Expert advice

Questions asked, questions answered… brilliantly!

Marline Al Koura
Principal at St Patrick's High School

You’ve landed the interview for your dream job and have prepared as best as you can! You are excited! You are happy! You are nervous! You might be over-thinking how you will answer the questions or perhaps you are worried that you will experience the dreaded “brain block”. How do you proceed? Here are a few tips to help you get through the interview.

When asked a question, make sure you understand what you are being asked before you begin to answer. If you are uncertain, ask the interviewer to repeat the question or to clarify the part you don’t understand. Sometimes using a clarifying statement such as “when you say…., do you mean…?”


When answering a question, avoid starting with “That’s a good question.” The interviewer is not looking for affirmation but rather insight into who is the person they are speaking with. Each question is looking to formulate a full picture of the teacher we are seeking to hire.


The interview will often begin with an icebreaker type of question, be it talking about yourself, your work or education background and/or teaching experience. Be clear, be concise and try to stick to key points (e.g. Bachelor of Arts in French and Psychology from Queen’s University; Bachelor of Education (with the FSL Option) in Primary and Junior from the University of Ottawa and a Master in Education from the University of Ottawa). Have some key experiences ready to share and try to share information in a chronological order. Make sure you highlight experiences that are relevant to the position you are applying for.