Top Teacher Interview Tips
So the dreaded day has come. You probably didn't sleep too well last night and you're five cups of coffee down already. We've all been there, it's the bane of your life when you're desperate to land the job you've always dreamed of, but how do you do it? You're success will depend very much on how you prepare and conduct yourself in the interview, qualifications aside, it's up to you to stand out from the teacher crowd (as cliché as it sounds).
Fix Up, Look Sharp
Iron your clothes, trim that beard, make sure your nails are perfectly filed or painted and use perfume/cologne... sparingly. We all know that first impressions are incredibly important so it is vital that you concentrate on the small details to make a big statement. Talking of statements, going all out and wearing a three piece suit should not be an option. We're not saying to take a casual route, stay smart and look professional, but tone it down, over dressing suggests inaccessibility and excessive formality, and neither are usual qualities sought after in a teacher. Remember what type of job your going for, what you'd wear day to day whilst teaching and base your outfit on that.
Do Your Homework
RESEARCH. It goes without saying that you should look in to the job & school you've applied to work for. Who is your interview going to be with?! Read between the lines and go that extra mile, if you can walk in, sit down and understand a little about your interviewee, it may help keep some of those dreaded nerves at bay. We know you're probably reading this part and thinking that doing your homework is obvious, but have you considered researching in to the media and it's current affairs? Being able to relate to today's news and stories that could relate well with your interview questions shows knowledge and passion for the education sector.
Practise Makes Perfect
Brush up on those skills. You should never underestimate the power of practising before entering an interview. Grab your friends, family & anyone you can find and swap interview experiences, questions and even the horror stories. One man's failure could be another's pass to success! We know your question answers are probably spot on, but concentrate on body language. Are you standing up straight with your shoulders back? How is your posture? Are you giving off the right vibes? The last thing any employer wants to see is you messing with your handbag or jacket zip, PUT THEM DOWN and use your body language to create the right impression.
Behind Closed Doors
It's often a forgotten tip when preparing for interviews, in fact, we' d say that many of us wouldn't even consider censoring or monitoring our social media accounts, but why? How many of you when wanting to find out who somebody is have checked these type of platforms? We'd easily put a bet on all of us. Today's applications make it easy for employer's to have a glimpse into your private and social life, so it's always good to make sure that what they come across is still portraying you as their perfect candidate. No one wants to see you in a state that may suggest you'll be late for work on Monday morning, so keep it safe (we know you're all angelic anyway, but just in case).
Your teaching portfolio is the best tangible evidence of your accomplishments, and showcases all of your skills and experience. Letters of recommendation? Put them in. Lesson plans? Put them in. Even if you love particular samples of your students work, put them in! These all add to the bigger picture you want to create when selling yourself as the teacher they need. Every candidate is going to bring a portfolio, crammed with all sorts of interesting pieces, but what makes your different?! School's will be looking for personality and fit, although qualifications are extremely important, it is without a doubt that there are certain traits you cannot necessarily train for. Add humour if appropriate, but don't try to be a comical genius. Basically what we're trying to say is just be yourself, answer questions in a way that demonstrates your love and passion for the education sector, after all this is what they're looking for.
Okay, so maybe you didn't get the first job. WHY?! Use your feedback as a learning curve. You deserve constructive, fair and positive feedback so please ask for it, this is what could make or break your next interview. Every candidate should be a positive ambassador for a school in which they've applied for, and even if unsuccessful & disappointed, the school would continue to want them to say positive things about how they were treated. If feedback isn't initially offered, don't hesitate to ask, keep going, improve and before you know it you'll be in a classroom of chaos!