Top Interview Techniques
20 November 2015
Getting great comments from your teachers and school team is a really lovely touch for your yearbooks and after 5+ years of teaching you guys, they probably have a huge amount of stories and memories to share. To help you get the juiciest gossip for your leavers book, give these top interview tactics a whirl:
1: Make an appointment. As a general rule teachers are busy people! So you’re not grabbing short comments from people whilst they’re unprepared, book a suitable time to sit down with your tutor or staff member so you can have a real conversation. Alternatively, you can draft a nice email with your questions in so teachers can look over them and write answers down for you at their leisure.
2:Before you start to grill your teacher on who their favourite students are, it’s best to set them at ease with the scenario. For most teachers, having you ask all the questions is a pretty big role reversal so start with something personal like ‘what did you want to be when you grew up’ or ‘Did you always want to be a teacher?’. This is a great conversation starter and shows an interest in what they have to contribute
3: Use open ended questions to ensure the conversation doesn’t dry up. Questions that start with how and why for example will keep people talking as they can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.
4: Remember those times in lesson when a teacher asks a question and nobody answers. Generally someone has to break the silence to stop that awkward feeling so sometimes being quiet can get people to contribute more. If you wait for 5 seconds after your interviewee stops speaking, usually that is enough of a silence to get them to think more about your last question and say a little more on the subject. If they don’t offer up any new insights you can move swiftly on to the next question.
5: Be prepared and have some questions on stand by. Some great example questions are:
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- How would you describe yourself when you were at school?
- What has been your favourite lesson to teach over the years?
- When you think of our year group, how would you describe us?
- Have you ever had a great comeback to a students remark that you couldn’t share? Can you tell us now?
- We’re currently casting votes to see who the year thinks is the best teacher. Who do you think should win?
- Have you ever given merits to your students in your own house group to try and sneak a few points ahead in the house competitions?
- What are your predictions for this years exam results?
- Who do you think will be the most successful member of our year group?
- What’s your favourite student quote from this year?
- How would you describe your teaching style?
- What were your first impressions of our year group back in year 7? Has your opinion changed since?
- If you could have a superpower, which would you choose?
- Most embarrassing teacher moment?
- Any words of advice for the leavers?
6: Always be respectful. If someone really doesn’t want to answer a question, move on to a new topic. Harassing for answers is a sure fire way to end the conversation!
7: Take notes and be sure to let your teachers know how their answers will be handled. If you need to snip some text out to meet your word count, do check that’s ok so no answers are taken out of context
Once you’ve got your answers, it’s up to you how you present this info in your book. You could create a profile style layout for your staff members or go for more of an article style design. For loads of awesome design ideas, do check out our album on Facebook or on our epic Pinterest board: