One of the Protocol team asked me if I had any thoughts on interview tips for securing a long-term position, specifically when interviewing from overseas. I was like, yes I do, because I did several interviews from home in Aus before arriving here. I got offered all the positions I interviewed for and had my choice. Not that I'm saying I'm an expert, because I still finished everyone of those interviews and emailed my consultant sure I'd bombed it and that the school would never want a teacher like me.
Here are some of the tips I learnt along the way.
Tip number 1- make sure your internet connection is stable and strong.
I'd recommend Skypeing a friend and doing a practise to see if your connection is stable. My first interview was made even more nerve racking by my internet dropping out, not once, but twice during the Skype chat.
Top number 2- make sure your background isn't to cluttered or inappropriate.
When I was checking my Skype camera just before my first interview I noticed you could see right into my messy housemates bedroom over my shoulder. May not have been a good look.
Tip number 3- dress smart and consider your hair/ makeup.
They will only see the top 1/3 of you so focus on that, make sure your top is professional and your face and hair clean and presentable.
Tips number 4- do your research!
Schools love it when you have questions specific to them and not just the genetic ones. UK schools always have current Ofsted reports on their sites, at a minimum read that and formulate a couple of questions about procedures or initiatives that have been created since their last report that focus on a school 'weakness'.
Tip number 5- be honest about yourself.
Don't talk yourself up or over exaggerate. Remember the school has seen your resume and references, be honest and realistic about yourself, both strengths and weaknesses. They'll appreciate it, especially when you're asked about your weaknesses, schools see teacher self reflection as an important part of every lesson over here. Don't forget to tell them if you have favourite subject areas or particular passion.
Tip number 6- be yourself!!!!
You could possibly have to work with these people for a long period of time, let them see the real you right from the get go. I'm quite a cheeky, bubbly person and my boss said to me the other day he knew I'd fit in with the younger teachers at the school really well (which I do) from the interview because they're of a similar nature, which was added as a 'pro' when they were considering their options.
Who knew my bubbliness and cheek would one day be a 'pro'? ;)