Becoming a Teaching Assistant (TA) is not only a rewarding experience but also a significant step in your education journey. TAs support young people who need additional help in the classroom. It is a fulfilling and engaging role where no two days are the same.


If you’ve recently completed your TA qualification, the next thing to do is find a position that aligns with your skills and preferences. With hundreds of other applicants, it’s important that you nail your interview. If you’ve been invited for a Teaching Assistant interview, you’ve already got one foot in the door of your new role. The school knows you’re qualified and the interview is an opportunity for you seal the deal.


As an education recruitment agency, we aim to provide valuable insights and tips on how to prepare effectively for TA interviews, along with common questions that you might encounter during the process.

What to expect during your TA interview


The process of your Teaching Assistant (TA) interview may vary depending on the job you’re applying for. Typically, it consists of two main components.


Firstly, you’ll encounter a traditional interview setting with one, two to three interviewers. They will aim to get to know you better by asking questions about your background, experiences, and suitability for the role. The interview panel might include individuals such as Headteachers, Teachers, or current Teaching Assistants. They’ll likely take turns asking you questions and may jot down notes for reference. Questions may cover various topics, including classroom management, handling difficult behaviours, and providing constructive feedback. Be prepared to elaborate on the information provided in your application and demonstrate readiness to tackle different scenarios.


Secondly, there’s often a practical assessment involved. This could entail planning, preparing and delivering a 1:1 activity, small group activity or a whole class session. The Teaching Assistant interview task will normally be outlined in the offer letter. Click here to learn more about possible TA interview tasks and how to prepare.


At the end of the interview, you’ll typically have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the role or the school. This is your chance to gain further insight and showcase your enthusiasm.

Research and understand the role


Researching the role of a Teaching Assistant (TA) before an interview is important. Make sure you read the job and person specification. It is key to know what the employer is looking for and to make sure you can talk about how you fit this specification. It is likely that the person interviewing you will ask questions linked to the job description so ensure you read it and show how you are a good fit for the role.


Understanding the responsibilities and expectations associated with the position enables candidates to assess whether they have the necessary skills and qualifications for the position. By delving into the specifics of the role, TAs can gauge whether they align with their own career aspirations and capabilities, ensuring a good fit for both the candidate and the school. Familiarise yourself with the course or subject you’ll be assisting with, the teacher’s teaching style, and any specific duties outlined for TAs.


Conducting research demonstrates a proactive and engaged approach to the interview process. It shows potential employers that you are genuinely interested in the role and committed to making a valuable contribution to the school or educational setting. This can leave a positive impression on interviewers, setting you apart from others who may not have invested the same level of effort in preparing for the interview.


Researching the role also allows you to tailor your responses during the interview to align with the specific needs and expectations of the school. By gaining insights into the school’s ethos, policies, and teaching methods, candidates can articulate how their skills and experiences make them well-suited to support the school’s educational objectives and values.

Showcase relevant experience


Highlight any relevant experience you have that aligns with the TA role. This could include previous teaching or tutoring experience, leadership roles in academic settings, or relevant coursework. Emphasise your ability to communicate effectively, assist students, and facilitate learning.


Interviewers are interested in hearing about situations where candidates have addressed challenges or facilitated positive outcomes in the classroom. Be ready to provide specific examples of how you’ve handled various situations related to teaching and student support.


Prepare examples of situations you’ve encountered that demonstrate your problem-solving skills, ability to work in a team, and adaptability in different scenarios. This will show your ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world settings.

Brush up on your subject knowledge


Refresh your understanding of the subject you’ll be assisting with. TAs often work closely with Teachers to support students in various subjects, so having a solid understanding of the subject matter enhances your ability to effectively support students and contribute to classroom activities.


To prepare for the interview, TAs should review key concepts, principles, and topics related to the subject they will be assisting with. This may involve revisiting textbooks, online resources, lesson notes, past assignments, or other educational materials. TAs should also familiarise themselves with the curriculum and learning objectives for the specific grade level they will be working with, as this will provide context for their role in supporting student learning.

Stay calm and collected


Interviews can be a bit nerve-wracking but it’s important to control the nerves the best you can. Preparation is key to reducing stress levels. By researching the role, reviewing common interview questions and practicing, you will feel more prepared and ready for the interview. During the interview, take deep breaths and use positive self-talk. Remember to speak slowly, clearly and maintain eye contact with the interviewer.


It can be a good idea to do something to reduce your stress before the interview like some meditation or listening to your favourite music. Also remember that interviews are not just an assessment of your skills and qualifications. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the role and if you want to work at the school. This can help you view the interview as a two-way conversation and put you in a more relaxed and open mind set.

Ask Questions


Don’t forget that the interview is also an opportunity for you to learn more about the role and the school. Prepare some thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer either during or after the interview.


Here are some questions TAs can consider asking:


  • Can you provide more information about the day-to-day responsibilities of the TA role?
  • How does the TA collaborate with Teachers and other staff members in the classroom?
  • What opportunities are available for professional development and growth within the TA role?
  • Can you describe the student population I’ll be working with and any specific needs or challenges they may have?
  • How is student progress monitored and assessed, and what role does the TA play in this process?
  • What support systems are in place for TAs, both in terms of onboarding and ongoing support?
  • Can you tell me more about the school’s approach to inclusivity and diversity, and how TAs contribute to creating an inclusive learning environment?
  • What technology or resources are available to TAs to support their work in the classroom?
  • How does the school handle behaviour management, and what role does the TA play in supporting positive behaviour?
  • Is there anything else I should know about the role or the school that hasn’t been discussed?

Practice common interview questions


When preparing for your Teaching Assistant interview, it’s a good idea to run through some possible interview questions. This way you’ll be able to practice answers that might come up. This will make you more comfortable and prepared for the big day! While every interview is unique, there are common questions that TA candidates often encounter. Here are some examples:


  • Why did you decide to become a Teaching Assistant?
  • Why do you want to work at this school?
  • Why do you think you’d make a good teaching assistant?
  • What experience do you have working with students or in educational settings?
  • How do you support students who are struggling academically?
  • What strategies do you use to facilitate student engagement and participation?
  • Describe your approach to providing feedback to students on their work.
  • Can you discuss your understanding of safeguarding and child protection policies?
  • How do you build positive relationships with students, teachers, and parents/guardians?
  • Can you discuss your long-term career goals and how this role fits into your plans?



Scenario-based competency questions


As part of a TA interview, you will also be asked scenario-based questions to assess how you would handle certain situations. These questions are designed to assess the candidate’s problem-solving abilities, communication skills, empathy, and ability to handle various situations that may arise in a classroom setting. When responding to these questions, candidates should draw on their relevant experiences, demonstrate empathy and understanding, and provide practical solutions to address the scenarios presented.


  • A student is consistently disruptive during class, often interrupting the teacher and distracting other students. How would you handle this situation?
  • You notice a student struggling with a particular concept during a lesson. How would you provide support to help them understand?
  • A student confides in you about experiencing bullying from classmates. How would you respond and address the situation?
  • During a group activity, two students are not cooperating and are arguing with each other. How would you resolve the conflict?
  • A student with learning difficulties is feeling frustrated and discouraged with their progress. How would you motivate and encourage them?
  • A parent expresses concerns about their child’s academic progress and asks for your advice. How would you communicate effectively with the parent and offer support?

What should I bring to my TA interview?


It’s essential to have a copy of your original application on hand. Also be prepared to provide documents for your DBS check, such as a passport and utility bill, if requested. If unsure about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact the school for clarification.


If you’ve prepared an activity, ensure you have all necessary materials with you. It’s best not to rely on the school to provide them, as it could lead to last-minute adjustments to your plan. Bringing a notepad and pen is advisable, as you may want to jot down notes following the interview.


Remember, your interview begins before you meet the interviewers. First impressions matter, so arrive early and take the opportunity to interact with pupils and engage with administrative staff in a friendly manner. Making a positive impression on everyone you encounter sets a strong foundation for a successful interview experience.

Preparing for a Teaching Assistant interview requires thorough research, thoughtful preparation, and confident communication. By following the tips outlined and practicing common interview questions, you’ll be well-equipped to showcase your qualifications and secure the TA position you desire.


Remember to stay calm, be yourself, and demonstrate your passion for supporting students’ academic success. Good luck!


If you’re looking for a job as a Teaching Assistant, why not get in touch with our team? You can also click below to view our recent TA roles.


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