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How to Secure that Position with Confidence

Whether it is for a permanent job, maternity cover or supply work, your interview technique will be essential for securing that all important position. Here are Amy's some top tips for interview success. 

Top Tips for Interview - How to secure that Position with Confidence!


Making a Good First Impression

  • Do not be late! Basically, if you are late, you will probably not be offered a position. Plan your route using Google Maps and leave at least half an hour of extra time in case of delays. It's always a good idea to miss the rush hour traffic.
  • Know about the school! Read up on the school website or the prospectus beforehand and be sure that you want to work there.
  • Dress Code - There's no doubt about it, you will need to dress to impress. That means wearing a well fitting suit and smart shoes. There are certain interview no-no's. If you are female, do not wear shoes that are too high, a skirt that is to short or a top that is low cut. Your school will want to know that you are professional.
  • Smile! A genuine smile shows the interviewer that you really do want to be there.
  • Body language - Have a firm steady hand shake and make eye contact.


During the School Tour

Most schools take you on a tour of the school site before your interview takes place. Remember that the interview has already started at this point. You will be watched on everything, from your interaction with pupils to your reactions and questions about the school itself.

If you are being taken on tour by students, make sure that you take an interest in them. Call them by name and ask them questions about themselves and school life. Quite often, Head Teachers and Senior Leaders will ask students for their opinion on new staff. Sometimes they might even use a student interview panel!


The Lesson

Many schools ask you to do a lesson during the interview day, so that they can observe you teaching. Here are some top tips on the interview lesson:

  • Produce a full lesson plan and set of differentiated resources for the observer.
  • Use names to praise and re-focus students.
  • Make the objectives of the lesson clear to the interviewer and students.
  • Ensure that you can measure progress and demonstrate that progress has been made e.g. by levelling a piece of written work. You could also conduct a quiz at the start and end to show an improvement in learning and knowledge.


The Interview

The interview itself is probably the most nerve-racking part of the day. The key to interview success is preparation and confidence.

  • Prepare several concrete examples prior to your interview, such as an outstanding lesson, a student you have influenced and an extra curricular activity you have taken part in.
  • Sit back in your chair so that your are comfortable and have good posture.
  • Do drink water during your interview, and don't be scared to pause for a moment of thinking time rather than blurt out the first thing that comes into your head.
  • Be prepared to evaluate your lesson if you taught on interview day.
  • If you are asked something difficult, you can say "Do you mind if I have a few seconds to think about that?"
  • Body language is also crucial in interview. To increase your confidence during interviews and the classroom, you can read up on Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP).
  • Always ask a question or two questions at the end. However, don't make yourself look silly by asking something that you should already know from the prospectus or website. Good questions to ask are questions about your personal development and future opportunities.

Remember to be yourself and not be put off by the competition. Be friendly, but not too informal as everything that you say and do will be monitored. Finally, if you are looking for further reading, and excellent book is 'Get that Teaching Job' by Paul Ainsworth. Good luck!

Tags: AmyTR, West-Midlands

Category: Australian Teachers

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