5 Tips on Acing Your Interview

So you’ve got over the first hurdle and your application has been successful in getting you an interview. But what next? Interviews in schools can be very different to interviews in other sectors and will vary role by role. Here are 5 tips that will help you feel as prepared as you can be going into that interview.

Swot up on the school and/or trust

It’s important to find out as much as you can about the school or trust before your interview. Ideally you will have visited before deciding to apply so you could get a feel for the place find out more about what it would be like to work there. In your interview, you need to show that you understand their vision and values and that these are in line with your own. How will you uphold these? Have you shown similar values in previous jobs? The interviewer wants to see that you are passionate about potentially joining the school/trust so make sure this comes across.

Appear calm and confident

Naturally, going into an interview, you are likely to feel nervous. The best way to appear confident (and therefore feel more confident) is through your body language. Stand or sit upright, make eye contact with the interviewer/s when speaking to them and, most importantly, smile! You want to come across as warm and approachable.

Prepare for interview questions and tasks

Depending on the role you have applied for will depend on the type of tasks you may be required to complete during your interview. For example, a teaching interview will involve teaching a short lesson alongside the main interview, and if you have applied to be a teaching assistant, you may be asked to read a story to a small group. No matter the role, you will be notified of the interview agenda before the day. Make sure you prepare as thoroughly as you can for any additional activities and have a look online for some typical interview questions that you can prepare some answers for. Most interviewers will ask for real life examples so think about what you have done in previous jobs/your personal life that you may be able to bring into this.

Dress appropriately

Although most schools do not expect you to dress formally at work (although some might!), dressing for your interview should give the best possible impression to the school/trust and also make you feel as confident as possible. If your interview is going to involve some additional tasks such as teaching a group of children, you may also want to make sure your outfit is comfortable. When in doubt, keep it simple. Trousers or a skirt and presentable shirt/blouse is always a good option. And make sure to get that iron out!

Ask Questions

It is common practice for an interviewer to ask if you have any questions at the end of your interview. Although these may come up naturally through the course of your interview, it is a really good idea to have a few prepared in advance just in case. Is there something mentioned in the advert or job description that you need clarity on? Do you want to know more about potential opportunities for growth in your career? Now is the time to get those questions answered.

Finally, make sure you turn up to the interview on time! An ideal time to arrive is 10-15 minutes before but make sure you are at least 5 minutes early. To start searching for your perfect job, have a look at our thousands of vacancies in schools and trusts across the country now.

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