Preparing for an interview for a school can be a daunting experience, but by following these steps, you can ensure that you present yourself in the best possible light to secure the job you want. One of the things we are not good at in schools is facilitating candidates to give the best possible answers. In collaboration with an Autistic teacher we wrote a post about making the recruitment process more inclusive. we should all strive to achieve this especially if our schools claim to be inclusive and we want the staff to represent the pupils we support.
Top 8 Interview Preparation Tips.
- Research the School: Researching the school thoroughly before attending an interview is essential. This will enable you to be prepared for any questions about the school, its mission, and the role you are applying for. It will help you to understand the school’s culture and values, helping you to demonstrate that you are right for the role.
- Prepare Your Answers: It is important to prepare answers to common questions that may come up during the interview. This will help you to present yourself confidently, and ensure that you are able to provide a clear and concise response to any questions you may be asked. When preparing an answer remember to highlight your skills: Make sure to clearly communicate the value you bring to the team and how your skills can be applied to the role. When answering questions about your achievements, use examples to make your point and use the STAR method to explain the situation, task, action, and result.
- Linked to the above but practice an opening line, this makes it easier if you go blank. You can almost guarantee a question like “Tell me about yourself”. Start with a line you are comfortable with and will remember
- Dress Appropriately: It is important to dress appropriately for the interview. Make sure to research the school’s dress code and pull together an outfit that reflects your personality and the school’s culture. Additionally, ensure that you are well-groomed and look professional, you would be surprised at what people think is appropriate. I interviewed someone that turned up in wellies once.
- Practice: Practicing for the interview is essential. Practice answering questions out loud, so that you can get used to speaking in a professional manner. It is also important to practice your body language, as this can make a huge difference in the way that you are perceived.
- Manage Your Nerves: In the days and hours leading up to the interview, take proactive steps to prepare yourself and manage stress. Try to focus on positive affirmations, exercise, and practice breathing techniques. This will help you to stay focused and remain calm during the interview. This is more difficult the higher stakes the interview is for you. I would recommend not putting all your hopes on one job. If you know you have more options you can look at this interview as practice!
- Be Yourself: It is important to remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. Be yourself, be honest and be sure to ask questions to demonstrate your interest in the role.
- Write a list of points you want to ensure you have made. This should be your key strengths or achievements. One of the last questions you get asked will be “Is there anything you would like to tell us we haven’t covered.”. I would say it is okay to refer to this list when asked this question. Put it in a folder ready.
Summary & Further Information
This post forms part of our Education Recruitment Series, see below for the links.
Job interviews can be intimidating, but with the right preparation, you can turn them into an opportunity to showcase your skills and stand out from the crowd. Remember to research the school, prepare your answers, dress appropriately, practice, manage your nerves, and be yourself. And always remember, the most important thing is to believe in yourself and your abilities. You are capable of achieving great things, and with each interview, you will become more confident and skilled. Good luck, and let me know in the comments section if you have any tips of your own!