Questions at job interview - Special Needs Assistant
Questions candidates get asked in job interviews: Special Needs Assistant
We deal with hundreds of clients going for job interview each year – and we’re constantly asking them what they get asked.
This a collection of those very questions. We update it on an ongoing basis and hope you find it useful. If you would like to submit to us questions you’ve been asked, email

These are actual questions asked of our clients in job interviews

  • Tell us about your career to date.
  • What are your career goals?
  • Why  do you want to work in xxx School?
  • What do you believe your role would be on a daily basis?
  • How has previous experience/work prepared you for what we will require of you?
  • When were you most satisfied in your work?
  • Working in Special Education can involve dealing with meltdowns and particularly upsetting or confrontational situations. How do you deal with a crisis or volatile episode?
  • Why do you find Special Education an area that you want to work in?
  • An SNA may have an expectation of their duties/responsibilities – how flexible are you to meet a particular situation or unexpected need from a student?
  • What is your understanding of team work and the part an SNA plays in this?
  • What can you do for us that an other candidates can’t?
  • Are there any questions you would like to ask us?
  • Tell us a little about yourself, your educational and work background.
  • What type of duties do you expect to be carrying out?
  • Are there any type of duties which you would be unwilling to undertake?
  • Which health & safety needs of a student do you feel you must be aware of?
  • While teachers participate in curriculum training days, SNAs are required to be present in school, even though no students are present. How best would you use this time in such a way as would most benefit the pupils, class and school?
  • Explain how you feel your own experiences have left you well qualified for working in a special school.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your personal work goals?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What skills do you have which will enhance the classroom?
  • How do you see the role of the Special Needs Assistant (SNA)?
  • What will the role of the teacher be in relation to your duties?
  • What do you see as the most important issue in relation to the child/children?
  • How will you relate to parents?
  • What are the anxieties you may have about the position?
  • What do you see as your primary responsibility?
  • Any child needs to be part of a group. What could the SNA do to ensure this?
  • You will need to work with other children in the group, how will you manage this?
  • What do you see as the line of authority for the SNA?
  • If you have issues or questions, how will you address these?
  • How would you handle conflict?
  • What supports do you need for this position?
  • Have you any idea as to how you might keep a record of your work?
  • Are you willing to take courses or undertake reading in relation to the role?
  • If you have a question about the care of the child where will you get the information?
  • Your duties will include toileting and physical care of a child at some stage in your employment.  How will you carry out these duties?
  • What could be the issues in relation to toileting?
  • What would you suggest to overcome these problems?
  • If the child with special needs does not need your attention, what are the skills you could use in the classroom?
  • If a parent engages you in conversation in relation to a child or teacher, how would you handle this situation?
  • What is your understanding of confidentiality?
  • You may be required to spend 12 days in the school when the school is closed to carry out assigned duties.  How will you arrange these duties with the Principal?
  • Do you have any prior experience in working with children/children with disabilities?
  • What specific qualifications do you have?
  • Can you offer any future plans for courses and, if so, outline how these might help in work as SNA?
  • What are your personal interests and hobbies? How might these help in your work as an SNA?
  • Is there any clarification needed on the Duties & Conditions (applicants should have received a copy)?  Examples of difficulties could be shifts before and after school & extra days either before or end of term.
  • What is your understanding of who is responsible for assigning work to SNA/supervising work of SNA?
  • On a day to day basis, how do you see yourself carrying out work in the classroom and playground?
  • You are in the playground and see another pupil misbehaving – what do you do?
  • How would you handle a situation where you met a parent or a grandparent of a student out and about in your personal time? How would you maintain confidentiality?
  • What type of work relationship should as SNA have with a child/class teacher/principal/other staff members/parent of a child?
  • You are working with a specific child and have formed opinions on how the child can best be helped. What do you do?
  • What is your understanding of appropriate dress in the context of a school?
  • If you have a disagreement with a colleague, how will you solve this?
  • To whom are you ultimately responsible?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are the difficulties which could arise for you in this position?
  • Why should you be given this position over the other candidates?
  • Any questions in relation to the school or the role?
  • Any other questions?


Read more on why you should consider Slí Nua Careers for Interview Training HERE

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