about the school, and that you are interested enough in working for the school to have read the OFSTED report and taken it on board.
18. Will I be expected to work throughout the school if I am successful, or stay within my own key stage?
It is important to frame this question in the positive context of being willing to work in different key stages and it demonstrates your awareness of the importance of flexibility, however the response will help you to be prepared for eventual change, should you be successful.
19. Does the school follow a set curriculum?
You can frame this question in the light of your willingness to develop your own ideas and be creative in your interpretation and delivery of the curriculum to pupils.
This will show your interest in the school’s way of working as well as your flexibility as a teacher, as well as preparing you for the level of planning that will be expected of you should you be successful.
20. How is the school’s management team structured?
Again, this question shows your interest in the way that the school works and your role within it. You can also find out which members of staff, if any, you would be responsible for, and to briefly mention your previous experiences in managing staff, if appropriate, to show your skills in this area.
Remember, the panel has a long day of interviews ahead and is working to a schedule, so asking too many questions at the end of an interview is never a good idea. Select no more than three relevant questions, just enough to show interest in the post but not more so that you irritate the interviewer(s).
The key with your questioning is to show your interest in the school and to show yourself in a positive light through the nature of your questioning. Avoid any contentious issues around pay and progression until you are actually offered the job, stick to issues around school processes and their vision for education and you’ll be much more likely to succeed.