How to Ace Your SEND Teaching Assistant Job Interview

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • Strategies to ace your SEND teaching assistant job interview.
  • Questions to ask at the end of your SEND Teaching Assistant job interview.
  • Where the latest SEND Teaching Assistant jobs are and how to apply for them. 

SEND Teaching Assistant’s hold a crucial place in education, as champions for children with special educational needs. They use their skills to help shape the future of every student they encounter and ensure inclusivity and support.

During a SEND Teaching Assistant job interview, it is important for individuals to demonstrate their passion, experience and knowledge of the industry. Every prospective employer wants to see that you are genuinely interested in working for them and that you have the skills necessary to gain the position.

Preparing for a SEND Teaching Assistant job interview? Learn 5 strategies to help you succeed, impress the hiring panel and secure the job! 

How to succeed in your SEND Teaching Assistant job interview

Five strategies to succeed in your SEND Teaching Assistant job interview include: 

  1. Do your research.
  2. Know your goals and aspirations.
  3. Emphasise relevant experience.
  4. Understanding of safeguarding.
  5. Ask follow up questions.

Do your research

No doubt when you go to your SEND Teaching Assistant job interview, one of the common SEN interview questions you will be asked is ‘What do you know about the school?’ This means it is imperative that you be knowledgeable not only of the role but also of your prospective employer.

You don’t want to be in the awkward position of having not done any research on the school, setting or role. It is common practice to research beforehand, otherwise it could place you further behind other candidates competing for the same role.

As part of the research process, candidates might decide to visit the school before the interview to meet the team and some of the children, as well as gain a feel of where you will be working. This could be your first chance to make a good impression, show your enthusiasm and be remembered.

In your research, discover the challenges facing SEND Teaching Assistants and the SEND system, and the latest figures and statistics.

Before the interview, re-read the job and person specification to really help you understand who the hiring manager is looking for and what you can bring to the role. Look at the schools social media channels, website, OFSTED reports and their policies to gain an understanding of their ethos.

Know your goals and aspirations

It is important to be able to demonstrate your motivations and your ultimate goal. Before the interview, prepare a list summarising why you want to be a SEND Teaching Assistant and your future plans or aspirations. 

In your answer, show your passion and enthusiasm for the role and the industry and state your career goals. There are many career paths to progress to such as a SEND Teacher, Teacher, SENCO or even a Headteacher.

Preparing some answers will help you to articulate your future plans better and allow you to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are passionate about the education sector but also about your own career progression.

It will also help you to demonstrate your future plans and how they would benefit or impact the potential employer. Employers like to see ambition and this would be an example of how you have done your research to see ways you can progress in the education and SEND sector.

Emphasise relevant experience

Having experience in education and SEND is highly desirable for the role of a SEND Teaching Assistant. Candidates with relevant experience in teaching, special education, caring for children, or SEN are expected to mention the positive impact it had.

Highlight any relevant experience you have working with individuals with special educational needs and the knowledge you applied to those situations. Draw on your experiences and discuss specific situations or cases where you've made a positive impact and what you have learnt from your experiences in the education and SEND environment so far.

There are many questions in your SEND Teaching Assistant job interview that you will only be able to answer if you have already worked in the SEN environment.

Some questions in the interview might ask for more specific examples of how your experience has enabled you to make decisions regarding children’s safety or learning or your ability to react or adapt to a situation.

Understanding of safeguarding

For your SEND Teaching Assistant interview, it is vital that you have an in-depth understanding of the responsibilities that come with safeguarding children. In your interview you will be asked common safeguarding interview questions and answers and you will be required to show your understanding of child protection principles.

In your interview, you might discuss boundaries and inappropriate behaviour and you might be asked for your views on your values and ethics. It is important that SEND Teaching Assistants have knowledge and understanding of safeguarding and provide examples of their experience.

Candidates will be expected to stress the importance of making sure children are happy, healthy and safe, with learning as a priority. Safeguarding and child protection can bring up many challenges and obstacles, therefore it is important to be able to highlight your self-management skills and ability to deal with difficult or emotional situations or behaviour. 

Ask follow up questions

Always have questions prepared to show a prospective employer that you are enthusiastic about the position and to nicely round off the interview! This is your opportunity to ask specific questions to gain more information about the role, the school or the company culture.

Depending on what you have discussed in the interview, highlight your confidence and knowledge of the sector and your desire to learn more about the role. Asking questions in your interview will show your willingness, commitment and desire to learn more about this opportunity.

There are a lot of possible questions you can ask at the end of your interview to demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in the role. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer about the school's approach to inclusive education, the specific needs of the students you'll be working with, and the team dynamics.

Ask questions that tell you more about the job itself and to hopefully determine whether it’s an establishment that you’d be happy to work in. 

Questions to ask in your SEND Teaching Assistant interview

Examples of questions to ask at the end of your SEND Teaching Assistant job interview include:

  • What resources are available to me to help support students?
  • Can you tell me about your school’s approach to parent engagement?
  • How will I be evaluated and supported in my professional development?
  • What type of support will I receive from the teacher I am working with?
  • Are there any plans to change the structure of support staff within the school in the near future?
  • Are there any opportunities to progress within the school?

SEND recruitment services

As an award winning SEND recruitment agency, we support Local Authorities and schools with their recruitment needs, whether that be for SEN Teaching Assistant or a Head of SEND! Check out our education recruitment services now!

SEND Teaching Assistant jobs

If you're seeking your next SEND Teaching Assistant job, contact our Managing Consultant, Jamie Heath, to learn about the best daily cover, permanent and temp-perm jobs available with us now! Or simply upload your CV to receive notifications when relevant job opportunities become available.

Meet Jamie Heath

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

For the last 6 years, we have been working to innovate and reshape the recruitment industry to defy expectations. From our offices in the north west to the way we conduct business, we are passionate about evoking positive change for all.

We’re constantly thinking of ways to create a better recruitment experience that isn't just about matching candidates and clients. Recruitment to us is about being able to boost a candidate's salary, as well as improve their standard of living, better their work life balance and prioritise their mental health. 

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