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Preparing for a teaching interview

Top tips on how to prepare for your next teaching interview

As a teacher, you'll be no stranger to planning lessons, so make sure you've spent some time on planning your interview.

Make sure you know your CV

Firstly, read the job description carefully and re-read your application form, cover letter and CV to make sure that you have matched your experience to their requirements and be prepared to discuss what you have written.

Get a good sense of what the school is like

Look at their website and their Ofsted report, as well as local news and information. It's important that you are prepared to talk about why you want to specifically work for that school. Think about their ethos, their specialism, their catchment, their department and size.

If you're working with an agency, make sure you speak to your consultant, and ask them any question's that you have, as they will be able to give you an inside view of the school to ensure you have all the information you need.

Think about who you are meeting

Be prepared to be interviewed by and meet lots of different people. It may be you are interviewed by the Head, Parent Governors and / or pupils, and you may be taken in to the staffroom at break to chat to other staff members.

Logistics

Plan your journey, and consider doing a trial run if you're not sure where it is. Make sure you know where you can park, or where the nearest public transport is, as these are very common reasons for turning up late. Make sure to allow for plenty of time for delays or getting lost. If you arrive very early, you can always use that time to get a feel for the area and meet the school staff.

Make sure you are packed

As well as pens and paper, make sure you have ID and your DBS certificate if required, as some schools will not allow you on the premises without them.

Interview portfolios

Although it is not essential, you may wish to bring a portfolio to illustrate certain aspects of your work. A portfolio may include examples of assessment or samples of children's work. If you decide to use one, make sure you are selective and clear about what each piece of material shows.

Dress to impress

Regardless of the school dress code, always dress smartly for an interview. Smart clothes, neat hair and a professional demeanour are always a good idea.

Interviews are not as scary as they seem. The key messages for success are to make sure that have a good understanding of the role and the school that you are applying for, and are able to highlight what your experience can bring.

Remember that the interview process is for your benefit as well as the school, so make sure you highlight any concerns you might have, and be prepared to ask what questions you need to make sure you're confident that the school is the right fit for you.

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