Interview Questions

Principalship Questions
  • Tell us why you think you are suitable for this job as principal.
  • What is your educational background to date?
  • What leadership experience have you?
  • What role has the school in the community?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Behaviour management in the school.
  • Is there any recent special education legislation that you are familiar with.
  • What would you do if an angry parent came to the door?
  • What would you do if there was conflict between staff members?
  • How would you deal with a staff member who is continuously late?
  • What would you do if a parent didn't want their child to participate in religion?
  • Is there anything extra you would like to add?

Encourage people who have attended interview recently to complete the link below.

Deputy Principal
  • What do you understand as the duties involved in the role of deputy principal?
  • What would you see as the biggest challenge in the role?
  • What time does the school day begin and end for you?
  • How would you support the principal?
  • What experience or qualities would you bring to the role?
  • What is your vision for the school going forward?
  • How would you continue to develop the school's ethos/spirituality? (Catholic school)
  • Thinking of the school's last incidental, what would you do to make improvements to the planning/teaching standards?
Not all interviews are the same as the questions are formulated by individual interview panels. Therefore we have shared a link below. If you have attended interview for the position of deputy principal please complete and we can add to the list. This will help to remove the fear for others hoping to secure a position as a deputy principal.

Teaching Positions
  • Tell us a little about yourself.
  • What words would you use to describe yourself as a teacher?
  • Are there areas in your professional development that you would like to develop in the future?
  • What cpd have you taken part in? How has you CPD impacted your teaching? Is cpd important in your opinion?
  • What kind of teacher are you?
  • What do you want people to think when they enter your class?
  • In one word, how would you describe your teaching style?
  • How would you deal with conflict in a school?
  • Are you a team player? Explain.
  • What do you think makes a good school?
  • There are currently a lot of vacancies, what made you decide to apply for this one?
  • What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a teacher to date?
Teaching & Learning
  • What would you do with your class for the first 20 minutes of the school day?
  • What qualities do you think make for a successful and effective school?
  • What is your favourite subject to teach and why?
  • What subjects (if any) would be your least favourite to teach?
  • What is your understanding of what makes good teaching and learning?
  • As a qualified trained teacher (or as a Newly Qualified Teacher NQT) what is your understanding of the requirements for planning your work in the classroom?
  • If a child doesn’t show signs of improvement after all your planning, monitoring, assessing etc, what would you do next?
  • Role of the SNA?
  • Have you worked or have you experience with pupils who have Special Needs?
  • Would you be open to working in Learning Support/Resource teaching?
  • Have you experience of Aistear?
  • Are you familiar with and what is your opinion on the new language curriculum?
  • Regarding the music curriculum, what would a child be expected to know at the end of 1st class?
  • Tell me about an Irish lesson that went well.
  • As a mainstream teacher how would you attend to the needs of a child with special needs?
  • In which subject area do you feel you would benefit from more training?
  • How would you layout your classroom for children will special needs?
  • How would you use local history to promote a love of history in the classroom?
  • How important are the arts subjects?
  • How would you include a child with Autism in your classroom?
  • What are the benefits of team teaching?
  • What are the challenges of team teaching?
  • Give an example of a time you used compassion in the classroom?
  • How long would you factor oral language into your weekly timetable?
  • Is the development of oral language important?
  • Talk us through an oral language lesson you have taught to Junior Infants?
  • What initiative have you used in either literacy or numeracy?


  • How would you differentiate a maths lesson for a child that was struggling with a certain concept?
  • In your planning, how would you include Differentiation of work?


  • What assessment do you think is important in the infant classroom?
  • Tell us what your understanding and experience is of Assessment For Learning (AFL) and Assessment Of Learning (AOL).


  • How would you deal with an irate parent?

Specific to Special Education

  • In your opinion what makes a good resource teacher?
  • Can you explain how you benefited from doing the July education programme?
  • What strategies have worked for you when teaching children with ASD?
  • How would you go about preparing and IEP for a child with ASD/dyspraxia/speech & language difficulties?
  • Have you experience of in class support?

Specific to DEIS School

  • What are the advantages of working in a DEIS school?
  • What attributes must a teacher have when teaching in a DEIS school?

Child Protection

  • What is your understanding of the Child Protection Guidelines in schools? (i.e. What must a teacher do if they suspect something re: a pupil or have a disclosure made to them by a pupil).
  • What would you do if a child disclosed serious information to you?
  • What is the role of the Liason Person?
  • How to deal with a child who was hurt while supervising in the yard?
 Behaviour/Classroom Management
  • How would you deal with challenging behaviour?
  • What type of behaviour system(s) would you favour in your classroom?
  • How would you cope with a child constantly interrupting the lesson?
  • How would you deal with bullying?
  • What would you do if your strategies for behaviour management were not succeeding?
  • How would you deal with consistent behavioural problems?
  • How would you deal with an over talkative child?
  • What sanctions would you use in an infants classroom?
  • What classroom management strategies would you use?
  • What strategies would you use to teach a very disruptive child?
  • How would you manage a multi grade classroom?


  • How do you plan? What do you include in your plans?
  • How important is planning?
Céist as Gaeilge
  • An bhfuil tú compordach agus muiníneach gaeilge a mhúineadh trid gaeilge?
  • Cad a chéapann tú faoi 'Bua na Cainte'? Ar bhain tú úsáid as? Inis dom faoi seo.
  • Conas a chuirfidh tú Gaeilge a chur chun cinn do na paistí sa naíonáin?
  • How would you support the ethos of this school?
  • What is your understanding of the Catholic ethos?
  • How could you integrate the community into your teaching?
  • What is the role of the teacher in a catholic school?
  • Can you tell us how you would promote the Catholic ethos in your classroom?
  • How would you feel about teaching a sacrament class?
  • What would you do if you had children who opt out of religious instruction in your class?
  • What is your experience using the new 'Grow in Love' Religion Programme?
  • By looking at your classroom, how could you tell that this was a Catholic school?
  • What resources would you expect to use in a Religion long term plan?
  • What do you understand about the Educate Together ethos?

Dealing with Parents

  • How would deal with an irate parent?
  • How would you communicate with parents?
  • What would you do if an angry parent arrived at the door?
  • How would you deal with a parent who comes to your classroom during lessons to complain about something?

Extra Curricular

  • Do you have a particular interest in some area that you would be happy to pursue as a curricular activity or extra-curricular activity with the children in the school?
  • Music: Can you play an instrument? - Would you be confident enough to teach/accompany children with singing songs in performances/assemblies/religious celebrations etc? Would you feel qualified enough to assist/lead with revamping the school plan for music?
  • Sport/other area: Would you be willing to make a contribution in this area
  • What can you offer to the development of the school?

Other Staff

  • How would you develop a rapport with other staff members in the staff room?
Concluding the Interview
  • What is your greatest achievement in teaching to date?
  • Give us 3 reasons why you should get the job.
  • Have you any questions for us?


It is important to note that not all interviews are the same as the questions are formulated by individual interview panels. Therefore we have shared a link below. If you have attended interview please complete and add to the list of questions already listed. Only include questions not already on our list.