Interview season is upon us again. There’s lots of posts being advertised at the moment which is a good sign. I will be interviewing myself again this summer. I left my permanent job last year and took a fixed term contract closer to home. The most commonly asked question I receive is about my leaving of a permanent job. So many people are in a post which may not suit them due to a commute, family reasons, or it just may not be the right fit. My answer to these questions is always the same. I loved my last school and was very happy there, but leaving it was the best decision I ever made for my family and myself in general. I am so happy in my new school. I no longer have a stressful commute, I can walk to school, and I just feel its the right school for me. Life is too short to work somewhere if you are not 100% happy there. The fact that I am no longer permanent doesn’t bother me in the slightest, I would happily work on fixed term contracts for the rest of my teaching days once I am happy. So my first piece of advice is to just take that leap of faith! If leaving your job is on your mind, then there’s normally a reason. The one thing I am not over the moon about however is interviewing again!
Here’s a few tips if you are in the same position!
Put time into your application form. It’s what will get you an interview so give it the time it deserves. The space is limited so make sure every word counts. The word count is very limited but try not to go too far over it. Bullet points will help you keep on track.
Try to be up to date on all educational matters from the past couple of years- the new language curriculum and the new maths curriculum in particular.
Research the school’s policies and initiatives they have taken part in, it’ll give you a great insight into the school’s philosophy. Try to then link your experience with something the school is interested in.
Be confident and self assured- you are qualified and able for this job!Always speak from experience and use examples of real life experiences in your answers. Using real life examples in your answers shows you have experience and the necessary knowledge of how to react in certain situations. Draw on experiences from placement, subbing etc.
Smile and be relaxed and confident!
Keep a notebook or a file on your phone and scribble down anything you see online or on Instagram which could be helpful, e.g questions others have been asked in interview, topical issues etc. There’s so many excellent pages sharing advice online and on Instagram, if you see something that you feel is relevant to you, then take note of it.
My interview book is available to purchase fromhttps://4schools.examcraftgroup.ie/product/guide-primary-school-interviews and is only 14.70 for a hard copy! I always think it is nice to have a hard copy of an interview book so you can highlight sections, make notes etc. There’s two sections in the book. The first part is all the theory and information for interviews, then the second part is a reflective notebook, where you relate all that information to your own unique experience. The feedback and reviews on the Interview Guide for Primary Teachers has been overwhelmingly positive, with people finding the sample questions in English and Irish very helpful, and the workbook section too!
Table of Contents
The Standard Application Form
The Letter of Application
List of Questions
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions English
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions Gaeilge
Standard Application Form Buzz words and Verbs
Research the School
What to (And Not To) Wear – Interview Attire
Questions you may want to ask the Interviewer
Interviews with Principals
Checklist: Are you Ready?
Principalship Interview Questions
Workbook Table of Contents:
My Top Six Qualities
Four Achievements I am Proud Of
Four Reasons Why this School Needs Me
My Teacher Traits
Buzzwords to Remember
What Schools are Looking For
Adjectives and Traits which describe you
Researching School Website
My CPD Record
Technology and Me
Weekly Planner Template
My Notes Template
Important to Do template
The new sections are:
Re-interviewing in your current school
Interviewing in an Educate Together
Interviewing for an ASD Class/Special School
Interviewing for Posts of Responsibility