Interview Tips

When you interview with a school through Academics, it could be through any one of three different ways; face to face, Skype or telephone.

Interviews can be a nerve wracking experience, even for the most confident individual. The most important thing is to prepare as best you can and your Academics consultant will help to walk you through this process. Follow these handy tips to ensure you have the best possible success.

Preparation for telephone and Skype interviews

When the time comes for a school to conduct an interview with you from overseas, preparation is the key to success. Remember you are not meeting the school in person so it is important to really come across with enthusiasm, control and confidence in your own ability, whilst being able to demonstrate your ability by giving specific examples.

A school will be very keen to find out about your reasons for wanting to teach in England and how long you are committed for. This is a perfectly natural question for a school to ask as they will need reassurances.

What questions might I get asked by a school?

Although every school is different, there are many consistently asked questions which you should always be prepared for when having a telephone or Skype interview.

  • Why do you want to teach in England?
  • Think about a positive answer that reassures the school as to your commitment to teaching in the UK and your reasons for wanting to travel in the first place.
  • What do you know about our school?
  • Do your research on the school. Check out the website, Ofsted report, school background and history.
  • Describe a typical lesson that works well for you?
  • Think about how you would breakdown the structure of an hour long lesson. A school wants to hear about how you get your students excited and learning as a group, whilst having full control of the class.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as an educator?
  • It is important here to be honest, particularly if you are a teacher with very little classroom experience. A school will know you aren’t yet the finished article so be honest if you feel you need support and mentoring in some areas – a school will not be put off by honesty. Be wary of displaying overconfidence in your ability. A school will look for reassurance as to your strengths but they won’t respond well to arrogance.
  • How do you develop positive relationships with your students?
  • One of the keys to being an excellent teacher is to learn about what your students are interested in. Mutual respect is one of the best ways to develop a positive relationship with your students so give examples of how you build that mutual respect with them.
  • Can you give me an example of a successful behaviour management strategy you use?
  • The school will want to know you are capable of displaying strong classroom management skills, particularly as they not will be able to see you teach during your interview. It is therefore very important that you think of particular scenarios where your authority was challenged and how you overcame them. The school will want to be reassured that you are able to diffuse difficult situations in class rather than let them escalate.

Other important points

  • The school will likely ask you a question regarding how you ensure the safeguarding of students. It is very important that you are able to demonstrate how you would deal with a safeguarding issue professionally.
  • If there are any extra-curricular skills you can offer to the school, these are viewed very positively as it shows your interest to get involved in the community of the school, not just the vacancy you are interviewing for.

Ask the right questions

Towards the end of your interview it is highly likely you’ll be invited to ask your own questions to the school. Here are some recommendations of what to ask when interviewing over the telephone or Skype:

  • Ask about the department you’d be working in. How many are in the department and how well do they work together as a team?
  • What support and mentoring could be provided?
  • What are the facilities and available resources like in the school?
  • Are there any other overseas teachers in the school?
  • What are the processes on dealing with discipline?