A teacher interview will typically consist of a lesson observation followed by an interview with senior leadership. It goes without saying that to be successful you will need to prepare and deliver a fantastic lesson and ensure that you are prepared to answer common teacher interview questions. Here we look at 5 things you must also do to prepare for a school teacher interview.
Study the School Website
The school website is a rich source of information about many aspects of the school and should be the starting point for your online research. Often interviewees ask us whether we have any suggestions about questions to ask at the end of the interview. A quick perusal of the website should provoke some intrigue and give you some ideas.
If the school is part of a trust, you will find information about this on the website. Trusts can provide invaluable opportunities for professional development through collaboration and sharing good practice, which could be an excellent talking point during your interview.
It is a good idea to be familiar with the school’s policies, especially with regards to behaviour and safeguarding. It is not uncommon for behaviour and safeguarding to come up during a teacher interview, if you are familiar with the school policies you will be well prepared.
School websites contain information regarding the programmes, schemes, syllabi and software the school uses. If you are not familiar with something, then you may want to enquire whether there will be any support or training.
And don’t forget to check out what extra-curricular activities the school has to offer. Perhaps you have some additional talents that could be helpful to add to existing activities or you may even be able to offer something different. Secondary school teachers should also be able to find information on planned school trips that are relevant to their subject.
Read the School Ofsted Report
The most recent Ofsted report will tell you a lot of information about what the school does well, what challenges the school faces and areas that need improving. Our recent survey suggests that you should not place too much emphasis on the overall Ofsted grade; rather you should be looking for areas where your strengths could benefit the school and where the strengths of the school could develop your teaching. Being able to talk about this during your teacher interview will certainly put you in good stead for a job offer. As an interviewer myself, I have always been impressed by interviewees that show a real desire to work at the company and are able to back this up with how they can contribute to the team.
Always read the section on what the school needs to improve on. Schools are always looking to improve and if they consider your strengths can help them to do this then you will be one step closer to securing a job offer.
Visit the School
Where possible you should visit the school before the interview and ideally whilst the students are present. Teachers often say they get a feel for a school as soon as they walk in. You can quickly pick up the vibe of the school, get an idea about how friendly the staff are and check out the discipline of the students. Teachers who have visited schools prior to interview often report back to us that they feel more comfortable preparing and delivering their lesson. Also, having a keen interest in the school will certainly help to give a good impression during the teacher interview.
Check out Social Media posts
Schools almost always have a social media presence and often they are avid tweeters! Be sure to check out the social media platforms and get a feel for what they are doing on a daily basis. You will be able to find information about school achievements, what the students have been learning, latest and upcoming trips and recent developments.
Talk to Teachers
Ofsted reports are a good start but they don’t give an impression about what it is like to work at the school. If possible you should seek out teachers that are currently at the school or have taught at the school previously and get some feedback about the working environment. This will boost your positivity going into the interview and may even give you some good talking points.
Follow our 5 things to do to prepare for a school teacher interview and we’re sure you will do a great job on the day and leave a memorable impression! And remember that interviews are a two-way street; only through doing your research and asking the right questions will you know that the school is the right one for you. If the school fails to meet your expectations, don’t be afraid to walk away and continue your job search.