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Interview questions /prep

  • 13-08-2019 4:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭


    hi just got called for an interview for possible first non maternity/sick leave job. theres someone in the job already. anyway, just wondering what are the main things i should prepare for, i just got word today and its friday so time is not on my side. i was in this school in PME placement and was well involved in extra curricular and helping as a reader in the LC exams that year so i got on really well. I would be very familiar with the ethos of the school and the students they attract etc. its a catholic all girls school and very academic top in the county as reagards those league tables if they are anything to go by. I am a mass going catholic myself and i actually made a point of going to the local mass the last few weeks in the town the school is in just in the hope i may run in or be seen my BOM members so i dont know if thats of any use. basically i need advice on what type of scenario questions they ask. thank you in advance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    hi just got called for an interview for possible first non maternity/sick leave job. theres someone in the job already. anyway, just wondering what are the main things i should prepare for, i just got word today and its friday so time is not on my side. i was in this school in PME placement and was well involved in extra curricular and helping as a reader in the LC exams that year so i got on really well. I would be very familiar with the ethos of the school and the students they attract etc. its a catholic all girls school and very academic top in the county as reagards those league tables if they are anything to go by. I am a mass going catholic myself and i actually made a point of going to the local mass the last few weeks in the town the school is in just in the hope i may run in or be seen my BOM members so i dont know if thats of any use. basically i need advice on what type of scenario questions they ask. thank you in advance.

    If there is someone in the position already - why are they interviewing if it is not a sick leave/maternity? It seems late in the day for second RPT interview.

    I thought you had this job secured at the end of the term?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Dorit


    If there is somebody already in the job them it means the job is gone so you don't have a chance of getting it. Do you realise this ? Unless you are aware that the person is leaving.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭bobbyss


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    hi just got called for an interview for possible first non maternity/sick leave job. theres someone in the job already. anyway, just wondering what are the main things i should prepare for, i just got word today and its friday so time is not on my side. i was in this school in PME placement and was well involved in extra curricular and helping as a reader in the LC exams that year so i got on really well. I would be very familiar with the ethos of the school and the students they attract etc. its a catholic all girls school and very academic top in the county as reagards those league tables if they are anything to go by. I am a mass going catholic myself and i actually made a point of going to the local mass the last few weeks in the town the school is in just in the hope i may run in or be seen my BOM members so i dont know if thats of any use. basically i need advice on what type of scenario questions they ask. thank you in advance.

    Your preparation is impressive and hope you are successful!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    haha yeah sure you have to play the game! yes this job has someone in it last year but only subbing no contract. the job i may have referred to at some stage is a subbing sick leave also in same school. perhaps they just want to interview me with a mind for that sick leave if needs be, i had an informal interview in mid june with the deputy with regard to subbing, basically just left in a cv. she told me of their trouble getting classes subbed the previous year in my subjects. sorry im being a bit vague but dont want to give away too much info on this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    haha yeah sure you have to play the game! yes this job has someone in it last year but only subbing no contract. the job i may have referred to at some stage is a subbing sick leave also in same school. perhaps they just want to interview me with a mind for that sick leave if needs be, i had an informal interview in mid june with the deputy with regard to subbing, basically just left in a cv. she told me of their trouble getting classes subbed the previous year in my subjects. sorry im being a bit vague but dont want to give away too much info on this.

    Well do you not think that this person will get the job first as they were in the school first? Had this person any problems with classroom management/getting on with students?

    If there are two positions in your subjects - one contract and one subbing - would you be able to work with the other person considering he/she got the contract and you got the subbing?

    You won't be interviewed for a sick leave unless the teacher takes a career break etc. or it is envisaged that the sick leave is for at least 26 weeks - someone could correct me on that - not sure of the weeks involved.

    Schools are having trouble fining subs for all subjects.

    Fair play on going to mass but it won't get you anymore marks at interview. The board are looking at the school's ethos (presumably religious) and how you can incorporate that into your teaching/your time in the school.

    If called to interview for the position - definitely go - as an NQT, you will learn a lot from it and you will get better after each one.

    Possible headings for questions:

    Tell us about yourself and your experience to date
    Why did you want to become a teacher?
    What is the most difficult aspect of being a teacher?
    What do you know about our school -- check website and department website for reports
    School ethos - how can you implement this into your teaching?

    Subject knowledge - don't know much about your subject so can't put a question here.
    Also there could be a teacher of your subjects on the board who will ask you how you would teach a particular topic to a group of second years/an unmotivated group/a high achieving class etc.
    What is the greatest problem/difficulty students have with your subject?
    JCT Changes to your subject - CBAs - your opinion on exam paper if it has already changed
    Changes you would like to make
    Should your subject be compulsory?
    This years papers in your subject(s)
    Corrections
    Class exams & feedback
    If I were to enter your classroom - how do I know learning was taking place?

    Classroom management
    How do you deal with .... You need concrete examples
    Planning
    Documentation - what information should you have on a student - where do you store it and for how long? GDPR etc.

    Make sure you know about Child Protection - you are now a mandated person - explain the process of reporting

    Extra curricular activities - what can you do for our school - what are you interests?

    Any other questions - make sure you ask something and not when should you hear back from them - something you have seen on the website and ask them to expand.

    I can't think of anymore at the minute - if I do - I'll return.

    When you have that lot done, you won't have time to tell them you go to mass :)

    Best of luck.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    thats phenomenal stuff thanks a million, i ahve a few key things i need to brush up on so. I was called for interview this afternoon and its on friday afternoon so not a lot of time! thanks again. to answer your question , to my knowlodge i would imagine the other person had very little problem in classroom management. i would also think they are well respected and get on very well with staff. yes i would have no problem working alongside them. alls fair in love and work...... we actually may be a bit too similar of candidates if that makes sense , both nqt , gaa etc


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    thats phenomenal stuff thanks a million, i ahve a few key things i need to brush up on so. I was called for interview this afternoon and its on friday afternoon so not a lot of time! thanks again. to answer your question , to my knowlodge i would imagine the other person had very little problem in classroom management. i would also think they are well respected and get on very well with staff. yes i would have no problem working alongside them. alls fair in love and work...... we actually may be a bit too similar of candidates if that makes sense , both nqt , gaa etc

    That's fine - just not to get disappointed if things don't work out. You are in a win-win situation though as there may be two positions. Keep applying for any positions that arise in your area - never mind loyalty to the school - look after yourself and get yourself an RPT which leads to CID.

    Good luck with the interview - if there is anything specific - PM me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    brilliant thanks just researching and working my way through them, yes i have nothing to lose and its my first proper interview, i know i have a very outside chance of this job but its a school with opportunities in my subject so its worth being really well prepared for. who knows the other person might take their eye off the ball regarding preparation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    brilliant thanks just researching and working my way through them, yes i have nothing to lose and its my first proper interview, i know i have a very outside chance of this job but its a school with opportunities in my subject so its worth being really well prepared for. who knows the other person might take their eye off the ball regarding preparation.

    Yes take every interview seriously. Maybe your competition doesn't use boards :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    im presuming i wear a suit today? or has this changed? i know most schools want men to wear a shirt and tie everyday so.....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 281 ✭✭CraftySue


    Go with the suit, any interview I've been at, all the men wear suits


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭solerina


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    im presuming i wear a suit today? or has this changed? i know most schools want men to wear a shirt and tie everyday so.....

    I must tell the lads that work with me ������ they won’t be impressed !! Good luck !!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    solerina wrote: »
    I must tell the lads that work with me ������ they won’t be impressed !! Good luck !!

    I have worked in a lot of schools - and it has been very rare to see someone with a shirt and tie except management. I don't wear a shirt and tie but always dress smart casual and definitely no jeans :)

    A suit is a must for the interview!!

    Good luck OP!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 244 ✭✭Starkystark


    I had interviewed for a job but someone else was already in it. Got the letter to say I was unsuccessful. 2 months down the line - I got a phone call, offering me the position. The person in it got a job closer to home! So you never know, interview experience above all is so important.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭bobbyss


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    im presuming i wear a suit today? or has this changed? i know most schools want men to wear a shirt and tie everyday so.....

    It has changed unfortunately but wearing a suit with well polished shoe and so on presents yourself as a professional. Someone to be remembered as opposed to the fellow in T shirt and runners.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    bobbyss wrote: »
    It has changed unfortunately but wearing a suit with well polished shoe and so on presents yourself as a professional. Someone to be remembered as opposed to the fellow in T shirt and runners.

    And the first three minutes of the interview is where you should be making the board remember you. I don't know where I read it but when people meet each other for the first time - they will eventually look at your shoes.

    Don't forget you can't make another first impression! You need a big smile as well!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    so i thought the interview went well, i didnt get caught on any question or stutter my way through and i had plenty to say on each question all with real teaching experience examples.

    Now as i say theres a guy in the job already so chances are it his. However theree is a lot of sub work in that school in my subjects and another teacher retiring after this year in my subjects so I definitly think I need to get in there subbing at least.

    in the interview one question was odd; "If I were to ask you what your students in your previous school would describe you in 3 word what might they be?" i said caring, helpful and if they were the students from that school probably sound" all three interviewers had a chuckle at this which was a nice relaxing moment. asked why i responded saying i think helpful because I always try to help any students in the school as best I can not just my own. i gave an example of helping with career advice during study breaks in the evening and helping an Ag Science student with thier project" was that an ok response?

    so hard to remember theanswers now but i dont think any threw be. thank god for the other deputy principal she told me to say about a mandated person is any person registered with the teaching council and currently teaching.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    so i thought the interview went well, i didnt get caught on any question or stutter my way through and i had plenty to say on each question all with real teaching experience examples.

    Now as i say theres a guy in the job already so chances are it his. However theree is a lot of sub work in that school in my subjects and another teacher retiring after this year in my subjects so I definitly think I need to get in there subbing at least.

    in the interview one question was odd; "If I were to ask you what your students in your previous school would describe you in 3 word what might they be?" i said caring, helpful and if they were the students from that school probably sound" all three interviewers had a chuckle at this which was a nice relaxing moment. asked why i responded saying i think helpful because I always try to help any students in the school as best I can not just my own. i gave an example of helping with career advice during study breaks in the evening and helping an Ag Science student with thier project" was that an ok response?

    so hard to remember theanswers now but i dont think any threw be. thank god for the other deputy principal she told me to say about a mandated person is any person registered with the teaching council and currently teaching.

    Well done! It's sound's like a good interview with a bit of humor thrown in :) If successful, you will probably hear this evening!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,582 ✭✭✭2011abc


    bobbyss wrote: »
    It has changed unfortunately but wearing a suit with well polished shoe and so on presents yourself as a professional. Someone to be remembered as opposed to the fellow in T shirt and runners.


    Interesting that in the UK tv series ‘ Secret Teacher ‘ all the (very young !)teachers seem to ‘have’ to wear blazers /jackets ! In most cases they were struggling with bad behaviour .Also it was staggering that students were being taught in classes of up to SIXTY 6-0 due to staff shortages ( mostly due to lack of interested candidates with underinvestment a minor factor - more so in supply of SNAs )
    In days of yore Irish teachers ruled supreme in geansai’s and cords .Anyway our ‘back to school letter ‘ tells us once again that positions can’t be filled and they’re working flat out on getting staff .
    Copying everything the English do ....????!!!
    So how’s that ‘smart attire’ working out then ?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    unfortunaty for me geography and history are so common! back to intesive farming for another year


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭bobbyss


    2011abc wrote: »
    Interesting that in the UK tv series ‘ Secret Teacher ‘ all the (very young !)teachers seem to ‘have’ to wear blazers /jackets ! In most cases they were struggling with bad behaviour .Also it was staggering that students were being taught in classes of up to SIXTY 6-0 due to staff shortages ( mostly due to lack of interested candidates with underinvestment a minor factor - more so in supply of SNAs )
    In days of yore Irish teachers ruled supreme in geansai’s and cords .Anyway our ‘back to school letter ‘ tells us once again that positions can’t be filled and they’re working flat out on getting staff .
    Copying everything the English do ....????!!!
    So how’s that ‘smart attire’ working out then ?!

    Am not quite sure what your point is exactly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 568 ✭✭✭Jane98


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    unfortunaty for me geography and history are so common! back to intesive farming for another year

    Sorry to hear that, hopefully something else will come up.
    Can I ask you what sort of questions were you asked, I have an interview on Tuesday myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,582 ✭✭✭2011abc


    bobbyss wrote: »
    Am not quite sure what your point is exactly.

    Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

    Don’t just slavishly/ post-colonially copy everything .In recent decades at an exponential rate we have been aping the British .The TC ‘told’ principals to order us to wear smart casual attire as the British have surely told their teachers( although they had the cop into scrap their TC .( I’m sure someone will be along to tell us how the TC ‘maintains standards ‘ yet all I see are them plummeting .)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Jane98 wrote: »
    Sorry to hear that, hopefully something else will come up.
    Can I ask you what sort of questions were you asked, I have an interview on Tuesday myself.


    Read back over the thread - I put a substantial of questions for the OP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    just a little update the interview from the other day , the person that got the job was just finished PME. mother is the school secretary this 25 years. i presumed whoever got it had more experience in leaving cert subjects


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    just a little update the interview from the other day , the person that got the job was just finished PME. mother is the school secretary this 25 years. i presumed whoever got it had more experience in leaving cert subjects

    You will get used to this. If a teacher just finished PME got the job, how could they have more Leaving certificate experience? Also, the person who was in the job last year didn't get it either?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,722 ✭✭✭Dickie10


    yes im a bit wary of saying too much here. yes the person who worked in the job covering a leave went for the job and didnt get it , that person thought senior cycle . the person who got the job is just finshed PME. So no actual teaching experience with own hours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,081 ✭✭✭mtoutlemonde


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    yes im a bit wary of saying too much here. yes the person who worked in the job covering a leave went for the job and didnt get it , that person thought senior cycle . the person who got the job is just finshed PME. So no actual teaching experience with own hours.

    That person must be devastated after working the year in the school - it only happened to me once and I'm still sore about it - was told lately (many years later) that I could have a grievance against school management for the way I was treated but I'm glad I didn't do it as management were devious and untrustworthy and not people I would ever want to work with again. I'm happy where I am now 😃

    I've heard many stories like yours in the past few years. Connections and GAA are two main problems teachers encounter with the recruitment in this country if you don't have any. I know of one GAA player who was hired after PME with a minor subject but it looks good in the papers. Now it doesn't always happen like that and sometimes they are the better candidate (just for balance 😁)

    Well done anyway you now have some interview experience. You can get your interview scores to see where your strengths/weaknesses were. Also if you're brave enough - ask principal/chairperson for feedback - they may now be happy to do this but you can ask.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 94 ✭✭Snapgal


    That person must be devastated after working the year in the school - it only happened to me once and I'm still sore about it - was told lately (many years later) that I could have a grievance against school management for the way I was treated but I'm glad I didn't do it as management were devious and untrustworthy and not people I would ever want to work with again. I'm happy where I am now ðŸ˜႒

    I've heard many stories like yours in the past few years. Connections and GAA are two main problems teachers encounter with the recruitment in this country if you don't have any. I know of one GAA player who was hired after PME with a minor subject but it looks good in the papers. Now it doesn't always happen like that and sometimes they are the better candidate (just for balance ðŸ˜)

    Well done anyway you now have some interview experience. You can get your interview scores to see where your strengths/weaknesses were. Also if you're brave enough - ask principal/chairperson for feedback - they may now be happy to do this but you can ask.

    This is gone way beyond a joke! It’s happening way too often in too many schools. I’ve asked for feedback after unsuccessful interviews for so called in demand subject of Gaeilge - have had to to wait for days for marks to be put together. 20% of marks for qualifications plus 20% for experience of which naturally I scored full marks after 16 years experience but lose marks in a wishy washy area titled “ suitability”. I have learned absolutely nothing from feedback. I was in the job also after giving up a CID job to relocate after 12 years - lost out on person who def had links to someone on the BOM. It just kills me after all the extra curricular work you do plus all the work you put in so Leaving Certs achieve H1s means absolutely nothing, Don’t worry it’s happening to lots of teachers but it’s scandalous - no wonder nobody is going into teaching anymore.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 111 ✭✭joeharte123


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    unfortunaty for me geography and history are so common! back to intesive farming for another year

    Sorry to hear you didn't get the job.

    Yes, it seems to be the most common combination for teachers looking for jobs. When I talk with and hear about other teachers struggling to get work it is always with these 2 subjects. Many I have known have simply gave up applying and never went back to teaching!

    You have mentioned you have taught Ag Science? This is something you can definitely talk about to get the interest of principals as your subjects are very common.


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