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Preparing great questions for your interview

At the end of most interviews, you will get the chance to ask the interview panel questions.  

When preparing for a job interview, it’s far too easy to focus all your energy on how you're going to answer questions, but to avoid being caught off guard, it's equally important to have a list of questions for you to ask. Interviewers can get a real sense of who you are, along with your priorities, from the questions you ask. Asking great questions during an interview will show you’re interested in the job.  

Preparing the right questions based around your school research will create a dialogue between you and the interviewer, helping you to appear confident and knowledgeable. It’s also a chance for you to demonstrate the research you have done, which is above and beyond reading the job description and having a quick glance at the website. This will exhibit strong organisational and planning skills, which are essential for a role in education. 

10 top tips

  1. Make sure you research the school thoroughly before you start drafting your questions – you want to show you have done your homework. This will help ensure you avoid asking obvious questions that are clearly mentioned on the website. 

  2. Choose questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in the school and its future, as well as their culture and ethos, to help ensure that the fit and opportunity is right for you. 

  3. Ask about the school's vision for the future and what key developments are planned. You can link this to their latest Ofsted report.  

  4. If it has not been covered, it's also good to ask about the school's induction process, particularly if you are an ECT, and CPD and development opportunities. 

  5. Show that you are trying to understand the school as a whole by asking a range of questions. Avoid focusing on one topic as it could make the interviewer think you are particularly nervous about that issue.  

  6. Avoid any questions about what you would get out of the job, including your salary, benefits and time off. Don't ask about workload or additional duties. 

  7. Don't ask too many questions – it's wise to ask a maximum of four or five questions.  

  8. Make sure you have some follow-up questions – you want to prompt a conversation not just a short response. 

  9. Your questions may lead to follow-up questions from the interviewer, so be prepared to answer them!

  10. And lastly, remember your verbal communication skills are on full display during an interview and illustrate how effectively you will communicate with colleagues, students and leadership, so be confident and be yourself. Show the interviewers the personality you'll bring to the school, so be enthusiastic and be you!

Get more advice  

If you have any questions about your interview or you're after more interview advice, just give your local branch a call and they'll be more than happy to help you. Good luck! 

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