Prepare for your NQT interview

Your CV is already working for you – now’s the time to shine in person!

Congratulations –you’ve got an interview!

Experience is crucial, however, standing out from the competition and being the right fit to an organisation is just as important. We take a look at ways you can succeed in your next interview:


It’s important to carry out the right research. It can literally make the difference between getting a job offer or not.

You need to learn as much as you can about the school - by studying the Ofsted report, website, social media and staff structure. You’ll learn more about the organisation, and the world in which they operate. More importantly, it will give you an idea of how you will fit in and what your skills and experience can do for them.


As you prepare, self-knowledge is important. Linking your skills, experience, strengths and weaknesses to the job description is key: you’re aiming for responses that are concise and to the point.

Interviewers often open with a “tell me about yourself” question. This is great, after all, you’re the expert! Keeping it brief, interesting and relevant is the challenge, though, and it would be sensible to prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ – a brief, clear, audience-specific summary of your background, career objectives and why you applied for the position.

You should also consider PAR stories. Each of your responses should include P-problems, A-actions and R-results which will take you through what you faced, what you did, and what happened next. Not only does this method give you structure and substance for your answers, but it’s a good way to  demonstrate that you have the skills you need for the role.


If you take the time to rehearse your answers, you’re more likely to stick to the point – the less time you spend rambling the better!

You want to make sure your answers are tailored to not only the questions you may be asked, but also to the job description. Rehearsing  scenarios and PAR stories can make you feel prepared and more confident for your interview.

Interview them

An interview is a great opportunity to get a sense of an organisation’s culture and environment and you should use this time to assess whether it’s somewhere you can see yourself working.

You can also follow up on issues that came up in your research – those questions that aren’t answered in the Ofsted report.

Over to you

Look through these sample questions – all of which have been asked of Pertemps Education candidates – and rehearse your PAR answers. At least one or two of them are likely to come up in most education interviews.

  • What personal interests do you have that could be of value to the school?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • How could you integrate the community into your teaching?
  • If we visited your classroom in October, what could we expect to see?
  • Which is more important, teacher or learning, and why?
  • How would you deal with bullying?
  • How would you accommodate children who have English as an additional language in your classroom?
  • What are your particular strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?
  • How do you judge the achievement of pupils in your subject?

Our client schools come to us for the education professionals they need. Often, those roles are never advertised. If you are looking for a job in education, we can help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch, and let us do the heavy lifting for you.

Register for your free NQT consultation with one of our experts