Okay, so your mind is made up and you’ve decided to take the teaching route (good choice if you ask us), your grades are great, your confidence is high and that all important interview is around the corner. As always, these can be nerve-wracking, we spend so much time going over what to say and how to say it, that we often forgot the minor things that help to secure the dream job. When applying for teacher training, it is essential that you sell yourself, your experience and walk away leaving a lasting impression, so here’s a little help from the Staffroom team to help you get a good few steps ahead. Remember, preparation IS key.
First and Foremost
Make sure you:
- research the training route and school/institution;
- give excellent reasons for why you wish to teach
- can talk about your teaching experience, whether working or observing.
- read up on current educations issues, safeguarding and resources
The interview may include:
- an interview – one to one or panel
- a presentation
- a short teaching session
- selection tests
It may seem pretty obvious, but making sure your cv is completely up to date is essential, don’t leave gaps in your work history and if you have specific reasons for time out then explain them. Your experience is extremely important so include everything that will work to your advantage, the more you’ve done the more enthusiastic you will seem. These will not only back up your qualifications but will show how you’ve already gathered an understanding on how the teaching world works and how to control and participate in a classroom environment.
We know what you’re thinking and the answer is no, do not elaborate and make false claims to get your foot in the door. A lie on paper could see your job offer withdrawn so it’s best to be truthful at all times. Grades can be checked and references required so it’s never a good idea to try to trick the system. It’s also important to know every corner of your CV, your interviewer will want to go through this in depth and there’s nothing worse than being stopped dead in your tracks if you can’t quite remember dates, times and skills that you gained.
Don’t forget your online platforms. Yes, that’s right, that wonderful thing we’re all so addicted to. Although you may not think it, plenty of employers will scan the internet to try and get to know you a little better before they meet you in person. Making the mistake of uploading last Saturday’s antics may not work in your favour so remember that these must sell you as the perfect candidate too!
Possible interview questions
“Why do you want to be a teacher?”
“What characteristics make a good teacher?”
“Describe the worst or best lesson you have observed. What would you do differently? Say why it was successful or unsuccessful.”
“What personal interests do you have that could be of value to the school?”
“How is your degree subject relevant?”
“What are some of the current educational issues?”
The little things
We know, you know, but it’s always best to highlight every avenue before the big day. It’s always a good to choose a smart outfit and look professional, although candidates should check whether there are any activities that may require other garments, for example if you’re going for a Physical Education role. Remember that you’re being assessed from the moment you enter the school, your body language will be a tell-tale sign of your confidence so keep eye contact, use your hands (subtly of course) and most importantly SMILE.
Have all relevant documents with you, such as evidence of previous experience, certificates, examples of your teaching methods and any correspondence prior to the interview. Practise makes perfect so make sure you’ve thoroughly covered the different types of tasks you may be given on the day. Run through presentations, question answers and all the things you’d like to ask, you want to leave a lasting impression so it’s important to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
For all those that have a teacher training interview on the horizon, GOOD LUCK. (You won’t need it!)