Strategies for Teachers interviewing digitally for jobs
Now, more than ever before, schools are interviewing teachers for positions over skype, Zoom, Facetime or WhatsApp.
As you are not in the same room as the person interviewing you and it may be a little trickier to read body language and connect in the same way there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance and succeed and win the role.
The key is to prepare and know and understand exactly what you are interviewing for:
- Find out what the role is (year group, size of the school, demographics, length of contract)
- Decide if the school is in an area you can see yourself living?
- What are the living costs in that area?
- Are there good transport links to things that are important to you?
- Do the school’s visions and value align with yours?
It’s always important to read over the OFSTED report to get an idea of where the school is at. OFSTED reports are always on the school’s website and you need to read over this to get an insight into the results, leadership and school culture. This also gives you information which may lead you to ask some good questions at the end of your interview.
You need to be sure the role and school is suited to you before committing to interview and Head Teachers want to know that you are well researched and have selected their school as a place you would like to work.
You can never be to prepared for an interview. With digital interviews, you obviously cannot tour the school or carry out a trial lesson so it will all come down to your answers and how you come across on screen. Below are some good practice questions you look over and think about before you go online for the real thing!
- What do you know about our school? (talk about values, location, demographics etc.)
- Why do you want to teach in the UK?
- Tell me about a really successful lesson you have taught? (what was the beginning, middle and end. What was the hook/intro to get the students engaged? What was the actual activity/lesson? How did it end? Assessment? Reflection? Quickfire quiz? How did you know the students were engaged and learning? How did you differentiate to cater to the different learning abilities and styles?)
- Tell me about your behaviour management strategies?
- What do you know about the British curriculum?
- Safeguarding. Most schools will ask you about this. Find their Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy on their website and mention the name of their DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead)
- How long do you intend to stay in the UK?
- Have you had experience working with ESL and SEN students?
- Have you got any questions for us? (make sure you have at least two questions ready to go. Use these questions as another chance to promote yourself in terms of what else you can offer the school and how else you can add value to them (e.g. extracurricular activities, extra responsibilities etc)
You also need to make sure you are all set up properly and are ready to go! You don’t want connection issues or interruptions holding you back.
Test your device, video and sound
You really want your interview to have high-quality sound and a good solid picture. Do a practice on your device, test your internet connection.
Pop a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door
Pop a sign on your door so no one interrupts. Avoiding interruptions and removing the possibility of being disturbed will allow you to give full attention to your interview. Make sure you have a blank wall behind you and that you have good light.
Have notes on hand if needed
Because you are online and no one can see your device, it can be a good idea to pop a few reminder post-it notes around your screen to prompt you if needed. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted and forget what you want to say, so if you can just quickly glance up at a reminder, you won’t forget to say all those extra bits!
Let your personality shine
Smile, have good eye contact, take your time answering and share a joke. As you are not sitting together in the office you need to let your bubbly personally come through. The Head Teacher needs to see you are engaging, passionate and enthusiastic about your career. The Head Teacher needs to be able to visualise you in the classroom and get a feeling the students will connect with you and feel secure so be confident, calm and don’t forget to breathe!