Remember that you
are on interview ALL the time you are at the school, when you
arrive, when you are walking about the school, in the lunch queue
as well as the more formal parts of the day so some tips:
Be attentive, look at walls, into
classrooms, speak to people, ask questions and above all LISTEN
carefully to the answers (and the non-answers). Be polite and
respectful and be wary of jokes, sarcasm or banter.
Many times interviews that are
otherwise excellent crash and burn because the interviewees speak
much too fast, and use expressions such as "like" as
a form of punctuation or overuse slang or colloquialisms.
It is fine to pause before answering
questions and to ask for a question to be repeated. No-one is
expecting Oxford English but you are a role model for the children
in your school so no gansta-rap!
It is not a bad idea to compose
a portfolio of materials you have prepared for teaching and learning.
This might include sample lessons, teaching resources, games or
electronic resources. Let the interviewer know you have them but
do not push them at the panel unless asked.
Know the territory
Know the setting you're going
to. Usually, this type of information is available on the school
web site. Know about the ethos and specialisms of the school;
make sure that you don't go into a "back to basics-type"
school spouting everything you heard in college about cross-curricular
development. If you can, do research on the instructional setting,
principles, and goals of the school. In other words, "do
If possible visit the school.
You MUST get permission for this and be on "interview behaviour"
during the visit.
Have defined, and be able to defend
your philosophy of education. This is not just memorising buzz
words, clichés and latest strategies. Know what you believe
and why you believe as you do. Have an example of how to put this
into classroom practice. If you're unsure, practice out loud and
have someone give you feedback.
However, if not asked by the interviewer,
it's usually a good idea not to offer it up for scrutiny.
Have a discipline/classroom management
system ready when you come in for the interview. Know how it works,
be able to explain it, why you've chosen it, and why you think
it will be effective. If, for example, you believe in assertive
discipline, be able to articulate why you believe it results in
Most heads look for teachers they
believe will be effective in the classroom AND be good team players.
You must communicate to the interviewer that you can be both.
The last thing a head wants is a new teacher who will cause them
headaches, need constant reassurance, take up their valuable time
solving trivial problems, or who has poor parent relation skills.
In your interview, you must communicate to the head that you will
not cause them headaches, need constant reassurance, etc... It
is a temperament thing, so learn how to read people, speak clearly
and directly, don't be afraid to look the head in the eyes, ask
relevant questions, and thank them for the opportunity to be interviewed.