Prepare for a teaching interview lesson

A close up photo of two young children concentrating on the teacher talking through some instructions.

The interview lesson is an opportunity to demonstrate your teaching ability so it’s important to be prepared. We’ve spoken to experienced teachers to get their top tips for success.

Plan your lesson

Once you know the topic for your interview lesson, ask your mentor or colleagues for advice. Don’t make your lesson too complex, and you can use ideas and activities from textbooks or other sources. You’ll need to know about the class, specifically if there are any pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). If the school hasn’t provided this, ask!

Plan your presentation and any worksheets or resources you want to bring. You should check with the school what software and equipment they have. Most schools won’t let you use a USB stick, so agree in advance how you’ll send it to them.

Create a clear presentation

Make sure your presentation uses contrasting colours, an easy-to-read font, and ensure any instructions are clear and broken down into small steps. Try not to overload your slides with text: having lots of relevant images can make your presentation more engaging for pupils. It’s a good idea to plan differentiated activities or consider how you can support pupils of all abilities to achieve the learning objective.

Be mindful of time

To save time in the lesson, you could create resources that include the goals for the lesson and any activities. This means pupils will not waste time writing down the date, title, and lesson objective. You can also ask pupils to hand out the resources while you speak to the class. Pay attention to timings on the day, and don’t be afraid to divert from your lesson plan if it’s not working.

Be prepared on the day

On the day of the interview lesson, take three copies of your lesson plan, resources, and presentation to give to the observers. You should also bring spare equipment such as board pens and a board eraser. To make things more comfortable, ask for and use pupils’ names.

Stay positive

Ultimately, feel good about yourself and try and relax. You won’t be able to plan for every eventuality, but the panel wants to see how you cope in a classroom and how you adapt to changing situations.