With the prospect of schools remaining closed well into the summer term due to the Covid 19 pandemic, many schools are preparing to fill their teacher vacancies for September 2020 through Skype interview – a new and daunting experience for many teachers! This blog looks to settle those nerves and suggest some Skype Interview Tips for teachers with an approaching interview.
Preparing for a Skype Interview with a school
Certainly interviewees should not be put off if they haven’t used Skype before. It is easy to download, set up an account and become familiar with. Make sure you do this in plenty of time before the interview to ensure there are no technical problems and you are comfortable communicating through the software. Your Skype profile photograph should be professional and portray you in the same way as you will be portraying yourself throughout the interview.
When choosing where to conduct the interview you will need to consider the background. There should not be anything behind you that might distract the interviewers from what you are saying. Likewise there should not be any background noise. Ensure that the light is shining into your face. Prepare a comfortable chair that helps you to maintain good posture; your body language will be an important element of the Skype interview.
Whether you are a Skype beginner or an experienced user, you should always test the connection plenty of time before the interview. Once you are set up in your chosen environment you can ask somebody to call you to ensure you can hear them clearly and your microphone is working properly. This way you can see how it looks, hear how it sounds and get comfortable communicating through Skype.
“What should I wear for a Teacher Skype Interview?”
We often hear this question and the simple answer is that you should treat the interview as if it were a face-to-face meeting at the school, dressing formally from head to toe. Skype interviews may seem informal but hey rarely are. If you usually wear a tie to a school interview then you should dress the same for a Skype interview. First impressions are important and also dressing formally may help you to remain professional throughout the interview, which can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with the format.
If you would take a portfolio or work samples into a face-to-face interview at a school then you should have the same ready to revert to in your Skype interview. It is important to look organised, so have a notebook and pen ready just in case something interesting comes up and you want to make a note.
In the same way that you would arrive 10 minutes early to an interview at a school then you should be sitting ready to take the Skype call 10 minutes before your interview time. If the interviewer calls a few minutes early then you will be ready and you won’t be flustered.
During the Teacher Skype Interview – Top Tips
In our previous blog about how to be successful in a teacher interview we highlighted the importance of eye contact and engaging with the whole interview panel. A Skype interview can feel very daunting, as you will not have the opportunity to do this in the same way. Throughout the interview you should look into the camera on your computer, which will give the impression that you are maintaining eye contact with all the interviewers. And remember good communication is not just about what you say but also how you are expressing yourself. Positive, friendly body language will help them warm to you. Engaged posture and plenty of smiles will build the impression that you really want to work at the school.
During a Skype Interview it will not be the free flowing communication that you are accustomed to when attending at the school and actually sitting in front of the interview panel. You should ensure that you speak clearly into the microphone and pace yourself when answering questions so that all interviewers can hear what you are saying. If you don’t hear a question properly then don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat.
In the unlikely event that you encounter technical issues during the Skype interview then it is important that you don’t panic. This is a good way of demonstrating “how do you cope when things don’t go your way?” Keep your composure and pick up where you left off once the issues are fixed. This way you can turn a negative into a positive.
Skype Interview Questions for teachers
Bear in mind that the teacher Skype interview is not the preferred option for the school. It is a tough responsibility for the interviewers to ensure they employ the right person. They have a big decision to make and the traditional lesson observation and face-to-face interview would always be the preference.
As there will be no lesson observation then you can expect that there will be more questions. Skype interview questions for a teacher interview will be no different from the ones that you would expect during a face-to-face teacher interview. Check out our blog about what questions to expect in a teacher interview for a comprehensive list of questions that we have known to come up in teacher interviews.
Concluding The Interview
The interviewers will always give you an opportunity to ask some questions at the end of the interview and you should take up this opportunity. When researching the school you should think of 2 or 3 questions that you want to know about. Remember the interview process is also about whether the school is the right match for you!
You can find some useful ideas here about possible questions to ask at the end of a teacher interview
If you have been impressed by what you have heard, it is always a good idea to conclude a teacher interview by telling the interviewers why you think you would be a good match for the school.
We hope these Skype interview tips for teachers have been useful. We are currently recruiting on several vacancies for September and we are looking to set up Skype interviews. Please check out our current teacher vacancies and get in touch if you have any questions.