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13-06-2010, 11:29   #1
EoghanRua
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Teacher Interview Questions

Just looking for some ideas as to what type of stuff crops up in job interviews.

I would expect that classroom management/discipline is an inevitable area that crops up but am wondering about the specifics of this. Just wondering for example how one would deal with a question such as say 'how would you deal with constant lateness to your class' etc. -because I would assume there would be a school policy underpinning how you'd deal with this but don't want to give a 'see school policy' response obviously.

I suppose I am also wondering if they are inclined to put a specific 'problem' scenario to an interview candidate which you'd have to come up with suggestions to deal with there and then.

I imagine being able to give opinions on the syllabus (which demonstrate knowledge of same) are important too.

Also I presumably can expect to have to speak in my subject language during the interview too?

Is the 'what do you know about the school' question inevitable? (I suppose there's little excuse for not being prepared for it anyway.)

Is there any chance that they would ask me to teach a topic there and then?

Any suggestions/advice would be welcomed.

P.S. Just for the record I have not applied for jobs in any VEC schools - the reason I say this is I know you have half the parish interviewing you at those so they might be different. That's not to say that it won't be releventa to somebody of course.
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13-06-2010, 16:24   #2
roxychix
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also so look at the school your interviewing for. like their school ethos or policy or code of ethics etc. prob get such info from website or see if you can get your hands on school porspectus. good luck with the job hunt.
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13-06-2010, 17:08   #3
spurious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EoghanRua View Post

P.S. Just for the record I have not applied for jobs in any VEC schools - the reason I say this is I know you have half the parish interviewing you at those so they might be different. That's not to say that it won't be releventa to somebody of course.
It's also not true for all VEC posts.
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14-06-2010, 20:27   #4
Delphi91
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Quote:
I would expect that classroom management/discipline is an inevitable area that crops up but am wondering about the specifics of this. Just wondering for example how one would deal with a question such as say 'how would you deal with constant lateness to your class' etc. -because I would assume there would be a school policy underpinning how you'd deal with this but don't want to give a 'see school policy' response obviously.
I doubt it will be too specific, but you need to impress that you are firm but fair in terms of discipline - you set the ground rules, etc

Quote:
I suppose I am also wondering if they are inclined to put a specific 'problem' scenario to an interview candidate which you'd have to come up with suggestions to deal with there and then.
Those "scenario" type questions are more common for management posts - I've done quite a few DP interviews and I've been asked them all the time.

Quote:
I imagine being able to give opinions on the syllabus (which demonstrate knowledge of same) are important too.
You won't be asked to quote chapter and verse, but you will be expected to have a working knowledge of it. It would be important especially if the syllabus has changed recently, say in the case of Project Maths.

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Also I presumably can expect to have to speak in my subject language during the interview too?
It's entirely possible that you could have someone on the interview board who is fluent in the language, e.g. a retired school principal, DES Inspector, etc.

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Is the 'what do you know about the school' question inevitable? (I suppose there's little excuse for not being prepared for it anyway.)
If the school has an up-to-date website (and believe me, not all do!), then make sure you're familiar with it - what subjects are on offer, extra curricular activities, etc. If you can show that you have something to offer that the school doesn't currently offer, then that will score very muich in your favour - just please make sure that you can convince them that you know what you're talking about. After all, an interview is essentially a sales pitch, where you are both the salesperson and the product.

You might also have a look to see if there have been any inspection reports about the school published, especially any WSE (Whole School Evaluations). You can often glean a large amount of information from there.

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Is there any chance that they would ask me to teach a topic there and then?
That is unlikely - but you might be asked to indicate how you might teach a specific topic - I was asked in one of my first interviews out of college how I would teach the operation of a fridge to a 2nd year science class.

Another topic that may crop up is your ability to integrate ICT into the teaching of your subject - this would be especially important if the school has an emphasis in this area. If this is the case, make sure that you're familiar with software packages, websites, etc. DES Inspectors are very keen to see it being used and you will see it mentioned in subject inspection reports.

Quote:
P.S. Just for the record I have not applied for jobs in any VEC schools - the reason I say this is I know you have half the parish interviewing you at those so they might be different. That's not to say that it won't be releventa to somebody of course.
In an interview that I did while still at college (doing the HDip), I faced 15 people at a VEC interview!!! That's not generally the case anymore. In the VEC that I work for, the interview board usually consists of 3-4 people. The chairperson will be a member of the VEC, then you'll have someone with an educational background (could be the Principal of the school) and usually one or two others. We had interviews in the school last week and there were 3 interviewers.

Last edited by Delphi91; 15-06-2010 at 21:08.
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14-06-2010, 20:39   #5
EoghanRua
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Originally Posted by Delphi91 View Post

It's entirely possible that you could have someone on the interview board who is fluent in the language, e.g. a retired school principal, DES Inspector, etc.

Thanks a million for taking the time to give such a detailed reply. I would be assuming that I would have to speak in the language at the interview - it seems a reasonable thing to have to do.
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15-06-2010, 21:05   #6
Delphi91
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Originally Posted by EoghanRua View Post
Thanks a million for taking the time to give such a detailed reply. I would be assuming that I would have to speak in the language at the interview - it seems a reasonable thing to have to do.
No, not necessarily. Say, for example, you were interviewing for a job as a French teacher, the interview won't be conducted in French. It will be conducted in English. But you "may" have someone on the interview board who is conversant/fluent in French (could be a DES Inspector of French, could be the head of the French Dept in the school, etc) - they may ask you questions in French to gauge your level of competency.

BTW, I'm not sure if you are going for your first job or not, but a word of advice to you - try to get into correcting exam papers next year. It holds a lot of sway on a CV.
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15-06-2010, 21:09   #7
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Make sure you know about possible upcoming curricular changes in your subject, or alternative lesser-taken subjects in your general area. Familiarise yourself with things like IEPs, SDP, programmes like the JCSP etc.
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