The best answers for common Teaching Assistant interview questions

2020-12-14

Securing an interview for a teaching assistant role is the first step towards a new job, but it’s only the start of the process.


Interview preparation is very much the key to success – you’ll want to find out as much as you can about the school, its staff and its aims, with the latest Ofsted report usually a good starting point.


On top of that, you’ll want to have a set of carefully considered answers which demonstrate your skills and suitability for the teaching assistant role, all backed up with relevant examples.


And while there are no set questions regarding what a prospective teaching assistant may or may not be asked, you can expect to be quizzed on several broad themes, including questions about the role itself, your relevant experience, communication skills, the school, and child protection.


Here, we’ve focused on how you can ensure you’re giving the best answers to any interview questions you might be asked.


Practice makes perfect

An important element of your interview preparation should focus on you demonstrating your skills – think carefully about the examples you’ll provide if asked about certain topics.


If you’ve been in a teaching assistant role before, this should be relatively straight-forward, while if it’s going to be your first job in education, consider any training and other examples from previous employment which required a similar set of skills.


Practical examples are often best, as you can back up what you say with information on outcomes or results – a common technique for doing this is known as the SAR method.


Start by describing the situation (S) before telling the interviewer what action (A) was taken, with a focus on only your own actions. Finish by describing the result (R), including if and how it was a success, as well as outlining anything you may have learnt.


Pause for thought

When you’re planning for an interview, practice answering questions in front of a mirror or with a friend – not only can you check your answers, but it’s also a good way to tackle any pre-interview nerves.


Remember to pause for thought when answering questions, as this enables you to think about what you want to say and to ensure you speak clearly and succinctly.


You may wish to include information on different teaching techniques that you prefer in your answers, alongside information on various methods of behaviour management.


Some vital interview preparation to consider

In order to secure a teaching assistant job, you can expect to be asked about the role that you can expect to have in the classroom environment.


Simply put, any interviewer will want to know that you understand what the role entails, why it’s important and how you can aid members of teaching staff with your presence.


You should also expect to be asked about elements of child protection and safety, including how you would respond to a number of hypothetical scenarios.


While your response will need to vary depending on the scenario at hand, your interview preparation should include all of the key considerations around the topic they are asking about – for example, some of the broader lines of interview questioning may relate to:

  • How you motivate pupils
  • How you tackle issues around pupil welfare
  • What behaviour management strategies you use
  • How you communicate with pupils and staff
  • Your ability to be resourceful in different situations
  • Specific elements of the job, such as working with children with special educational needs
  • What the role is all about (this is a chance to really showcase why you think you’re better than other applicants)
  • Why do you want the specific teaching assistant role


With a few pre-planned examples for these types of interview questions, you should feel well-prepared to answer anything the interviewer may throw at you. All that is left to say, is good luck!


Tradewind Recruitment are an education recruitment specialist and with 12 offices across the UK, we have tons of fantastic temporary / supply, long-term and permanent jobs in primary, secondary and SEN schools, including:

Primary teacher jobs

Secondary teacher jobs

SEN teacher jobs

Teaching Assistant jobs


Interested in applying? You can view all of our jobs here or alternatively you can submit your CV - your local education recruitment consultant will get in touch with you shortly.