Congratulations…you have landed an interview for your dream teaching job. Don’t panic! Here are a few helpful tips to set yourself apart from the other candidates.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
- Whatever you do, don’t try to ‘wing’ the interview. Be prepared.
- Thoroughly research and visit the school beforehand. Know why you want to teach at that school.
- Check out the school website and social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) to get a feel for its ethos, programs and facilities.
- Have a clear understanding of your personal teaching philosophy and behaviour management strategies.
- Engage in a broad range of professional development, further study, and volunteer opportunities. Be prepared to talk about your initiative in these areas.
- Practice answering questions you think your potential employers could ask. e.g. “If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see or hear?”
- Be aware of any faith/spiritual requirements for private independent schools before applying.
- Write amazing units of work and lessons to show as part of your portfolio.
- Have a thorough knowledge of the curriculum and pedagogical practices.
- Dress professionally and wear an outfit that makes you feel confident.
- Prepare a few questions to ask at the interview.
- Be aware of current educational research and educational issues and be prepared to discuss.
If you are passionate about landing a permanent job at a particular school, try to get relief work there. Employers are more likely to employ someone they know, who is already making a great impression in their school.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
OK, so you are looking great. You’ve done your research and you are as prepared as you will ever be. Here are some tips for the interview.
- Don’t be late. There really is no excuse. Try to arrive 15 minutes before the interview.
- Turn off your mobile phone. Turn it to silent so you don’t get unnecessary notification sounds. “Ding! Sorry, I just gotta check this text from my BFF.” (Some applicants have done this.)
- First impressions matter. Be aware of your body language.
- Make eye contact.
- Be confident.
- Watch your posture.
- Use a firm handshake.
- Don’t fidget or play with your hair.
- Don’t cross your arms.
- Tell the truth.
- Listen to what the interviewer is asking, and respond appropriately.
- Be aware of your voice and your vocabulary.
- Don’t complain about previous employers.
- Be polite.
- Mention any key positive connections you have with the school. It is often ‘who you know’.
- Be enthusiastic and passionate.
- Confidently sell your expertise and talents.
- Make sure you are able to explain how you teach. How you work within a team, with teacher aides, for different learning styles and abilities, and provide successful behaviour management strategies.
- Pay attention to your interviewers to see if they are engaged in your response and adjust accordingly.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
You survived the interview. Awesome work! Now what?
- Write a thank you note or email to the Principal. Whether you land the job or not, sending a note speaks volumes about your courteous behaviour. They will likely think of you if another position becomes available.
- If you miss out on the placement, treat every interview as an experience to gain more confidence for the next one. Ask for feedback about your interview and what areas could be improved upon.
- Treat yourself. Go out for coffee! 🙂
Finally, best of luck. You’ve spent so much time and hard work getting to this point.
For useful tips and engaging teacher resources, check out www.pointpro.com.au
’till next time,