This time of the year is crazy for teachers, all the jobs for 2018 are up now and you’ve probably applied for many. You’ve got the interview, but now what?
Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task, so to hopefully make your life a little easier and have a strong idea on how to prepare, we’ve listed a few tips that you should find useful!
To quote Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It’s so important that you prepare as thoroughly as possible before an interview. You do not want to be stumped by a question regarding the school or an area of curriculum content, so it’s essential that you prepare yourself as much as possible.
Research the school:
Before you’ve applied to work at a school, you should have researched whether it’s the right fit for you. Schools will have certain values, behaviour management policies and other things that can be accessed via their website. If your values align with the schools, then it should be a good match. It’s essential you learn these values for your interview and can give examples of how you exhibit these values in your teaching and life outside of work.
You also need to learn the style of teaching in each particular school. If you believe traditional classroom setups are the best way to teach, you shouldn’t be applying for a job at a school that uses open-learning spaces. Schools won’t change for you, so try to find the school that fits your pedagogy.
Schools will understand that graduates won’t know the curriculum inside-out, however we have had feedback from various schools that teachers have been attending interviews unprepared in this area. Even if you have spent time working as a casual relief teacher, you are expected to know what the curriculum entails and showing a lack of expertise in this area will give concerns to your potential employers. Ensure you are able to answer questions on different areas of the curriculum and with different ages of children.
Have examples of where you’ve had to use various forms of behaviour management during your experience as a teacher. If you’ve had a fairly smooth ride teaching so far, have some ideas of what you might do in certain situations. A number of ideas is best, as not one behaviour management strategy will work with every child. The school may put you in a situation and you need confidence in your pedagogy or strategies in managing student behaviours. Positive behaviour management strategies are best received at schools where you avoid acknowledging the negative behaviour and try to point the children in the direction of making the right choice.
Be confident during your interview, but not arrogant. Make sure you smile and build rapport quickly and believe in your ability as a teacher. Your initial impression can make or break an interview. From our experiences with casual relief teachers, the teachers who go into schools with a positive attitude inevitably get requested back regularly and this is what schools will want their permanent staff to be like too.
What to take with you
Take your CV, cover letter and key selection criteria that you wrote for this specific application. Dress professionally (better to be over-dressed than too casual!) and wear a smile.
Best of luck with all your interviews, hopefully you only need one!