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!
This is possibly one of the most common questions. The interviewer wants to see your motivations for wanting to become a teaching assistant. Be sure to show your passion and dedication for the job, and explain why you enjoy the profession. Refer to your own experiences which make the job rewarding for you.
Teaching assistant jobs are extremely fulfilling and rewarding. This question is asking you to discuss why you think it is a rewarding job. You could talk about how helping children thrive academically is extremely rewarding as you become their guide, supporting them in their educational needs and helping with their progression, but try to make your answer personalised. What about the job is rewarding for you?
This is a common question when applying for a job in any school and you should use this question as an opportunity to show the employer that you have taken the time to find out more about the school. Make sure to research the organisation beforehand and note down anything that really stands out to you so you that you can bring that knowledge into your interview.
Being able to talk about the school will show that you have a genuine interest in the job and help to get across your dedication to the position you’ve applied for. If you turn up not knowing anything about the school then it could make a bad impression, or at least not a great one.
This is another personal question, so in your response you should try to demonstrate your passion for the role and talk about what you really do enjoy about your work. You could also refer to specific situations in previous jobs if they had a particular impact on you and your enjoyment of the job.
This is a general question that the interviewer will use to gain an understanding of your idea of what a teaching assistant does day-to-day.
Use this as an opportunity to show them that you understand the role and that you would make a good candidate. Read the job listing to prepare for this question and see what responsibilities your potential employer is prioritising for the role.
If you already have experience in a teaching assistant role, going over your previous experience and what you would do in that role will help to further demonstrate your understanding. When answering questions like this with examples from your previous work or study try using the STAR method!
Teaching assistants play a valuable role in the classroom due to the support they give the teacher to ensure the pupils are excelling in class, as well as creating purposeful relationships.
You can talk about the positive impact of teaching assistants, how they support the progress of many children and the behaviour management skills that help to keep the classroom under control.
Display your understanding of the role and show that you know what is expected of you. Discuss some common situations you might expect to face as a teaching assistant, such as a child struggling with their work or misbehaving, and explain how you would approach it.
A school culture and ethos consists of the influences and attitudes within the school which affect everything that goes on inside the school. There are many possible responses here, all depending on how the school defines itself, so it would be good to read up on the school’s culture first.
You could talk about celebrating achievements and good behaviour, building values, encouraging innovation and setting consistent disciplinary measures, but your answer to this question could be entirely different based on the school so make sure you do your research.
This is a personal question which requires you to respond with a situation from your previous experience. Try and think of a good example If you have no past experience then you can talk about how you believe you will have a positive impact on children if you are given the opportunity.
The interviewer wants to know if you have the right skills to work in this role. Talk about your communication skills and try bring up any examples you think might be relevant. Have your communication skills helped you to accomplish a task at work before? Make sure you mention it!
Safeguarding questions are commonly asked to anyone working in education environment or with potentially vulnerable people. Doing a safeguarding course could be a good way of you getting additional knowledge in the area and getting the edge over other potential candidates. You’ll get all of the information you’ll need to be able to satisfy questions on safeguarding and your responsibilities.
This requires a simple answer as you are just talking about your own experiences. Not having any teaching assistant experience is okay, just talk about any past experience that you do have working with children or any work experience that might be relevant to the job.
Answering this question will likely be much easier for those with TA or childcare experience. Though it can certainly be answered well even if you don’t. It doesn’t have to be a complicated issue or one where authorities were involved, it could be as simple as helping a lost child find there parents in the supermarket. An example out of the workplace may even be more valuable as it suggests you are always looking out for children, not only at work.
In this question the interviewer is looking for you to show genuine concern about the wellbeing of children. Try not to overthink or over complicate your answer.
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 teaching assistant career advice, or find out how to revamp your 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.