Picture the scenario – you’ve found what looks like the perfect job. You send off your application and manage to secure an interview. All you need to do is survive an hour of questions, maybe a lesson observation, and you’ll land your dream role.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Even though teachers are used to classrooms full of pupils and handling difficult parents, even the most competent and confident educator can fall flat during an interview.
So, here’s 10 tips for ‘teaching’ a job interview.
- Research the school
Check out the school’s website, discover its vision and values, see what recent events have taken place and look for its last Ofsted report. All this information will show that you are genuinely interested in the school.
- Define your unique selling points
For every interview, identify three selling points that show why you are the ideal candidate for the job. Back this up with real-world examples of how you have applied your positive attitude or in-depth expertise at work.
- Prepare for common questions
Most of the time, questions used at teaching interviews are quite standard. So, prepare your responses in advance to sound more confident.
- Be a STAR
Frame your answers by being a STAR:
- Situation – what situation applies to the question?
- Task – what was your responsibility?
- Activity – what did you actually do?
- Result – what was the impact of your actions?
- Prepare your own questions
Failing to prepare your own questions could make it appear as though you aren’t that ambitious or interested in the job. Typical questions asked by teaching job interviewees revolve around career development opportunities, support processes, marking and feedback policy, and school attrition rates.
- Expect inappropriate questions
Remember that you’re well within your rights to call out questions about your race, age, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation. If you encounter inappropriate questions, ask why its relevant to your application.
- Have a positive mindset
Avoid dwelling on negative experiences or colleagues. Instead, adopt a positive mindset and concentrate on why you want the job. This could range from progressing your career to having the chance to work in a different context.
- Be conscious of your body language
Although your question responses are of the utmost importance, your body language will also speak volumes. So remember to make eye contact at all times, give a firm handshake, sit up straight and speak clearly throughout.
- Know your own CV and application
Seeing as the interviewer may want to explore your CV and application in more depth, make sure you know what you wrote on both. You should be able to talk confidently about any experience, initiatives and achievements, otherwise the interviewer could suspect you’re not who you said you were.
- Never give up
Even if you go for an interview but don’t get the job, this doesn’t mean to say the experience was wasted or not worthwhile. Remember to email or call the interviewer to ask for feedback. This will stand you in good stead for the next one.