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SEN Teaching Assistant Interview Questions

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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!

Questions your interviewer might ask

Your motivations

This is possibly the most common SEN teaching assistant interview question. The interviewer wants to see that you have a genuine interest in the role, so when asked this question be sure to show your passion and dedication. There are many great reasons for becoming a SEN teaching assistant, but it’s important to talk about your own experience in your reply.

This will differ for everyone but it’s important to let your employer know that you’re highly motivated for the position and won’t collapse under the sometimes challenging scenarios you’ll be dealing with on a regular basis.

Your personal approach to the role

Knowing how to work with SEN pupils’ parents is just as important as knowing how to work with the pupil themselves. It is good to demonstrate your understanding of the importance of this by discussing ways you will work with them.

You could talk about keeping regular communication with parents or carers, keeping communication consistent and through a number of channels, building a relationship of trust, being able to understand how to work with a particular family or parenting dynamic.

Often, the pupils you will be working with will have behavioural issues so you will need to know how to deal with this in the classroomWhen asked this question, you need to show that you understand the nature of the role and highlight your capabilityYou could go into detail on what actions you would take if a pupil was being disruptive, or you could give an example of a time you have had to use your behavioural management skills in previous work.

Pupils often work more effectively in a positive classroom atmosphere, and when they feel comfortable around the staff. When answering this question, talk about a few ice breaking methods that are useful when developing a trusting relationship with the pupils. If you can think of any other challenges, specifically relating to your work with SEN children, make sure to mention them and how you would deal with them. Being able to demonstrate your knowledge of best practices is going to give your interviewer the confidence that you can handle yourself in the role. 

You should ensure that you have a good knowledge of the various safeguarding responsibilities that educators have and the particular challenges that you’ll face when working with children with special educational needs. Safeguarding is extremely important in a school setting so being able to show your knowledge of the issues will impress your interviewer and reassure them that you’re able to handle all of your responsibilities.  

Qualifications and experience

This is an opportunity to sell yourself. The interviewer wants to know if you are an ideal fit for the job and if you will bring value to the school. You should talk about all the skills you possess which are crucial for the role, such as excellent communication skills, your ability to handle difficult situations, patience, flexibility and your ability to work cooperatively with others (pupils, parents and teachers).

This requires a simple answer as you are just talking about yourself and your own experiences with SEN studentsIt is a good idea to provide examples of the types of SEN pupils you have worked with and show your understanding of the issues that affect pupils with varying educational needs using the STAR method.  

This is important if you’re working in a specialised setting but can also apply to any nursery. You might not have any experience in this which is totally fine, if you do have no experience then talk about your willingness to learn instead and how past experiences or knowledge from your study might help in this situation.

Questions for you to ask your interviewer

Final note

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!

If you’re looking for that next job interview, take a look at our jobs board! You might find your dream school support job.

Make sure you have everything else you’ll need to land that dream job by returning to our SEN teaching assistant career advice, or find out how to revamp your SEN teaching assistant 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.

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