If you are going to interview for one of our jobs First 4 Education will endeavour to give you as much information as possible about the position we are putting you forward for; Although we will give you this information it is advised that you do your own preparation.
First 4 Education have come up with a guideline of useful tips in preparing you for that interview.
There will also be jobs that you have applied for independently from First 4 Education but the process should always remain the same;
Preparing for the Interview
- Who will you be meeting?
- Who else will be present at the interview?
- When should you arrive?
- Plan your journey
- Parking arrangements/ nearest public transport route/stop.
- Allow for delays and getting lost. If you arrive very early then get a feel for the area.
- Have the contact details of the school with you so you can phone in an emergency
- Dress smartly. For men it is expected that you will wear a suit, your hair will be neat and be clean shaven (unless you have a beard), for women again formalwear with jewellery to be kept minimal.
- Clean Shoes.
- Supporting documents will be carried in a smart bag/briefcase or folder.
- First impressions Count.
Find out about the school
- Research the school from as many sources as possible. Forums/Websites /Prospectus/Ofsted Reports
- Visit the school prior to the interview, this shows the school that you are interested and there is no better way of finding out about the school community. Ask if you could observe a lesson, meet the people you are hoping to work with, and talk to the head of year group.
- Make sure you thank the school for the visit.
- Find out what the key issues are for the school; what makes you the ideal candidate for taking the school forward in these areas?
Find out about the job
- Read the job specification carefully.
- The interviewers are looking for a person who will best fit or exceed this specification.
- Your past experience and achievements are important but only as an illustration of how you can relate them to the job/school requirements.
Know your CV
The Headteacher will have a copy of your CV in front of them at interview, so it is important that you know all the information on your CV ( the CV will be the most recent copy you have submitted to First 4 Education). Ideally update your CV after any block of work or any completed professional development. Include any Long Term Supply Work that you have completed with an agency if any gaps do appear in your CV.
Preparing for the Interview
The questions that are likely to arise at interview vary according to the position but they may include the following:
- Why you applied for this specific job
- What you think the job involves
- Your strengths and achievements in the profession so far
- Your future plans and ambitions
- Your weaknesses and development needs
- Why you left your previous position and what you are currently doing
- What you know about the school you are hoping to join, and your thoughts after any preliminary visit
- Why you think you would be suited to teach at this school
- Your ideas on dealing with difficult situations such as a confrontational parent, a child with disruptive behaviour.
- How your interests outside school could benefit extra-curricular activities
- Your subject knowledge, and current issues in your subject and education
- Your qualifications
Make sure you have been reading about education and your subject in newspapers and subject association publications.
After the interview
Always Thank the head teacher for the opportunity of the interview, if the headteachers/panel question have not covered everything you want/need to know about the position then ask questions this will show willingness and a keen interest in the position and could set you apart from other candidates. Make yourself available to come in on a Supply basis if they wish to see you teacher further.
Contact First 4 Education to let us know whether you are interested in taking the position should it be offered to you.
If there are any clarifications or questions that you have following the interview, inform your consultant who can follow these up with the school on your behalf.
Whether or not you are successful in getting the position, your consultant will contact you as soon as they have heard from the school. If you have not been selected for the post, the consultant will ask for feedback. Digesting and acting on this feedback will ensure that you are even more prepared for the next interview.
Two final points
Get those nerves under control early! Easier said than done, we know. But eating well the day before will ensure your blood sugar levels are balanced. And if you do feel an attack of the jitters, remember to do lots of deep breathing.
Slow down! What happens when we’re nervous? We gabble, rush our speech and leave important stuff out. Remember – silence can be your best friend. Pausing for a second or two before starting to answer questions can make you seem thoughtful