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Interviews for Teaching: only the brave need apply

by Fiona Christie on April 6, 2011

All job interviews are stressful – there’s no doubt about that but teaching interviews present something extra special. I have recently gained experience of this first-hand when I was on a panel of interviewers.

Very often, you will be assessed teaching a class of children/young people and only if you do well enough will you be invited to stay on for the rather saner panel interview.

The good news is that generally schools won’t give you their toughest class to teach and you’ll have plenty of time to prepare a lesson.   And there’s also the reality that from a school’s perspective this really is quite a good vehicle to assess suitable applicants and it also gives you a chance to get feedback. Always ask for feedback if you aren’t successful for a teaching interview. The assessors will have got to know you fairly well through both observing your teaching and through the panel interview. They will definitely have feedback to give you but will only give it to you if you ask.

Virtually all teaching applications and interviews are all based around the professional standards for teaching so make sure you understand this well and can evidence your skills/competencies etc.

Click here to download the professional standards expected at QTS level.

Another thing to be aware of is that sometimes panels who interview for teaching won’t be practised interviewers; they may well be teachers who are squeezing this in amongst other commitments and may actually be a bit nervious themselves! So be prepared to help them out – e.g., ask for clarification, check if you have answered the question adequately.

The Times Educational Supplement has also got a careers advice section with some useful tips for applying for teaching positions.

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services have produced a great guide for getting a teaching job . This includes a detailed overview of what to expect and how to prepare for an interview.

On a final note I’d say having talked to seasoned interviewers that practice and preparation does make perfect. If nerves get the better of you in a first interview, it will get so much easier. I promise.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

levon lindsey June 6, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I am trying to gather information and resoures to teach others about how to apply for employment and job careers

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Fiona Christie June 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Thanks for your comment. We hope you find some of the material on our blog useful.

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