Interviews can be really nerve-wracking, especially for educators looking to secure their next teaching position. Now factor in having to complete the interview online because you’re moving continents, and it can be even harder to sell yourself. This is why it’s so important to use every single opportunity to make a good impression.

That being said, interviews are not just about showcasing your qualifications and experience; they’re also a chance for you to gather crucial information about the school, its culture, and whether it aligns with your professional goals and values. To help you navigate this process effectively, the team at Teacher Horizons has compiled a list of questions you should consider asking during your next teaching interview.

Can you tell me about the school’s educational philosophy and values?

This is a vital one to help you judge whether you’re aligned with the school. You might want to follow it up with a question about how they drew these statements up and who was involved in the conversation. This will tell you a lot about what kind of organisation you’re thinking about joining. In our eyes, including students in these decisions is a big plus point for the school.

What professional development opportunities are available for teachers?

As we all know, CPD is super important for teachers to ensure that we can stay up-to-date with how to best support our students. It’s also something that some schools prioritise more than others. Inquiring about professional development opportunities demonstrates your commitment to ongoing growth and improvement.

teacher interview

How does the school support inclusion?

Knowing this will also help you understand more about the school. Asking about the school’s initiatives and support systems for diverse learners demonstrates your commitment to inclusion. 

Be careful here, though. Some international schools are more able to be inclusive than others, and whilst we may wish this didn’t have to be the case, sometimes the hands of the SLT are tied by the decisions of the state or country where the school is located. 

What resources are available to support teaching and learning?

Access to resources such as technology, textbooks, and classroom materials can make a huge difference to your ability to deliver excellent lessons. Understanding the school’s resource allocation can help you assess whether you’ll have the support you need to excel in your role. 

Having said that, some international schools are unable to enjoy as many resources as others due to their geographical location and other limiting factors, and these should be taken into consideration. As a Teacher Horizons teacher, you’re bound to be aware that there are different types of teaching experiences across the world, and you should always be sensitive to these when you’re asking teacher interview questions.

How does the school integrate with the local community?

This is an important one if you are moving somewhere completely new. The most successful international school teams are sensitive to the culture and lifestyles of the people they work alongside, and you will be hoping for them to have a clear strategy for including local people and resources in the lives of the teachers and students.

It will also give you an idea of how you can go about tailoring your practice to fit the community the school is part of: maybe you can look into local specialists to work with the students, or perhaps there are potential school trips that might inspire you.

How does the school promote collaboration among teachers?

We all love a bit of collaboration, right?! As much as it can seem tiresome to have yet another meeting, working together is essential for sharing best practices, problem-solving, and fostering a supportive professional community. Asking about collaboration opportunities demonstrates your interest in working as part of a team.

questions for teacher interview

What is the school’s approach to student discipline and behaviour management?

This can be a bit of sensitive subject, and again there is a vast range of practices across the world. If you hold strong views about how teachers should manage behaviour, it’s worth knowing what the school’s approach is sooner rather than later.

How does the school assess student progress and success?

As we all know, this can vary hugely between schools, and often is informed by the curriculum or the requirements of the country where the school is. I taught at an international school where each student was summatively assessed every fortnight. I also taught somewhere where teachers had full control over assessments. It’s worth knowing what the expectations will be before you sign up.

questions to ask in interview

Can you describe the support system for new teachers?

This is such an important one for international school teachers! If we are relocating to another part of the world, it can be really reassuring to know what to expect when we arrive. Schools should have a clear plan for their orientation and settling-in process, and finding these out early on can really help with the decision about whether to take the leap to teach in a whole new country.

What do you enjoy most about working at this school?

The answer to this question might be the most valuable of them all. It can be really telling to hear how people respond, especially if you are talking to several members of the team as part of the interview process.

(On this note, beware of reading too much into reviews of schools online – often only the most disgruntled teachers actually bother to sit down and write a review, so take everything with a pinch of salt, unless there is a clear trend suggesting a common issue.)

You can always ask to talk to a teacher in the department you’re joining in order to find out what life is like ‘on the ground’ instead of just from the members of the team who are interviewing you.

teacher job interview questions


Preparing thoughtful questions to ask during a teaching interview is just as important as preparing answers to the interviewer’s questions. By asking insightful questions, you demonstrate your interest in the school and gain valuable information to help you make an informed decision about whether the position is the right fit for you. We hope you find the questions we listed useful!

Remember that you can also ask your International Adviser at Teacher Horizons for help in preparing for an interview: just reach out to them via email and they can support you in doing the very best you can.

Good luck!

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Written by Camilla Cook
Camilla has been working in education for the past sixteen years, teaching English in the UK, El Salvador, Thailand, and Tanzania. She participated in the Teach First Programme in 2005, and went on to support another Teach First teacher in her efforts to set up The Literacy Pirates, an education charity working to develop the literacy, confidence, and perseverance of young people referred for extra support by their teachers. As their first Director of Learning, she was responsible for planning, leading, and evaluating the learning programmes. She has worked as the Head of Language and Literature in international schools for the past five years, and is now living in Brighton with her husband and two children, attempting to reacclimatise to the weather by cycling around as much as possible and eating lots of ice cream.
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