What are schools looking for in a candidate?
Schools are looking for a teacher who will fit in well with the school and department. As a subject teacher you will be within a department in your new school. For example, if you are a French teacher, you will be in the French department and will be working closely with the other French teachers on a daily basis. Your line manager will be the Head of French. The *Principal interviewing you will be looking for good people skills and an open and friendly personality.
*Principal… called “Head Teacher” in English schools
In our experience, candidates are almost always asked about their behaviour management strategies. This question is asked by most schools, regardless of how challenging or well behaved their pupils are. Principals ask this question to assess what sort of pupils you have had experience teaching and how well you will be able to adapt to their school.
The Interview Lesson
This is your opportunity to show how strong you are in the classroom and how capable you are of handling pupils.
- Always plan your lesson in three parts – beginning (Introduction), middle (main body of lesson) and end (conclusion/recap).
- Always bring a hard copy of your lesson plan with you and photocopy it four times.
- Remember to write the lesson outcomes (called lesson objectives in England) on the white board just before the pupils enter the room so that they can clearly see what they are going to cover in the lesson.
- Deal appropriately with any behaviour issues that arise. Don’t be too confrontational but don’t be seen to overlook things.
- Use assessment in the lesson if possible, even if you just do a short Q&A session.
- Ensure the lesson has good pace. If you give the pupils a task to complete, try to give them a time target too.
- Move around the room rather that positioning yourself at the top of the classroom for the duration of the lesson.
- Ensure that the focus of the lesson is what the pupils achieve, rather than how you deliver the information. Try not to talk too much! Get the pupils on-task as quickly as possible.
Always arrive at the school on time and ensure you are wearing interview attire. Always be well groomed and presented.