From what you wear to the top questions asked. The Always Flourishing consultants; Andy, Becky and Laura, have provided the ultimate guide to great interview success for your next teaching role using their experiences with many local schools. This blog covers the many aspects of an interview from the preparation stages right the way through to questions you should ask your potential employers.
The purpose of an interview is for leaders to assess your technical skills and competency for a teaching role. Preparing for an interview will develop your greater understanding of what's expected of you as a teacher and the type of school you will be working in. Being as fully prepared as possible may increase your chances of a 2nd stage interview or the offer of your ideal teaching job!
- Read The Job Description (More than Once) – The job description will tell you specifically what the school are looking for in a teacher, it will also tell you what's expected of you as an educator. We recommend printing off the job description and highlighting what skills and attributes they seek in their candidates. Once these are identified you can then confidently match your skills and attributes to that in the job description thus proving you are potentially the exact candidate they are looking for!
- Research the school – A positive way to show you are interested in working for a school is to know a significant amount of information about them. This information will also form the basis of any potential questions you may have for the employer. Key things to research are...
- Mission statement
- Vision and Values
- OFSTED report
- Recent School news
- Accomplishments and achievements
- Plan your outfit – Teaching is a profession where personal presentation is key. Smart and professional clothes should be ironed or dry cleaned beforehand and hair should be neat and tidy. Men: wear a tie if you are wearing a shirt.
- Plan your method of transport – Whether you own your own vehicle or if you are using public transport, planning your route is essential. Make sure you know the schools address before hand and be sure to take into consideration any poor weather or transportation issues such as traffic to make sure you are on time.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early – Punctuality is vital for making a good first impression for your potential employer.
- If you are late - If you are running call your education recruitment consultant at Always Flourishing and they can let the company know.
- Bring the appropriate documents – These will be specified by your recruitment consultant or the school.
Questions a school may ask a candidate in an interview
Q - If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see and hear?
A – Talk about animated discussions, students clearly making progress as evidenced in oral and written contributions. High quality visual displays of students' work showing progress. High levels of engagement. Behaviour that supports learning. Talk about your experiences in the classroom. Try to give the School a sense of the impact that you have had on pupils' achievement." Q - Can you tell me about a successful behaviour management strategy you have used in the past that helped engage a pupil or group of pupils?
A – This kind of question allows candidates to give a theoretical answer – one that anyone who swotted up could give you – balanced with a personal reflection that shows how effective you are. Q - Why do you want to work in this school?
A – Whoever interviews you, whether it's The Head Teacher or Head of Department, they want to see clear indications that candidates have done background work about the school and can talk about why the way the school work appeals to them. They always want candidates to have visited the school so they should be able to flesh this out with specific examples of what they thought based on their visit." Q - What elements of your practice as a teacher are you looking to develop further?
A- Think about the type of teacher you are aspiring to be and remember what makes an outstanding lesson. Remember to answer this in a positive way, rather than starting with a negative comment such as 'I am not very good at...' A question like this could also relate to additional teaching and learning responsibilities you would be keen to take on to progress your career further. Q - After time to reflect on your interview lesson, what did you feel went particularly well and what would you do differently next time?
A - Interviewers recognise that an interview lesson is unlikely to be the perfect lesson. However, showing the ability to reflect on your practice and use this to inform your planning and teaching in the future is what makes a great teacher. Teaching is journey of continuous learning and development! Q - What strategies do you use to motivate disengaged pupils and why?
A- Remember those positive behaviour management techniques or think of a real life example of a time you successfully managed to engage a disengaged pupil in your lesson.
Questions you should ask during an interview.
Having a series of questions to ask your interviewer will help you to understand life in the school and how you can benefit from the role. Here are some questions we recommend you ask during your interview.
- "If appointed and successful in the post what opportunities are there for progression within the school?"
- "What CPD (Continous Professional Development) opportunities will be available to me to develop in the role?"
- "What is the last person in the post doing now?"
- "What wider/specialised curriculum areas could I become involved with in this position?"
We hope you have taken the time to read through this handy blog and all of us here at Always Flourishing wish you all the best in finding your next role!