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No matter how experienced you are, you will have to endure the interview stage. Make sure your talents speak for themselves by avoiding these common pitfalls:
1. Lack of research. Demonstrate you want the job by being familiar with the school; visit the website, read the Ofsted report. It’s a must.
2. Disrespecting the ex-employer. Not everybody leaves a job on a positive note and these people may find themselves airing a little dirty laundry at their next interviews. However, this will only serve to make them appear bitter and resentful. The interviewers may even wonder what could be said about them in future.
3. Lack of eye contact. For many interviewers, this is a deal-breaker. Good eye contact demonstrates confidence and authority, as well as offering a glimpse into your own teaching style.
4. Unprofessional language. Interviewers do not respond well to causal words such as “mate” during conversations with candidates. It can come across as overfamiliar and unprofessional.
5. Too much humour. A little light humour breaks the ice on both sides, as well as showing you are personable and pleasant to work with. Making the interviewers laugh will keep you in their thoughts, but don’t overdo it – you’re trying to win a job, not a standing ovation!
6. Bad timekeeping. If you can’t turn up to the interview on time, how can they be sure you’ll get to school every day on time? If you can’t help being late – caught in bad traffic for example – phone ahead as soon as possible and warn the interviewers.
7. Ignoring the dress code. Looking overly smart is common courtesy in job interviews. While many schools don’t expect their teachers to wear a full suit, tie and jacket to the classroom, interviewers like to see effort being made.
8. Dishonesty. If you fib about a lack of experience in an area, you will only create problems for yourself later on.
9. Not asking questions. You are always invited to ask questions at the end – if you don’t ask any, the interviewers may take this as a sign you aren’t interested. If your mind does go blank, keep in mind one or two spare questions. For example: What support would I expect during my first week? How soon could I run my own extracurricular club? Why did this position become vacant?
10. Lack of preparation. If you can’t think of any, you will look unrehearsed and underprepared, which is insulting to the interviewers. Memorise some good stories from your career so far (including training), and your answers will glow with wisdom.
Thanks to close links with our schools, we can offer you invaluable preparation for your interviews, giving you the best possible chance to shine. If you have questions about any of our roles, our Education team will be happy to help.