Interview Tips for a Job in Education
A job in education is a rewarding career in terms of job security and in knowing that you’re making a real difference to the future of young people. Now that you’ve taken the plunge and made your application for your perfect career, perhaps choosing from the wide range of education jobs advertised on REESON’s online vacancies board, it’s time to think about how to prepare for your interview.
Teaching interviews in particular can be an all-day affair, involving presentations and observed lessons as well as panel questioning, so it’s important to feel ready when you go in. Here are our top tips for how to ace that interview and come out with your dream job.
1. Do Your Research
While it stands to reason that you should have a good idea by now of what’s required of your chosen job role, you also need to have a good inside knowledge of the school that you’re hoping to work with. Visit their website, read their constitution thoroughly, and ground yourself in their values and aims for their children’s education. That way you can gear your answers to interview questions towards the school’s outlook and you’ll fit well into their idea of an ideal applicant.
2. Blow Your Own Trumpet
Without coming across as arrogant, don’t be afraid of emphasising your skills and achievements, drawing on and adding to the information you’ve already given in your initial application. Where possible make your talents and abilities relevant to the classroom, and back up your answers with examples of how you will apply your knowledge to your new job role.
3. Dress to Impress
First impressions count in any interview, and it’s always important to dress well. If you’re taking part in an observed lesson make sure your chosen outfit will stand the rigours of the classroom, however – sky high heels or an expensive pin stripe suit might be a little bit too much for small chairs, science labs or carpet time. Stay away from jeans, trainers and casual tops and make sure your hair is tidy. Most importantly, in and out of the classroom, wear your best smile.
4. Answer Questions Fully and with Specific Examples
Try to answer your interviewers’ questions fully and relate what you say to your chosen job role. If the interviewer asks how you would deal with a certain situation, don’t steer away from the point. Try to keep the main thread of the question in your mind as you formulate your answer and use examples from your previous experience to back up your answers.
5. Prepare an Excellent Presentation or Observed Lesson – and Practise it!
For any teaching position you’ll probably have to demonstrate a prepared lesson in a classroom or at the very least deliver a presentation. Prepare this as thoroughly as you can, well in advance, taking your time over it and proofreading anything that will be read by others. If possible practise it beforehand so you’re familiar with timings and have a chance to fix any possible sticking points. On the day of the interview remember that this part is nerve racking for everyone. Try not to be nervous and keep smiling, even if things go a little bit wrong. Your assessors will be just as interested in how you address problems if they arise as they will be in seeing a flawless lesson.
To find your ideal job in education, take your pick from the vacancies listed on REESON’s jobs board online, and familiarise yourself with our blog and advice pages to help prepare yourself for landing the ideal job to enhance or kick-start your dream career.