If you’ve been lucky enough in your search for teaching assistant jobs to be called in for an interview, just know that you’ve got one foot in the door already because they like you enough to interview you. Now is the time to impress your future employers to land your dream job as a teaching assistant! Interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences for many people, and are often the reason why they fail to get the nod for the job. However, we’re here to help you get over any nerves and worries so you can achieve your dream of becoming a teaching assistant (TA). Continue reading our guide to discover the four easy steps you can take to secure the role as a TA.
Prepare for questions you’ll face
In an interview you’re obviously going to be asked a series of questions related to the job you’ve applied for, so it’s best practice to prepare for them. The interview process will vary from school to school, but it will generally consist of a getting to know you section before jumping into the key questions.
What type of questions will you be asked then?
Why do you want to be a teaching assistant?
What makes you think you’ll be a good teaching assistant?
What made you apply to join this school?
How would you deal with a disruptive student?
How do you ensure the safety of the students?
You may also be asked what a good lesson looks like to you, and any experience you have with a classroom or with childcare. Practice your answers to these questions over and over again to prepare yourself to ace them.
What you should take with you
As important as it is to prepare for the questions you’ll face, the things you take with you are just as key. So, what should you take with you to the interview?
Copy of your CV
DBS check (if required)
Pen and paper (or notepad)
A lesson plan to show how prepared you are
Showing up with these items will show the employers how organised and professional you are, especially if you take along a lesson plan. Showing the school that you’re capable of creating lesson plans without being asked shows initiative and a certain level of skill and confidence to take control of a classroom should you ever need to.
Prepare for an assessment
Not all schools will ask you to perform a task with children, but it is a common occurrence lately. This would involve dropping you into a group session with children in a classroom and assessing you while you converse with them.
You may receive some guidance from the interviewers ahead of the assessment, telling you what to do. If you’re a more experienced individual, you may actually be asked prior to the interview to prepare for an assessment of this type.
The best preparation you can do is to gain experience working with children, or helping them complete tasks. You can do this by volunteering at local social centres, or other types of educational settings. With this experience, you’re likely to excel at the assessment stage of an interview.
Questions you should ask
Finally, you’ll probably be asked if there’s anything you want to ask at the end of the interview. This stumps a lot of people, so consider these questions as options for you to use.
What is a typical day like for a TA at this school?
What is the culture of the school?
What are your expectations of me?
Are there any extracurricular activities that I could take part in?
What does the school do to offer professional development and growth opportunities?
Asking any of these is likely to prompt great answers from the employers. They’re interesting questions to ask too, so you’ll stick in their mind once the interview is over. Good luck!