The NQT guide part 2: The interview process

Finding your first teaching job doesn’t have to be complicated. In our last blog ‘finding your first teaching job’ we looked at the practicalities of searching for a job. In this blog, we take a closer look at the interview process, what you can expect and how best to prepare.

The interview is your chance to shine but it can also be a difficult thing to prepare for. Follow our top tips and you’re on the right path.


Look at the school’s website, the latest news and Ofsted reports. Make sure you’re smartly dressed, know where the school is and how to get there and arrive slightly early. It’s also important to have a number of questions prepared about the school ethos and the role too.

Personalise it

In advance, think of the questions that you could be asked and base your answers on personal experience. Schools will understand, as an NQT, that you may not have a wealth of classroom experience. You could, therefore, base your answers on university experience or from a role in a previous sector

Prepare a lesson

Interviews often come with a requirement to deliver a lesson. Ensure you know as much information as possible prior. Do you know how long the lesson will last? How many children there will be? What levels are the children working at? This will allow you to deliver the lesson with confidence.

Be robust
Don’t be surprised if you’re interviewed by a panel of people. This is a normal process in some schools. One or two of the interviewers may make it a difficult experience. They are testing for a key trait, robustness, so don’t be overly concerned by this.

Accept a tour

Schools often offer guided tours of the school. Try to take them up on this offer. Think of it as a pre-interview. Show interest in the school, ask questions about it and the classes. Not only will this impress the school, it will give you information that you can use during your interview if the tour occurs beforehand.

Typical NQT interview questions

Below is a list of some questions you may encounter when you attending an interview.

What first made you want to become a teacher?
Do you feel the same way now?
How do you approach dealing with a class of children who refuse to respect you?
How would you handle a situation where you thought a child was at risk? How do you schedule your marking work?
How would you handle a disagreement with a parent about a child’s progress?
How do you keep up with developments in the world of education?
What issues interest you at the moment?
What are your safeguarding responsibilities?
What would you do if a child disclosed something to you?
What has been your best/worst day in a school so far?
How would you embody the ethos of the school?

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