Interviews can be daunting and hard to prepare for but we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of common questions that you might be asked in yours and how you might go about answering them, as well as some questions you could ask your interviewer to help show your interest in the position!
Interviewers will want to hear about your motivations for getting into education, it’s good to be honest about your why you want the job and to show your potential employer that you genuinely care. Similar to a teaching position, you’ll be potentially having a big impact on the lives of the children and young people you work with.
Again, this is a personal question so have a think about what it is that you actually enjoy about the role and be honest about it, interviewers are going to value people who show some passion. You might want to mention the positive impact that you’re hoping to have through your work.
Think about the role of a higher level teaching assistant and how you’ll be impacting the children you’re working with. Try and centre your response around how you’ll be benefiting the children and the wider workplace. Think about the increased responsibility of a higher level teaching assistant and what you’ll be doing at work.
Make sure that you’re aware of best practice for working with misbehaving children in an educational environment. You can impress the interviewer if you demonstrate the right knowledge for the job and reassure them that they aren’t hiring someone unprofessional or unaware of proper procedure. Of course policies can vary so it’s good to read up on your potential employer first.
Similarly to other questions, this one requires a personal response. Highlight the strengths and skills that are going to be useful as a HLTA, with an emphasis on what makes you uniquely suited to the position and how you’re going to improve where you work. Can you think of ways that you stand out from similar applicants? How have you impacted the schools you’ve worked in before?
You should make sure your interviewer understands that you’re comfortable with the responsibilities of a HLTA when moving up from working as a regular teaching assistant. As a HLTA you should already have some experience in the role of a teaching assistant, just emphasise how you’ve handled greater responsibility in the past and that you’ll be well-suited for the job. Mentioning any particular successes you’ve had handling these responsibilities is going to be useful.
You should talk about your qualifications and past experiences as a teaching assistant that will be useful in the role. Mention specific times where your skills have contributed to a learner’s success and things similar to that. Being able to demonstrate the positive impact you’ve had and will have, as well as the skills that you’ll bring to the school is key.
Employers are going to favour those who have been qualified for longer and have more experience but it shouldn’t be too big of an obstacle if you’re newly qualified. Talk about how long you’ve been qualified, your journey from teaching assistant to HLTA, and mention how your qualifications have helped in the workplace and enabled you to perform better. You can also mention any experiences in your education or training that might be relevant to your work in order to complement the work experience you might already have talked about.
This is important if you’re working in a specialised setting but can also apply to any educational institution. You should give examples of times you’ve worked with children with special needs and any positive outcomes you’ve contributed toward, as well as mentioning any training you have in this area. If you have no experience then talk about your willingness to learn instead and how past experiences in other settings, or knowledge from your studies might help in this situation. Highlight your willingness to help all children and accommodate a variety of needs.
Reading through some of our common questions should help get you in the right headspace for your interview, but don’t stop here–have a think about what kind of questions you could be facing, as well as how you might answer them on your own!
Make sure you have everything else you’ll need to land that dream job by returning to our HLTA career advice, or find out how to revamp your HLTA cv or cover letter. Have you got a job in mind but don’t have the right qualifications? If so, check out our courses page and take a look at some of our valuable qualifications.