Are you a teacher wondering what schools look for when interviewing you? Whether it’s your appearance, skills, attributes or just how you perform, teaching job interviews can be nerve racking. Learn these secrets and give yourself a greater opportunity of landing your dream teaching job.
First Impressions Count…
From the moment you arrive at the teaching job interview you are being assessed. When you are going for your teaching interview you have to think about what will make you stand out from the crowd, so dress smart. Teachers are advised to wear smart business dress clothes, e.g flat trousers or a knee length skirt and flat shoes, a colour is good, but not too much. Make sure you look neat and very presentable with a smile on your face. No one is going to employ you if you look scruffy and like you don’t want to be there.
Be a Soldier…
The army have a great phrase when it comes to preparation.
“Failure to prepare ….means you are preparing to fail!”
You must make a GREAT first impression not just a good one. Take time to research the school you have applied to. Review (even analyse) their website, OFSTED reports, league tables, twitter and facebook pages. There is SO much information at your disposal you simply have to scratch the surface. For every one hour of teaching you will normally spend 3 hours of planning and preparation. We advise you use the same ratio for interview and like you tell your students…. “do your homework!”
Visit and get a first impression
Visit the school before your interview. This will help you immensely! The drive, parking, signage and layout of the school can give you lots of clues before the interview. Use all available information on the environment. Ask yourself what will it be like to work in? and make use of it. Use the tour to pick up on relationships between student and staff. Look out for notice boards and how disciplined the students are in school. Take into account the school’s strength and weaknesses and subtly let them know how you will be an asset to their school.
Know your best competencies.
What do you think head teachers look for in a teaching job interview? You have to enjoy working with children, it’s not just about wanting to get that pay slip and the holidays! Head teachers will also be keen for you to demonstrate your teaching philosophy, experience, achievements (both in and out of school) and most importantly your personality. But getting the information across to the head is the challenge, giving meaningful and relative examples is critical and sets you apart from the crowd…OR doesn’t.
Have flexibility in your test drive!
Most if not all schools will make you teach as part of the interview process. This way they can see your ability to interact and perform with the students.
Key things to condersation:
- Keep a good pace of lesson.
- Be aware of differentiation, and always have additional work for the students who understand quickly.
- Make sure you review with Q and A so to demonstrate the students have grasp the learning objectives…even in 30 minute lesson.
Would you do anything differently?
After the lesson observation you will be asked for your feedback. Would you change anything? If you would TELL THEM! One positive every head teacher respects is when you can identify areas to improve and change for the better. We are not talking about re-inventing the wheel. But if you pitched your lesson too high or too low say so. Explain how you would change it if you were to do it again. The ability to reflect and understand how to improve is an excellent skill.
Team Player or Maverick?
It is critical that you work well both individually and within the department. The head teacher will ask you for examples of such experiences. Give specific details where you have been successful. Highlight your role in such situations. What was the goal or target? How did you helped the team achieve this? Other great examples of this may be hobbies, clubs and team sports that you may be involved in. Make sure your personality comes out with these conversations (head teachers are human beings as well!). You never know you may find common ground between the pair of you!
Most importantly be YOU.
Be confident, friendly with all staff and firm but friendly with the students. Make sure you display your energy and charisma during the interview process. If you are naturally reserved it is important you still present yourself and most importantly SMILE! Make conversation by having 2-3 questions about the school. Showing an interest in the recent school events is always a great ice breaker. Remember the teaching job interview doesn’t end until you are sat at home reflecting on your performance. So be observant with your surroundings. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do when the head teacher is stood next to you.
Get these area’s right and you are well on your way to achieving the perfect teaching job interview. Remember to smile, look smart, add your personality and magic, don’t be afraid to ask questions (interviewers love it when you show a genuine interest) and you will be well on your way to securing your perfect teaching job.
We are curious to know what you think. Are we right or completely wrong ? Let us know your comments below.