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 why you want the job and to show your potential employer that you genuinely care about your vocation and the children you’ll be working 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.
Think about the role of a school mentor and how you’ll be impacting the children and young people you’re going to be working with. Try and centre your response around how you’ll be benefiting the children and how their success will contribute both to their learning and to the school as a whole.
Interviewers could ask you about a wide range of issues that the children and young people you’ll be mentoring might face. They’ll want to know how you would respond to these issues and if you could effectively handle them. These could include things like how would you deal with an aggressive child, or a child with confidence issues, or how you might report any safeguarding concerns. You should be prepared to talk about a range of common issues that you might actually face in the job role and make sure you know how to deal with them the correct way. You’ll probably already have the knowledge you need from studying to work in education, but it’s good to re-familiarise yourself with your responsibilities and what you could face on the job in preparation for your interview. Recalling your own experiences of dealing with these issues would be ideal as it shows the interviewer that you can already handle the job. Using the STAR method to help structure your answer could be a good idea.
Talk about both your qualifications and experience here. It’s important to not just emphasise the knowledge that you have from study, but also any practical experience you might have. Don’t just talk in general terms, as it’s good to talk about specific experiences and the impact you’ve had on the children you’ve worked with in the past. If you don’t have any experience then keep the focus on your studies but make sure you emphasise the particular strengths you have that will apply to the workplace.
Employers are naturally going to favour those who have been qualified for longer and have more experience but this shouldn’t be an obstacle if you present yourself well. If you haven’t been qualified long or have little experience, just be honest and ensure they know you’re fully ready to enter a career in education and mentoring.
This is important if you’re working in a specialised setting but can also apply to any school. If you have some experience then you should be specific in what you’ve done and how your experience can apply on the job. You might not have any experience in this and if so talk about your willingness to learn instead and how past experiences or knowledge from your study might help when working with children with special 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 school mentor career advice, or find out how to revamp your school mentor 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.