I have seen some really disheartened posts on Twitter lately linked to NQTs being unsuccessful during the interview process. Interviews are such a great learning curve and I’m a big believer of everything happens for a reason! So here’s my top 5 tips for securing your interview!
1. It all starts with a clear, exciting and persuasive personal statement. Create a structure linked to your experiences in training, your hobbies and personal interests that could be linked to the schools ethos. Most importantly, make sure you personalise it to the school! Although it’s hard during these times as you can’t physically visit the school, however, don’t be afraid to dig deeper by searching on the school website and confidently stating why you are wanting to work there. Every school is so different!
2. Gather some evidence! I’m a bit of a hoarder for paperwork but it can always have its benefits. I created my own portfolio based on my teaching experiences abroad, mentor comments from school based training , my own personal beliefs and ethos of teaching and learning and extracts from my blog. You can easily forget the highlights of great lessons you have planned and successfully delivered so capturing snapshots of these can help the interviewers get to know you better.
3. Revise simple questions. It sounds silly but when asked a question on the spot you can easily crumble – especially if you are feeling nervous! It’s always better to revise your answers. That way you have a clear structure that helps you to expand and answer the question properly. I advise that you revise these questions;
Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to work at this school?
What made you want to become a teacher?
What are the core skills and qualities pupils look for in a teacher?
What is a teachers responsibility in keeping children safe?
Tell me about a behaviour management strategy you have used to help engage a group of learners?
What are some of the current issues in education?
Is there anything you’d like to ask us?
4. Smile! Be enthusiastic and try not to let nerves get in your way.
5. Dress smart- even it is just an online interview!
Good luck and if you don’t get your first interview. Keep trying! It is such a big learning curve, listen carefully to the advise given during feedback and that will help you moving forward.
You WILL and CAN get a teaching post. Stay positive and work hard for it.