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The Most Common Types of Interviews in the Education Sector

the most common types of interviews in the education sector

Do you know the most common types of interviews in the education sector? The most common interview process in the education sector is the one-on-one interview. Please read this post to learn more about different types of interviews and how to handle them.

Informal Interviews

During an informal interview, the interviewer knows which questions they want to ask. Still, sometimes the interviewer will carry on a conversation with the candidate and not ask many education questions. After this interview, you may wonder what just happened.

These interviews may take place early on in hiring a candidate, or it may be a final conversation at the end to make sure the interviewer has a full opportunity to get to know the candidates before they decide on who to hire.

Structured Interviews

In a structured interview, a list of questions has been prepared based on the job requirements. The same questions are asked of every candidate, and notes are taken. In a structured interview, you can anticipate that your interviewer(s) won’t have much opportunity to deviate from a standard formula for questions, and you’ll know that all candidates will be put through a very similar process.

Unstructured Interviews

An unstructured interview can be very stressful. The interviewer may ask a question or two and then pause. It’s important to have an elevator speech or a similar quick introduction to showcase your strengths and passion for teaching.

You’ll be more likely to be successful in an interview like this if you come in with a list of questions you are prepared to ask the interviewer with specific information about the school that isn’t available on their website, the specifics of the position, and the students you’ll be working with.

Sequential Interviews

A sequential interview is where you will be interviewed by several people, one at a time. They could be other teachers, potential supervisors, board members, parents, or resource people. Treat each one as a separate interview. Be prepared to answer the same questions over and over.

If you can ask questions, don’t worry about asking the same questions to each interviewer. It can be an excellent way to get a diverse range of perspectives on things you want to know about the job and the school.

Panel or Group Interviews

The panel interview is the next most common type of interview in the education sector. This could be called a group interview. The interview board comprises people with whom you will work to get a job offer.  The interview committee has a list of prepared questions, and panelists will usually take turns asking questions. The purpose is to see how others react to you.

Try to make eye contact with different group members throughout your conversation, and direct your answers to the larger group to keep everyone engaged in the conversation.  Be sure to make a good impression.

Interview Stages

All teacher job interviews have four different stages.


The first stage is the introduction. This step is important because it helps create a favorable first impression in the mind of the interviewer. This interview phase will set the tone for the rest of the interview.

This phase includes introductions and a chance for the interviewer(s) to assess your appearance, confidence, and the way you speak. Make sure you appear calm, confident, and alert. Greet the interviewer(s) with a firm handshake, smile, and sit when you are asked to do so.

Skills Interview Questions

During the second stage, you should expect questions on your academic background, work experience, accomplishments, and future goals. The interviewer is trying to find out if you have the skills for the available position.

Let your passion for teaching show. When asked about your accomplishments, explain them without sounding arrogant.

Stand-Out Questions

The third stage of the interview will determine whether you stand out from the other candidates. In this stage, the interviewer will determine whether you are the best candidate for the job.

Expect a few difficult questions, such as why you should be considered for the teaching post. The interview committee will want to know the value you will bring to the school, your philosophies of education and classroom management, how you deal with discipline and parents, and how to improve academic results. Include keywords specific to teaching in your replies.

Add some real-life examples from your teaching experience to justify your strengths and points of view. Try to correlate your answers to the school’s philosophies on education and discipline.


The final stage of the interview is the conclusion. In this stage, you may ask questions about the position available, challenges faced by teachers, the school’s philosophies on education and discipline, and so forth.

Asking a couple of questions will demonstrate your interest in the job and give the interviewers further evidence of your research, your ability to think critically when provided with information, and your attention to detail.

What to Bring and What to Do

Present your portfolio/brag book during the interview, preferably after the first question is asked to give the interviewer(s) time to look at it. It should be about five pages long, divided into separate sections, in a three-ring binder. It should show your development in teaching skills over time.

There are key things to do to set you apart from other job applicants. Smile, act relaxed, and make eye contact; dress professionally, and be prepared to answer the questions. Understanding different types of interviewer styles will be helpful.

Demonstrate you have researched the school to provide knowledge about the district, its students, and the community it serves. Show enthusiasm and passion for teaching, treat everyone with respect. Communicate your personality, sell yourself, and send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of the interview.

What to Avoid:

There are some key things not to do:

  • Dress casual – in jeans and a T-shirt
  • Use foul language
  • Forget to shake hands and make eye contact.
  • Act arrogant or be critical of other teachers
  • Show up late
  • Ramble on
  • Ignore or be disrespectful to the receptionist
  • Focus every answer on your own children
  • Act surprised and upset by the requirements of the job

Worst things to say during an interview include:

  • “I’m desperate to get a job…”
  • “I don’t know the answer to that question.”
  • “I will only teach _____________.”
  • “I don’t know anything about this district.”
  • “I hated my last boss.”
  • “I will need to take these days off…”
  • “Have you been saved?”
  • “You know what I hate about teaching (or kids)?”

If you need help preparing for the interview or creating an accomplishment-based, keyword-rich, visually appealing resume and cover letter, contact us. Candace enjoys making sure teachers and other educators have the tools they need to make their next career move.

Are you prepared for your upcoming interview? Do you want to learn what questions you can expect?

Visit our career eBook store to find out more about the eBooks we sell, containing 152 interview questions and answers for teachers or school administrators.