Interview preparation – professional and support
What do I need to do before an interview?
Give yourself plenty of time to:
- Research the role and the school
- Ensure you ask for resources and/or data if necessary to support your lesson observation and/or task
- Think about how well your experience, interests and skills fit the job and the school
- Find out what the prospective employer is actually looking for
- Anticipate questions you might be asked, then prepare answers to these questions
You should also:
- Plan the day of the interview, especially your journey, with the aim to arrive ten minutes early
- Take care in deciding what to wear. Suits and businesswear are the best option, but be sure that you will be comfortable in your interview
How do I make a good impression at a job interview?
Stand out for all the right reasons by ensuring you:
Arrive on time or slightly early
Listen carefully to questions and answer them concisely
Highlight your best attributes in the interview. Think beforehand about what you want the interviewer to know about you (in relation to the job) during the interviewing process
Pay attention to how you communicate – remember that non-verbal communication sometimes overpowers verbal communication
Practise anything you're concerned about. This could be saying your answers aloud, which builds confidence, or having a trial run of the journey to the interview
What techniques can I use to control my nerves?
In interviews, nerves can make you forget to do simple things such as smiling and listening, which can result in being thought of as unfriendly or inattentive. You're less likely to be nervous if you're adequately prepared, so you should:
Give yourself time before the interview to think about the unique qualities you will bring to the post
Think of practical examples to demonstrate what you have achieved, drawing on all aspects of your working, educational and social life
Write notes and take these along to the interview
Use cues in your notes to highlight examples that you want to use
Pause before answering a difficult question, to give yourself time to think
Use positive language, as interviewers will be assessing your motivation and enthusiasm
Ask for clarification if you're unsure of what a question means
What should I take to a job interview?
- Your invitation to interview should detail everything you need to bring. Often employers request examination certificates, which can take time to locate, so make sure you check what you need in plenty of time
- It’s always worth having a pen and notebook with you. If you are giving a presentation, take a copy on a data stick (even if you have emailed it to the school beforehand), along with copies of the slides to use as handouts for the interview panel
If you take a mobile phone, make sure it is switched to silent or off before entering the organisation