What I need from your interview
So, what makes me want to commit to you emotionally and visualise you in my school if you are an external candidate; or in the role if you are an internal candidate? In short, what do you need to do to get onto the shortlist for a job offer? Remember, I love my school, and I only want to be appointing teachers who I believe will love it too.
Skype basics – I need to see and hear you!
All too often these days, and particularly with international schools, initial interviews are carried out over Skype, so if you are not used to Skyping you need to practice:
- Have you checked your Skype link and microphone work, and are on time to start the call at the agreed time? Please think about what is behind you – what we can see – I am instantly put off when I can see your overflowing laundry basket! And please make sure you are in the room alone. I know I am talking to you in your living room, but only because I have to. I would not normally expect to meet your family and your dog during an interview if it were happening in my office.
- Make sure you are appropriately dressed – this is the first impression you are creating.
- Check you can be seen and heard – and I want to see your whole face, not just your forehead! Spend some time practising so you know how far away from the screen you should be when being interviewed!
Think and decide
It is vital that you prepare carefully for an interview. This applies as much, if not more if you are an internal candidate – see “Internal Candidates” below. Think about the questions I am likely to ask you, and then decide how you will answer them, sharing with me the information you want to get across.
- Have you thought about how you will demonstrate the positive impact you have had on the children you have taught or the colleagues you have worked alongside?
- Have you got examples of how you have grown and improved your practice?
- What mistakes have you learned from?
- Can you talk about initiatives you have led or risks you have taken?
In the interview
Remember, I want to know who you are as a person by the time we get to interview. I want to know:
- How are you likely to support our students?
- How will you work with our teaching teams?
- How will you relate to parents and develop links across the wider school community?
Most importantly perhaps, I want to know what your drivers are. What gets you out of bed in the morning ready to come to school? What gives you the most satisfaction? How do you go about engaging your students and colleagues and encouraging them to move out of their comfort zones and make a difference? What are your non-negotiables? How do you want to grow as a professional? What are you currently learning? What is your ‘Why’?
And, because you have researched my school already, or as an internal candidate you already work here and thought about what our main areas for development are, how would you contribute to achieving these?
What questions do you have for me?
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