How To Unlock Teaching and Learning at Interview?

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If you were to appoint a number of teachers to join a teaching and learning team, to build a new culture of teaching and learning in your school, what questions would you ask them at interview?


This is a blog about how to unlock teaching and learning views and values from candidates during an interview in order to appoint the right teachers for the job required. Last month, I shared our plans and draft job descriptions in this blogpost, Building Learning Power and explained how and why we are looking to develop our teaching and learning capacity. At TeachMeet Enfield and TeachMeet Islington in North London this week, I shared how schools could start to identify Hidden Leaders; staff who are not yet in a school leadership capacity, who have the ability to step up and become our next generation of school leaders.

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This week, I have conducted interviews for our teaching staff to join our core teaching and learning team; identified through a candidate specification and person specification process. Teachers who have then been interviewed, observed and are part of a coaching and mentoring / difficult conversation under observation; using IRIS Connect. After this rigorous stage, we then of course interviewed the candidates to hear more about their views, values and vision for teaching and learning.

This blog shares the questions we asked of our teachers at interview. They may prove useful for you if you wish to adapt them for your own school. You can find the template at the foot of this blog.


*This part of the process last 25 minutes.

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1. Why apply for this [Teaching and Learning Team member] post?

  • What will you bring?
  • What ideas would you like to develop?

2. Talk me through your lesson today.

  • How would you improve the lesson if you delivered it again?
  • Identify any areas for development. Where would you take the lesson next?

3. Previous Experience

  • Question relating to the candidates application…
  • Talk about your prior experience and relevance to position available. Your CPD needs?

4. Observations: How would you establish yourself in the school with rest of the staff?

  • How would you re-brand yourself within your own department?

5. Observations: we look for typicality, i.e lessons over time and not one-off performance.

  • What sources of information would you look for in a one-off lesson to gauge typicality?

6. Describe a difficult conversation you have had with a colleague?

  • Outline your model of providing ‘effective and meaningful’ lesson feedback.

7. Describe what makes a good CPD session?

  • For a department? b) For all staff?

8. How would you go about planning your own CPD session?

  • What considerations do you need to have to make it all work? How would evaluate the session?
  • What rationale would you use to employ other staff to contribute?

9. What ‘off-the-wall’ ideas do you have?

  • Teaching and learning b) CPD.

10. Safeguarding and Application check questions to finish the process.

  •      Strengths/weaknesses/interests, followed by an opportunity for the candidate to ask questions/clarify.



You can download the template here. It is copyright of @QKynaston.

Interview Questions – Teaching and Learning Team member – July 2015 – Quintin Kynaston


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5 thoughts on “How To Unlock Teaching and Learning at Interview?

  1. Having been in charge of a Professional Development department for nearly ten years, I’ve been through this many many times now as we have expanded and people have moved on. It’s one of the most dynamic departments in the school and ensures that as a school we showcase our best teachers, promote the idea of developmental independence and continue to offer support where need is identified. Hope your team gets off to a good start.

  2. It’s true that teachers should be selected through interview sessions so, that you will get the real teacher for learning. You should ask teacher for his/her background of teaching.

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