ECT and NQT Job Interviews: The Dos and Don’ts

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ECT And NQT Job Interviews: The Dos And Don’ts

Wondering how to prepare for your teacher interview? Here are some of SupplyWells Dos and Don'ts for ECT and NQT job interviews.

Teacher interviews are intimidating, especially if you are starting out in the profession as an early career teacher or a newly qualified teacher. You aren’t alone though, here are some of SupplyWells Dos and Don’ts for ECT and NQT teacher interviews. 

Do: Use the STAR technique 

The STAR method will ensure that you are fully able to answer a question properly and thoroughly get your point across. 

  • Situation – give context for your anecdote
  • Task – explain what you were asked to do
  • Activity – describe what you did
  • Result – explain how the situation played out

This method will cover all of the basis that you need to cover to give a fantastic teacher interview response. 

Do: Make sure your CV is teacher interview ready

Your teacher CV is the very first impression that a school gets of you. Recruitment industry research shows that on average recruiters may spend as little as 6 seconds looking at a CV before deciding whether an applicant is suitable, so it’s important to make yours stand out. Luckily, we have an extensive blog which covers how to make your teacher CV strong. Check out ‘CV Essentials – How To Write Your Teacher CV’ here.

Do: Some mock teacher interview practice

Ask a family member or friend to do a mock teacher interview with you, here are some questions you can use. This will help you prepare by getting you used to the interview process and build your confidence in talking about yourself and your experiences. 

  • “Why did you become a teacher?”
  • “What appeals to you about our school?”
  • “What previous experiences do you have that makes you a good fit?” 
  • “How would you cope with a challenging class?”
  • “What are your areas for development?”

Do: Research the schools safeguarding policy 

It is safe to assume that you will be asked about safeguarding during your interview. The best way to prepare for this is by reading the safeguarding policy of the school you are applying for and making sure you are familiar with their policy. This means you can quote and have genuine insight when you are asked a safeguarding related question.

Do: In depth research of the school 

Make sure you do research into the school that you are interviewing with. Look at the schools OFSTED reports, their senior leadership teams, any specialisms of the school, their values, ethics and vision for pupils. This allows you to personalise your answers and questions, and it shows that you’re proactive and have genuine interest in the school. 

Do: Read the job specification 

Prior to the interview make a list of how your skills, qualities and experience align with what the school is asking for and make sure to showcase this during the interview in your answers. 

Do: End on a positive note

End your teacher interview on a positive note. Be sure to thank the interviewer for taking the time to interview you and express your enthusiasm for the role and for the school in general. 

Make sure you do not talk negatively about previous experiences, past employers, or placements that you have been on. Even if you have had bad experiences in the past,  it’s good to try and stay positive during your interview. 

Don’t leave your preparation last minute

It goes without saying that you should give yourself enough time to prepare for your teacher interview and not leave it to the night before. The Teacher Toolkit have a ‘5 Minute Interview Plan’ to help you plan for your interview! This is especially helpful if you are pressed for time.  

Don’t stay silent

At the end of the interview your interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Make sure you are loaded with at least one question to fire to your panel. You can ask about opportunities for progression, leadership, or enquire about support and induction processes.  

Don’t underestimate body language

Experts believe that at least 70% of communication is non-verbal. This means our body language matters a lot more than we think! 

  • No arm folding 
  • Maintain eye contact 
  • No fidgeting, this can be difficult if you’re nervous 
  • Smile and open posture  
  • Respectful physical distance (in the era of Covid you can’t be too safe!) 

We want you to remember that you have trained for this for a long time! Remind yourself you have so much to offer a school and you can be making a real difference to students and the wider school community. Once you nail your interview (and we have every faith that you will) have a read of these tips on ‘How to prepare for your first day in a new school.’ What are your tips for acing a teacher interview? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

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