So you’ve landed yourself an interview for your first job as a teacher – congratulations! You’re no doubt trying to anticipate what interview questions you might be asked, rehearsing some killer replies and brushing up on every inch of your CV. Really, you’ve got this covered. We hope that these interview tips from our expert teacher recruitment consultants will smooth your path to grabbing that great first job.
What to do before your teaching interview?
A bit of research can go a long way before a job interview, as London-based Protocol Education consultant Ella Stevens is keen to advise. “Make sure you find out as much as you can about the school you’re applying to. All information is good information, so look on the website of the school you’re applying to. Don’t forget to check their Ofsted inspection reports too; you’ve got to understand the school’s strengths and feel familiar with their ethos”.
You can even apply a 5:2 rule to your research. Do your best to come to the interview having committed five key aspects of the school to memory, plus two relevant questions to ask the interviewers.
On the day of your interview
Hannah Bignold, the manager for Protocol Education’s London SEND East branch, has a warning for any teaching candidate who might feel a little complacent about the commute to the interview. “Make sure you have the route to the school planned out start-to-finish in your head, and get there 10 minutes early at least. Schools won’t look kindly on unpunctuality”.
When seeking to wow senior leaders with your professionalism, presence and command of a classroom, it helps to look the part. Ella’s rule of thumb here is to “dress smartly, but not ostentatiously.”
It’s not just about clothes; your manner and body language matters too. Greet interviewers with confidence and a smile. Once the interview has begun, keep eye contact with the interviewers, appear enthusiastic, and try not to fidget.
How to respond to interview questions
It’s always important to remember that the interview questions won’t be trying to catch you out or trick you. Your interviewer is trying to draw out as much as they can about who you are and the kind of teacher you’ll be, so honesty really is the best policy.
Whatever you are asked, make sure your responses are succinct, incisive and, ideally, backed up with real examples.
The four interview questions you need to be able to answer
Hannah and Ella agree that predicting the exact questions you’ll be asked in a teaching job interview is a fool’s errand. Yet there are some core questions that you need to be able to answer, however they’re worded.
Why do you want the job?
Why do you want to work at this school?
What can you bring to the role?
How do you see your teaching career developing?
It also helps to be able to answer any questions on why you want to teach your particular subject specialism and age cohort.
Protocol Education is here to help you prepare
At Protocol Education, we know all about the cocktail of nerves that precedes a big teaching job interview. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you approach your applications with confidence. As one of the UK’s leading educational recruitment agencies, we have a wealth of in-house expertise and experience helping teachers land their dream jobs.
If you have any questions about the teaching job application process, or need any guidance before or after your interview, you can get in touch with us for direction and advice.