Questions at interview

What is your second favourite reptile?

Ralph age 9

This is my favourite question this year, but they won’t ask you this sort of thing at interview!

If you are practicing your interview technique, set it up on zoom, and record it. Get someone to choose the number of questions in the titles (5-6 in all) it should take at least 20 minutes to answer these questions fully.

Try structuring your responses to interview questions using the STAR method

  • Situation – give context for your anecdote
  • Task – explain what you were asked to do
  • Activity – describe what you did
  • Result – explain how the situation played out.

About you, your experience and background

(Choose 2)

Why do you want to be a teacher?
Tell me about yourself
How will you manage challenges at work?
What experience do you have in schools?
How would you establish a good relationship with pupils in your class?
What qualities do you have which would make you an effective teacher?
If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see and hear?
Tell us about a behaviour management strategy you have used to help engage an individual learner or group OR What behaviour management strategies do you tend to employ in the classroom?
How would you handle [specific subject situation / misconception]?
What are your interests or hobbies outside of the classroom?
What strengths do you have that help your teaching career?
How would you organize this classroom?
How do you manage your teaching duties?

About Us

(Choose 1 if you have a particular school in mind)

Why do you want to work in our school?
Why do you want to teach at this particular level or this particular subject?

About Education

(Choose 1)

What are the core skills and qualities that pupils look for in teachers?
What makes a good lesson?
What are some of the current issues in education?
How do you ensure that you are accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and outcomes?
Explain your experience with a particular teaching strategy or technology (especially online teaching based questions)

Wider roles and responsibilies

(Choose 1)

Safeguarding and equal opportunities. In any teaching interview there is a question about safeguarding, which could be…

What is a teacher’s responsibility in keeping children safe?
Tell us how you dealt with a safeguarding issue in school.
What would you do if a child disclosed a personal issue?
How do you like to communicate / build relationships with parents?
What do you want to be doing in five years?

Being Reflective

(Choose 1)

Give an example of when you have improved teaching and learning in the classroom and how you knew you had been successful.
Can you tell me about a time you’ve failed?
Tell me about a lesson that didn’t go well and what you did about it
Give me an example of a classroom situation where the children have been challenging – what did you do to overcome this
What are you learning right now?

Questions about induction, employment and supply.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the first #nqtsw session on the 2nd September.

We talked about the stages needed to progressing your application to interview to getting a job and how difficult it is to get a good idea about what the school is like in that process. It might look brillinat right up to the point that you start working there and then you find ou that they all microwave brussel sprouts in the staffroom.

Any way, there were some great questions that I said I would go and find out about. So here they are.

Quick fire questions

Is there a time limit on being an NQT? What sort of supply work can count towards a newly qualified teacher year? How long can I supply for before I need to fininsh my induction?

The answers below have come from the statutory guidance on induction for NQTs (2018) it is not a riviting read, but very useful! It also might be revised again so do keep an eye on it!

Slighty less quick fire answers

If you gained QTS after Sept 2007, there is no time limit on being an NQT at all. Once you’ve been awarded QTS, you have QTS. As long as you can find a school who is willing to employ you, induction can start then.

Supply teaching is different: you are only allowed to do short-term supply for five years after being awarded QTS – after that, you have to do your NQT year if you want to carry on teaching in a state school. In the guidance “short-term” is anything less than a term.

You can’t add up bits of supply teaching to make up a year. However if you do a block for longer than one term, this can contribute towards your NQT induction and the school must put a plan in place to support you.
So long-term supply, such as maternity leave cover / sickness cover for three months, this can count towards your NQT year. Casual short-term supply does not count.

Some things to consider. You only get one shot at completing induction, if you get to the end of the induction year and don’t have sufficient evidence you don’t ge a do over. So make sure you and the school (headteacher) and the appropriate body all know that this is an induction completing supply cover and that the appropriate body has said the post is suitable for this purpose.

“An NQT has only one chance to complete statutory induction. An NQT who has completed induction, and is judged to have failed to meet the relevant standards at the end of their induction period, is not permitted to repeat induction”

You build up your induction year in units of terms. 3 full terms spread over many years is fine. 2 terms at 0.5 FTE at one school concurrently counts as one Induction term. You can do a term and then take a break. Half a term full time, or term part time does not count.

You can also work supply for someone else (which does not contribute to your NQT year) alongside your induction. However, as we said above, you can’t work supply for longer than five years unless you complete an induction period

There is no time limit on how quickly you have to finish your NQT if you are doing it as supply. You don’t have to do it in 5 years. You just can’t take on any NON-INDUCTION teaching work after 5 years. But you can do a term of supply if it counts towards your inductoin.

Where can I do my induction year?

You can do your NQT year in any school, except for schools in special measures, a secure training centre or an FE institution that has been given the Ofsted grading “inadequate”, or has had its leadership graded category four (mostly, but there are exceptios here)

You can also complete your NQT year in an international school if it is a qualifying Cobis school that has successfully completed a British Schools Overseas inspection by theDfE.

MFL – Meeting the standards

Meeting the Teachers’ Standards – MFL 
Standard 1
Watch this video clip from Teachers’ TV about raising expectations. Make notes about the key strategies used. 
Read the blog post below and make a list of 8-10 key ‘take aways’ Read the 2018 Sutton Trust report ‘Potential for success’ and write a 600-word summary of the main points – imagine that you will be asked to present this at a staff meeting. 
Standard 2
The Teaching Council’s Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review (2016) was a seminal report which made a number of evidence-based recommendations about MFL pedagogy. Read the report making notes on barriers to progress in MFL and elements of MFL teaching which are linked to pupil progress. 
Read the Ofsted report Key Stage 3: the wasted years; take note of any points made which particularly resonate with your teaching experience to date, either generally or with regard to a particular group. 
Seneca is currently offering 7 free CPD courses to teachers. Two of the courses are in metacognition and cognitive science, related to the Standard 2 requirement to ‘demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how these impact on teaching’. 
Standard 3
MFL Pedagogy
This link to a narrated presentation contains ideas for teaching and behaviour management:
Join the ‘Film in Language Teaching Association’ (FILTA) You can access ideas and resources linked to using films in the MFL classroom.
Sign up for an online course on how to use short films in MFL teaching: 
Look at the list of ideas for online resources and choose one of the ‘Sharing videos’ suggestions. Write a lesson plan, on your own format, to show how you could use one of these platforms.46 Ideas: How To Teach Online TeacherToolkit 
Also from Linguascope, there are presentations on a range of MFL themes, including phonics, cultural capital, speaking and writing etc.
Look at this blog post about strategies for how to use the TL more in lessons. Write a list to summarise all the advice you have been given about using the TL in school, at university and from your reading. 
Have a look at this archive of MFL teaching strategies from ALL. Go to the section on Creativity in particular and the Découvertes 1 link. Have a look at the lesson on murder mystery and make a brief plan about how you could use realia in TL, that you have at home, to create a mystery or murder mystery lesson.  
Go to YouTube to watch one of Steve Smith’s ( CPD sessions. Choose one (or more) and summarise the content so that you can remember it and you could share ideas with another student. 
Language practice
 Download a free book in target language from Audible:
Watch 2-3 one-minute films in your second teaching language and make a note of any new language you have learned.  (You can also access earlier films)
Go to BBC GCSE Bitesize and complete the papers for the higher level in your second teaching language. Make a note of vocabulary and structures that were new to you or which you need to practise more. Also, make a note of any exam strategies you want to pass on to your pupils. 
Find a series or film on YouTube or Netflix which would be suitable for Key Stage 3 classes. Make a note of any new vocabulary or structures that were new to you. Find one short sequence that could be used for practice of a particular language point. Create a brief plan for the lesson this could be used for.
Go to the Open University website and choose a free language course: 
Go to and put in code UKTWINKLHELPS. Find resources for a cultural topic and make a note of the language being practised. For example, look for resources about Easter in France, Spain or Germany.
Sign up to Duolingo and practise your language -especially your second teaching language on your phone for free.
Standard 4
Look at the list of suggestions for ICT ideas:
Do a search online (on Facebook: “Secondary MFL matters” for example) for new games/activities which you have never done before.  You could create a list (including an explanation of how to carry each activity) and then create activity templates for each of them.  
Access lesson ideas here: 
Have a look at the now free resources from Pearson’s (link below).  These can help to create lessons to practise exam skills (KS4 and KS5): 
Standard 5
Complete a MOOC on a specific special need.  See an explanation here of what MOOCs are: For example, there is a free MOOC on dyslexia and MFL teaching. It starts 20th April. 
Read the following EAL toolkit with some basic strategies of how to adapt lessons to make them accessible to EAL students and adapt one or more lessons that you have already taught incorporating these strategies: 
Standard 6
Go onto the AQA website for German/French/Spanish/Italian and familiarise yourself with the mark schemes and grade boundaries to assess speaking, listening, reading and writing both Foundation and Higher from each skill. Do some moderation of pieces:  find specimen papers on the exam boards websites (AQA for example), mark sample tasks, then compare your marking with that of the trained examiners (“examiner’s reports”).   
The OU offer free online courses in assessment in specific subjects. Here is the link for Assessment in MFL: 
Become more familiarised with A level requirements for any of your languages. Read one of the recommended texts for Year 13 and watch one of the recommended films for Year 12 for example. You could write a sample assignment, based on the typical exam questions related to the film or book. These could be exploited in class as a WAGOLL (What a good one looks like). 
Standard 7
Watch the 2 video clips (Teaching with Bayley) and write down some take aways – how do the difficulties faced by these teachers mirror your own experiences? 
Re-read Tom Bennett’s independent review of behaviour in schools which was mentioned in lectures in the autumn term. In the light of your experience to date, make a list of the points which resonate with your experience to date, or which strike you for the first time. 
Standard 8
Deploying support staff:Look at this research from the EEF about working with teaching assistants: 
Contact with parents/carers:Practise writing end of term reports for 3 pupils you have taught, making reference to progress, effort, behaviour and areas to improve. Ask your Head of Department or NQT mentor to check them.
Supporting language learning:Look at this document about ‘How to help your child at home: MFL’. is from the Twinkl website. Recreate this document for how families can help pupils doing GCSE – not revision – but about supporting their language learning. You could also put a document together with the advantages of learning a language. Look at: 
Extracurricular activities:Look at the kind of activities that are organised by Routes into Languages and make a plan for what you would like to do in your first 2-3 years in your first teaching post. It could be an activity based on the ideas from Routes into Languages or something else that you would like to organise. 
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