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News| November 9th 2022

Early Career Teacher: Top Tips to Ace Your First Teaching Interview

Taking the leap into becoming a new teacher can be very exciting, however it can also be very daunting when it comes to obtaining your first job. In this article, we explore how you can be best prepared for your first teaching interview…

Preparing for the interview

The teaching market can be competitive so it's important you prepare as much as possible. Begin by looking at your CV, personal statement and application form as you’ll most likely be asked questions about them. Pick out key points and turn them into questions for yourself. This should help you feel confident in why you applied in the first place.

Look over your social media and other personal accounts. Be sure to check they’re all set to private. Most schools tend to check your online presence so make sure there isn’t anything you wouldn’t want them to see. Be certain to keep your personal life private, and separate from your working life. You wouldn’t want to jeopardise your new career over this.

Make sure you spend some time getting to know as much as you can about the school as this insight will help you relate your interview responses to the context of the school.

Practice makes perfect

Another obvious but great tip, is to go over practice questions with friends or family. This should help put your nerves at ease because you’ll have already spoken your answers in front of an actual person. Doing this can also be a great opportunity to gain feedback from your answers so you can tweak them if necessary. 

If doing a mock interview with someone else isn’t possible, why not do your own mock interview and video yourself? This way you can listen back and take notes. It will give you a chance to change your answers and add in anything you may have missed. It is also a great opportunity to check your body language and eye contact. The way you hold yourself can tell the interviewer a lot about your character so make sure you keep this in mind. 

Maintain professionalism at all times

When at an interview, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. Your professionalism should be maintained throughout the full interview process. Whether that be with the person guiding you to the interview room, or when walking through the school's car park. Any person you encounter within the school is most likely to be asked their opinion of you, so please take this into account.

The questioning process

We can’t guarantee the exact questions you will be asked, however there are similar questions that come up time and time again. The most obvious question is a variation of ‘Why do you want to become a teacher?’. It’s important you keep your answers specific rather than vague. Use distinct examples from your past experiences and make them unforgettable. You want to be memorable to the interviewer so using a unique story whilst maintaining your professionalism will really help. 

Another main question that’s usually asked is ‘Why do you want to work at this school?’. Again, be specific with your answers. Like in any interview, you should always research the place of work. Take a look at the school’s website, and get clued up on the values and ethos of the school. Make it clear you have done your research in the interview as this shows the questioner that you’re enthusiastic for the position.

To finish off

Overall, be passionate and show enthusiasm throughout the whole interview process. Be specific and confident with your answers. We hope this article gave you some insight into what your first interview might be like. There are plenty more resources out there to help you. Be sure to do your research and most of all, good luck!

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