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There are four sections to the Southwood School interview panel. The principal and management team, the HR Manager, a panel of instructors, and a panel of students who were interviewed make up one of the panels. Different questions are posed by each panel. To determine the validity of the questions, this study examines and evaluates them. Additionally, the report suggests some additional interview questions.
Those in charge and the management team
"What made you apply for this position?"
It's a really open-ended question. In other words, it is not specific, which makes it difficult to evaluate applicants' responses because it can lead to a variety of responses. However, if the candidate can elaborate, it will be evident that he or she is interested in both the institution the position applied as well as the institution (Rajaram, 2007). Overall, the question is good because it can provide information about how well the candidate is prepared.
What do you about this school”
The question helps to understand whether or not the candidate has conducted research. The correct response should show that the applicant is conversant with the institution’s accreditations and history. The best applicant should state intention for working for the institution (Yate & Yate, 2008).
Why did you decide to pursue a career in teaching?
The answer to this question can help to understand applicant’s passion in the chosen profession. That is, the question can offer insight about candidate’s drive and dedication for teaching. Nonetheless, the response will depend on the applicant’s opinion thus it might be hard to assess with answers from other applicants.
How do you think you can contribute to the school development plan?
The question helps to identify applicant’s leadership traits. That is, the question can help the panel to identify potential future leaders and remove weak applicants. The best candidates can focus on classroom management and innovative ideas to strengthen institution’s standards and help learners attain full potential.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is the most difficult for this interview section. Most candidates might not provide genuine answers because they do not want to be perceived as bragging (Yate & Yate, 2008). Nonetheless, applicants can state their success and strengths but still remain humble. Although sharing weaknesses might also be challenging, applicants should confidently share their weaknesses and offer ways to adapt or overcome them.
How do you think your present colleagues and managers would describe you?
This question tests whether the applicant is cognizant of other people’s opinion or not. Applicant’s response to this question helps in understanding how h/she will work with other colleagues.
Which innovative teaching methods have you successfully used in the past?
This question helps to assess applicant’s ability to adapt to different environments to meet learners’ needs (Yate & Yate, 2008). Although the curriculum might be the same, delivery might vary with need of children to absorb the material. As such, applicants should demonstrate ability to adjust the methods of delivery. Therefore, the question will help to identify candidates who will bring with innovation skills in classroom.
Which subjects do you enjoy teaching a) the most and b) the least?”
This question might be useful if candidates applied for various subjects. Despite the fact that the question can help to identify subjects that each applicant enjoys teaching, it needs to be replaced with a specific such as “Why are you interested in teaching the chosen subject.”
How would you deal with disruptive students in the classroom?”
Dealing with distractive learners is inevitable to avoid them. As such, this is an important question. An applicant should demonstrate capability to deal with such students. The question also reflects candidate’s views regarding disciplinary actions.
Give an example of how you use technology to enhance your teaching.”
This is also important as it shows applicant’s previous innovative accomplishments and new technological ideas which will benefit the institution.
What contributions would you make to this school”
This question seeks to know whether the candidate will be an asset or liability to the institution. The question is vague because the answer is difficult to measure compared to responses of other interviewees. Nonetheless, the question is left to interviewees’ interpretation and it allows them to show they will help the school. Best candidates can shows that expertise and what they want to attain while working at the institution.
What training and development opportunities have you taken part in to date?”
This question seeks to assess applicant’s willingness to grow in the teaching profession. The question helps to understand whether the applicant has up-to-date skills in the chosen profession. As such, it informs the HR Manager about the training and development practices that need to be emphasized upon hiring the applicant.
What are you career plans for the next a) five years and b) ten years?”
This question helps to provide valuable information on applicant’s ambitions and focus in short and long-run. The best candidate should have a career plan for the next five and ten years with motivational factors and precise vision (Yate & Yate, 2008). The answer can also show the duration the candidate is willing to work in the institution.
What support would you like Southwood to provide if your application is successful?
This is an important question as it will give an insight to candidate’s attitude on seeking help. Answer to this question can help the management to identify resources applicants needs and whether such resources are available or not. As such, the response will reveal areas that the institution needs to improve in the future.
What do you think the most important characteristics of an effective teacher are?”
This question is subjective rather than being objective and the response might be difficult to assess against the rest of applicants. Nonetheless, answer to the question can inform interviewers (students) about applicant’s values as well as what they feel are important characteristics.
How would you support students who find your subject difficult?”
This question tests how creative and innovative the interviewee is willing to help learners to succeed. The response to this question can also show candidate’s teaching behavior and how they monitor learning progress (Rajaram, 2007). The question also reveals candidate’s patients and how they value students.
How would you create a fun learning environment in the classroom?”
A teacher should make students eager to learn. However, this question is subjective just like the question on teacher’s characteristics. A teacher does not need to be fun to be efficient. As such, this question should be withdrawn and replaced.
How would you build a good relationship with a new group of students?”
This question can help to understand applicant’s views and values on relationship building and teamwork. These are essential for students’ social development and academic success.
Do you have any ideas for afterschool activities or clubs? What are they?”
This question can provide valuable information about candidate’s commitment to learners’ development. The response to the question can show candidate’s creativity and innovativeness. The response also helps the institution to identify resources needed to conduct afterschool activities. Therefore, the question should be retained.
Despite the fact that these questions offer comprehensive information about applicants, the interview panels can add some questions not used currently.
What leading challenges do you think teachers and learners face today?
What solutions do you suggest for those challenges?
The first question will help to understand whether the applicant can identify a problem and whether or not h/she has problem-solving skills. The questions challenge the candidates by asking them to identify problems which currently occur and how to address them. Therefore, asking the questions will assess how the applicant can identify, address, and assess situations in the classroom. Matias (2010) defines problem-solving skills as individual’s ability to identify a problem and develop appropriate solutions. This question offers critical insight into interviewee’s problem-solving skills.
How will utilize community resources to improve learning?
Essentially, this question assesses candidate’s ability to go beyond the classroom to help learners understand the relevance of what they learn in school to their lives. The applicant should demonstrate ability such as organizing fundraisers to help the needy or community cleaning. In other words, the candidate move learners’ experience beyond classroom environment and connect the lessons with daily life problems.
Can you kindly give an overview of the interview we have carried out?
Burleson (2004) suggests interviewers ask respondents to offer an overview or summarize that was previously mentioned. Basically, this question helps to understand candidate’s ability to retain knowledge, assess their learning skills, and how seriously they take something previously stated.
Do you have any questions for us?
This is a critical question that any interview panel should emphasize. This question helps to assess whether the candidate is serious or interested in the applied job. Burleson (2004) further emphasizes that the best candidate should come prepared about the firm.
Burleson, D. K. (2004). Top answers to job interview questions. Kittrell, NC: Rampant TechPress.
Matias, L. (2010). 201 knockout answers to tough interview questions: The ultimate guide to handling the new competency-based interview style. New York: American Management Association.
Rajaram, J. (2007). C: Interview questions and answers. New Delhi: Firewall Media.
Yate, M. J., & Yate, M. J. (2008). Great answers to tough interview questions. London: Kogan Page.
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