Questions to expect at your interview

Published on 10th December, 2014 by Owen Richards. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Recently, the TIC Blog focused on how to prepare for an international school interview. This week we share some of the most common questions asked at international school interviews for teachers and for leaders.

Common questions asked at teacher interviews

The best way to feel prepared for an interview is to think about the questions you will be asked and how you might respond to them. So what questions can you expect? Here are some questions that many teachers are asked by international school Headteachers and recruiters:

• Why do you want to work with us?

• What challenges are you looking for in a position?

• What can you contribute to this school?

• How do you plan to help yourself adapt to life in this country?

• What do you know about the school location and the country?

• Describe a great lesson you taught recently and how do you know it was great?

• Give me an example of how you encourage great learning?

• Describe your ideal classroom?

• How do you cater for different abilities / learning styles?

• How do you deal with conflict (parents, students, teachers)?

• How could you contribute to professional development in our school?

• What do you think of your current school? How could it be improved?

• Why do you want to move overseas?

• What do you know about our school and how do you think you will fit in with our learning community?

• How will you cater for children who are second or third language learners and can you give some examples?

• How will adapt your teaching to an international context and can you give an example?

• What do you think the main challenges will be for you teaching in a different country?

Whatever the question, always answer honestly and from your own perspective. Experienced interviewers will immediately recognise a stock answer. But thinking about the way you may respond will prepare you well for your interview.

Common questions asked at school leadership interviews

As well as many of the questions above, interviewees for school leadership positions will also be asked far-reaching questions related to management and leadership. Some of the common questions asked at international school leadership interviews include:

• Describe your leadership style

• What would your current staff say about you as a leader?

• How would you describe your relationship with parents?

• Describe a situation when you had to handle conflict between a staff member and a parent

• What do you consider to be the key attributes of a successful leader?

• Who do you admire as a leader today and what qualities do you think make that person such a great leader?

• A member of your team describes an issue regarding bullying by another member of staff – how do you handle this?

• What areas of your leadership do you need to strengthen?

• What do you think are the major causes of conflict in schools?

• What is the best way to manage change in a school?

• As a school leader how do you ensure that your teachers’ professional development needs are being catered for?

• Our international school has experienced some conflict between our local parents and our expatriate parents. How would you suggest handling this?

• How would you use the international nature of our teaching community to improve the international mindedness of our learning and teaching?

• How would you enhance a learning-focused mind-set amongst our teaching community?

For more advice about interviewing and finding jobs with international schools, visit the TIC Blog or call the TIC recruitment advisors who will be very happy to help you with any questions you may have. And for the very latest international teaching and leadership jobs in some of the world’s best international schools, visit the Teachers International Consultancy Vacancies page.

You may also be interested in these informative blogs:
10 things international schools look for when hiring new teachers
Writing a CV that counts when applying for an international job
Preparing for your interview

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Owen Richards

Owen works in media relations and marketing. His main focus is working with the press on features about teachers who have moved overseas to teach internationally.