You have bagged yourself an interview for a job as a Teaching Assistant. Congratulations! This means you are already halfway there. You have successfully placed the qualities that qualify you for the job in your resume. Now the probability of your success depends on your performance in the interview. So being well-prepared for the interview is the best way to find success. Getting some idea of teaching assistant interview questions can be a great way to start off.
A proper Research on TA interview questions will get you up and running. It’s a great idea to practice a few interview questions by yourself a few times before the interview. This practice will get you well acquainted with interviews.
After getting introduced to the interview questions it is better to make notes on the perfect fit answers for those questions.
Skills you need to be a TA
The purpose of the interview is to verify your skills and show that you are a right fit for the job. So it’s better to know in details about the basic skills and qualities you need to get the job. This will help you through the course of the interview. The skills and qualities a good teaching assistant should demonstrate are:
Understanding the job responsibilities will help you take on the interview more confidently. You can read this other blog we have on becoming a teaching assistant for a better understanding of the dos-donts and the know-hows. You will be able to approach the teaching assistant interview questions and answers in a well-structured way
Basic TA job interview questions
Like most other interviews a TA interview may also have a few common question. One such universal inter view questions are:
Tell me about yourself and the skills and qualities that you possess that will make you a perfect for the job?
The ‘tell me about yourself question’ is one of the most common questions in any interview. The question though very common can be a bit stressful during an interview. Remember to focus on your strengths and abilities. Prepare an answer that fits well with the role of a teaching assistant. Most of the time this is the first question in an interview. So giving a strong answer can set off the interview in the right foot.
I’m a sincere, studious and supportive employee. I work very hard to fulfil my daily tasks and duties that are put in front of me. Education has always been my passion and I have always been looking to become one.
I have studied hard and assessed the personification in details to make sure I have the skills needed to meet the standard. I am a strong planner and organizer, so I believe I will make a great teaching assistant. In general, I have always given full dedication in everything I have been involved with.
I strongly believed upon employing me as a TA you will be impressed with my caring and enthusiastic nature along with my strong work ethic and values.
Why do you want to become a teaching assistant?
Tell the main motivation behind being a teaching assistant is the desire to work with children and help them reach their full potential. You may also try to relate how you were helped by your teachers and TA’s in your school days. You will try to replicate how they helped you. Try to draw a comparison between your previous experiences of teaching children.
I want to become a teaching assistant because, this is a type of work where I can make a positive difference in peoples lives. I will be involved with supporting teachers aiming to provide exceptional education and development.
Secondly, I don’t like the idea of sitting behind a desk performing monotonous works. I like the fact I get to be creative and spontaneous in my days work. Finally, I prefer to work in the type of environment where I can grow. Teaching assistant job provides me with a lot of opportunities for career development and at a time help a big number of people.
What do you think your duties will be as a teaching assistant?
Read the job description and the job requirements very careful a few times before appearing the interview. Then work out an answer in your head figuring out the qualities you possess that make you a perfect fit for the job.
The duties and responsibilities of a teaching assistant are varied and flexible. It requires one to be Spontaneous to adapt to this job. I would be responsible for assisting teachers in preparation of lessons, make lesson plan and also make sure the relevant teaching aides are ready in time.
I will also be in charge of maintaining accurate pupil records and detail each one’s progress. It will also be my responsibility to make the class room a clean and safe place. I will also help pupil catch up with their lessons in group or one on one conversations. Last but not the least I will have to maintain the standards and rules laid by the school while supporting the teacher in his duties.
Why do you want to work for our school as a teaching assistant?
Give the answer to this type of question based on the reputation and present performance of the school. Show where you can be helpful and contribute for the school further success.
For the simple reason you have an outstanding reputation. Here I’m going to learn simply from the best. So there is no doubt I will be in an environment where I can learn and thrive. Upon working in such environment I will progress continually. This will make positive differences in both me and the lives of pupils around me.
Scenario based questions
If two children are constantly disrupting a class, How will you deal with the situation?
The interview is trying to check out what strategy you implement to resolve disruptive and problematic behaviour.
Upon joining the work I would have discussed in advance how to handle such situations. In this case what I would normally separate the disruptive pupils and put them on opposing sides of the class room.
What will you do if a child seems to be in pain after an incident in the playground but doest want to go to the school nurse to receive first aid?
Here the interviewer is trying to find out your response on how you make decisions regarding child welfare.
Upon a situation like this I would talk to the child about his pain and try to find out more. If it seemed serious, first I would encourage her to visit the school nurse. I will also promise to accompany him to make her feel confident. A child might not be very comfortable going to the school nurse on their own.
How would you respond if a child says she’s bored with a task and doesn’t want to finish it?
These type of questions are intended to test how you motivate and encourage children towards the lesson.
Say for example if I see a child is bored and being reluctant to finish her assigned task or lesson I would at first sit down with the child and want to know what’s wrong. Then I would try to engage her into task by suggest sharing the task with her. If it’s a colouring task I would do half the colouring and talk her into doing the other half. This way I can engage her and make her much more interested. This will make her realize the fun of completing a task.
Teaching assistant interview tasks
As the job of teaching is a very practical one you may be asked to do a few tasks after the interview. These are normally to confirm your ability to work with children and your ability to communicate with them. So it’s better to be mentally prepared for such activities. Besides one of the best parts of becoming a TA is you get to spend a lot of quality time with your students.
So here are some tasks you will be tested with during a teaching assistant interview :
General classroom observation
A general classroom observation is just a trial class to see how you interact with children in a real classroom setting. You have to do exactly what you would do if you get the job. So to create the right impression in mind you will need to be confident and carry out your job.
Before the class begins speak to the teacher about what you will be required to do. Is there any pupil you will need to keep a special eye out for. It’s your task to ensure everyone stays mindful when the teacher is taking the class. Of course, you have to carry out the task with a positive yet firm attitude towards the children. At a time you have to be easily approachable and be favourable to them.
Working with a small group
You may be asked to do a short activity on a given topic with a small group of children. The group of children will consist of children of mixed abilities. The panel will be looking at how you devise the task on your own.
This task will prove your competence to manage a small group of children. How can you interact and engage with pupils on a personal level. The task shouldn’t be that complex. You have to ensure the children of different abilities all stay engaged throughout the task.
Schools these days also include a written task to assess your written level English and your understanding of the role. You may be asked to write a letter to parents regarding particular student’s behaviour suggesting how they can be improved. The written assessment may even consist of questions involving the roles of a teaching assistant.
Whole class activity
The selection panel may even want to see you perform a whole class activity. Don’t panic they are just interested how you handle the whole class on your own. Normally you may be asked to read the whole class a story. The interview panel will judge you based on how interactive you well and how children were involved within this time. You will find the whole process upon appearing an online course on becoming a TA.
No matter what questions you are asked in the interview it is very important to stay calm and focused. This can be hard specially when you are being observed. Just be confident in your abilities. As a Teaching Assistant, you may also need to deal with Children with special educational needs. So it’s better if you are aware of the SEN teaching strategies as well.
Be yourself and everything else will happen spontaneously. Don’t let the nervousness take hold of you. I hope you will make a great impression in the interview by demonstrating your skills.