How to: Prepare for a teaching interview

How to Prepare for a Teaching Interview

Having trained as a teacher in 2009 I’ve been to my share of teaching interviews, and managed to get myself a range of great teaching jobs as a result.

First of all, if you’re shortlisted for interview you’ve clearly made an excellent application and the school want to hear more about you. Play to your strengths; they already think there’s something special about you, all you have to do is prove that to them!

Here are my 5 tips for how best to prepare for a teaching interview:

1.  Use the person specification/job description

Read through your application letter again. Make note of the way you sold yourself, you don’t want to be caught out if questioned about something you said that you can’t recall!

Make sure you also read through the person specification/job description again. Making sure you are familiar with these will help you prepare answers about how best you fulfill these roles.

2. School website

Find out if the school has a website. If it does, visit it. Pay attention to any pages that tell you about how the school is organised, the way that the curriculum is approached and generally any information about the school.

Do your research; make sure you know as much as you can about the school and it’s values. Use this knowledge to help formulate answers about how you can support this ethos/develop it in the future.

2. Ofsted report

The next port of call for me is usually the Ofsted website. By reading the school’s most recent Ofsted report you can see where the school is at, and what targets they’re now working on. If you can how you’d help achieve these targets into an interview answer you’ll stand out as having really researched the school.

4. Note your strengths

Make a list of all your strengths, writing them down and re-reading the list helps keep them at the forefront of your mind, making them easier to recall when questioned about them!

Try to think of one weakness/area to improve on, it’s a common question that you’ll get asked. Phrase your weakness as something that the school can help you work on with continued professional development.

5. Dress smartly

Don’t roll up to the interview dressed as you would for day-to-day teaching. You need to make a good impression so smart is the way forward. Ladies, a suit or blazer over smart dress work well. For men, you can’t go wrong with a smart suit and tie.

Make sure that shoes are polished, clothes are ironed and hair and makeup are neat and understated (nobody wants to employ a teacher with goth-tastic eyeliner!) Similarly if you have visible tattoos, make sure they are covered for the interview.

 

Follow the steps above and keep calm. It’s OK to be nervous, I find focusing on my breathing, taking a few deep breaths really helps. (I can also vouch for these tips working; last Wednesday they helped me get a brand new teaching position at a local school!)

Most importantly, though, good luck!

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