International schools: 5 job interview questions for teachers to prepare


If you are applying to teach abroad, you should prepare yourself as well as possible for the interview, just as you would for any interview. However, living and teaching abroad is a major life change, so there are likely questions that are asked of you for which your answers are especially watched – both on a personal and educational level..

As such, it’s important to be aware of the type of questions international school interview panels may ask you. Here are a few that are likely to come your way – so be prepared.

International schools: questions you are likely to be asked during teacher interviews

1. Why do you want to work in this school?

This question is essential in an international context and your answer must relate to two elements: the school and the place.

Applicants can sometimes focus their response on the country. This is important because it shows that they have researched the country they want to live in and that they have a cultural awareness, but it is just not enough.

Applicants should also know the school. If one answer centers around moving to Dubai because of the weather, lifestyle and culture, that’s fine, but what about school? Why this particular school? What do you know about school? What are you attracted to? Why does it stand out? Why do you think this would be the right school for you?

These are questions to consider and prepare – it helps to have your answers ready.

2. Can you describe, step by step, a typical lesson?

In the UK, a lesson or part of a lesson is often delivered on the day of the interview, so you are unlikely to be asked this question.

However, a lesson observation simply cannot happen with an online interview. But the school will want to know about your classroom practice. As such, make sure you can describe a lesson in detail from start to finish, and then explain why it went well.

And, of course, describe a lesson for the topic you’re applying for: If you’re applying for a history position, the interviewer will want to hear about a history lesson, not a politics or geography lesson. .

You should also explain how you would prepare and deal with any potential behavioral issues or questions that might arise.

3. What can you offer at school outside of your subject?

International schools are proud of the extracurricular offer they offer their students.

All teachers should organize after-school clubs and events. This is not limited to the Department of Physical Education and the Arts, as academic clubs are offered to students.

You can often find out which after-school clubs are already on offer that you could support, such as Chess, Debate, and Model United Nations.

Alternatively, if you have a specific interest like baking, sudoku, public speaking, or anything tech-related, you can suggest an idea for a new extracurricular initiative.

The two main points you need to demonstrate are that you have skills and interests outside of the subject area you are teaching and want to support wider aspects of school life.

4. What strategies do you use to support ALA learners?

Most international schools have a diverse student body – with both local students from the region and students from all over the world.

It may or may not be something you have experience in your current school. If you do, be prepared to share the strategies you use and explain why they work.

If you haven’t had the experience of working with many students of English as an additional language then read about it before the interview as this will be something you will need to do if you are appointed.

Either way, it’s important to be aware that the EAL is something that will be required of you.

5. How would you deal with a backup problem?

This question could be worded differently, but it is a mandatory question that schools must ask.

The answer can be short, as you mainly need to show that any protection should be reported as soon as possible to the Child Protection Officer (CPO) or Designated Protection Officer (DSL).

Information may be available on the school’s website about its policy or you can ask for it in advance as this is a matter not to be taken lightly or to be wrong in the process. any context.

Different countries have different rules – and even laws – when it comes to protection, so it’s worth considering and researching before the interview so you can demonstrate knowledge of specific requirements and laws. of this region.

Kate Jones is responsible for history at the British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi, and author of Love to teach, recovery practice and recovery practice 2. She tweets @KateJones_teach

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