Interview techniques for Cover Supervisors


If you’re considering a new role as a cover supervisor, securing an interview is just the first step and we know you’ll want to give yourself the best chance of securing the job.

From knowing the kind of interview questions to expect to some tried and tested interview techniques, these are the key things you’ll want to consider.

Knowing the role

Before arriving at the interview, you should have a clear understanding of what a cover supervisor role will entail, from the main responsibilities to the skills you’ll need.

These should ultimately be weaved into your answers throughout and should act as a reference point when thinking of what to say in response to interview questions.

Your interviewer will want to see evidence that you can cope with the fast-paced nature of the role, given that you’ll be working constantly from the moment you walk through the school gates until the moment you walk out.

Stay calm and plan your answers

It’s often all too easy to rush into giving an answer, so instead, you’ll want to take a few seconds to compose your thoughts and think about what you wish to say.

This way you can ensure that you fully understand the question and it also gives you a chance to ask a question yourself if you are not clear on something that has been asked.

Demonstrate experience with examples

When making a point, it’s vital that you back it up with demonstrable experience; anyone can say they have done something, but interviewers will be interested in the details!

As a cover supervisor is a non-teaching role, those applying for positions can come from a range of backgrounds and have varying levels of experience – it’s therefore essential that you shape the examples you use to showcase your skills in the best light.

One of the key interview techniques for answering interview questions is known as the STAR method, which revolves around

  • Situation – provide some background to the example you wish to use
  • Task – what were your responsibilities?
  • Action – what actions did you take?
  • Result – what was the outcome?

If you structure your answers in this way, you should be able to ensure that your examples are backed up with relevant skills and experience.

Before the interview try to think of several examples where you had certain types of role or responsibilities, and you may wish to practice saying answers in front of the mirror or a friend to ensure they are clear and concise.

What sort of interview questions should you expect?

Given the nature of a cover supervisor role, you can expect schools to question you on your experiences of working with young people.

This could include time spent as a teaching assistant or coach, while elements of management from other workplace scenarios may also be relevant.

Knowledge of behavioural management practices forms part of the role, so you should expect to be asked how you would deal with certain hypothetical scenarios.

As a cover supervisor, you’ll be directly responsible for pupils’ safety when overseeing lessons, so you’ll need to demonstrate that you can communicate clearly and manage a classroom effectively.

If possible, try to refer to a school’s procedures and policies here – these resources can often be found on a school’s website, allowing you to weave specific elements into your answers.

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