Teaching post-interview tips

This advice reflects normal practice but currently may be different in some schools because of coronavirus restrictions. See our coronavirus hub for further guidance.

Schools will interview each candidate, sometimes with three people on the panel. They could include a governor as well as senior teaching staff.

Other tasks are often added to this process, either at a specific time or at a time in the day of the candidate’s choosing. These extra tasks could be:

  • mark a piece of work;
  • explain how you would deal with a specific situation;
  • plan a topic;
  • write a model of what you would expect from a particular year group for a specific area of learning; or
  • assess a piece of work.

The school will also observe the candidates teach and although all the elements of the interview day will be assessed separately, the most important is the teaching observation. It is difficult to envisage what to expect on your very first one, which makes it even more daunting.

Learning from experience helps, so here are some tips from a recent newly qualified Community member:

  • Whilst planning for your interview, check if you will be able to use a USB stick, as some schools do not allow them due to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
  • Remember that you will never have taught the children before so you will not be aware of their previous learning or achievements.
  • You may not be told about the children’s behaviour or those who have special educational needs (SEN). See our guidance on the SEND code of practice for further guidance.
  • Do not plan a whole lesson. There will be limited time so instead teach only one activity. This means there is teacher input but also that the children are actively involved in their learning for most of the time.
  • Make your activity easy to explain and without too many resources so you don’t become flustered in a stressful situation.
  • Teach to your learning objective and list some possible misconceptions before you attend the interview so that you can address them when you see them.
  • Ensure that you can easily adapt your lesson so that there is time for a short plenary, referring to the learning objective.
  • You may be asked to teach a particular subject in the afternoon, but some of the candidates may have taught the same class in the morning, so be prepared for the class to be less attentive than they would have been in the morning.

If you need help or advice, please contact us at help@community-tu.org or on 0800 389 6332.


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