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Anyone got any interview advice?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by lanokia, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    So just had another failed job interview. Did the lesson which they thought was aimed too high for the class ~ and I admit, it was quite a full lesson, lot of materials, you'll laugh but the photocopying cost me £15 at Staples. Class was nice and responsive in general although some of them not very enthused. I'd also assumed from the literature they'd sent out that there had been some pre-learning, but turned out I was wrong so I spent longer explaining some key ideas than I should have.

    I tried giving off a relaxed, charming, humorous demeanor, professional etc. The tour of the school was the usual really but I could have worked there.

    The interview was fine, I thought I answered questions well. The feedback was that they didn't like my response to the question

    'Why do you want to work for.... ?'

    I so wanted to say 'well I have this thing called a mortgage to pay' but I didn't, I fed them some guff about stuff I'd read online and being part of an improving school blah blah...

    Here's the annoying thing, the really confusing thing... the interview was for a supply teaching post. Not a permanent post. It was a long term, day by day teaching role. They could have got rid me of me at the end of the first week no bother!

    Also, you'd think the fact that I was willing to consider a job 40 minutes drive from home, you'd think that would demonstrate at least some modicum of commitment.

    So... is there anything glaring above that stands out as me doing some thing wrong? My lesson was OTT, I accept that, I don't know how to do a 30 min interview lesson, especially on the odd-esoteric topic they gave me.

    Basically I'm annoyed... and I want to why I can't do this right... what's the trick?
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    BTW... to make matters worse, I was the only candidate.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Oh how disappointing. And annoying.

    Big bar of chocolate called for tonight.

    Just a few things to say....

    Level of class is notoriously difficult to judge. It can be helpful to have a Plan B if you have got it too high, and a Plan C if too low. So you switch to the different level the moment you see that you haven't got it quite right.

    For the Why do you want to work here question..... I normally don't give answers to interview questions, but this happens to be the exception, since I deal with it at the end of this article in the Professional Advice Hub.


    Did you not have time to read all my stuff beforehand? There is a lot, I know.

    And finally I hope you collected in all the photocopying at the end. Even if it was all scribbled over, I wouldn't have left it for then!

    Mind you, at the end of the lesson when you had the chance to collect it, you didn't know they were going to say Bye!


    Best wishes

  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Thanks @TheoGriff

    That bit at the end does indeed help me understand that final question a lot better! Didn't look at it that way. Seems... obvious now.

    Yeah multiple lesson options graded different ways might be a way to go from now on.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Good luck lad.

    Or lass.


    Best wishes

  6. opalfeet

    opalfeet Occasional commenter

    I think I did suggest some ideas before. My advice for what it is worth:

    1. Don't do an interview for a supply agency for a short term post. They will rob you and the school blind. Take day to day work, sign up with loads (and I mean loads) of agencies, work in primary, in PRUs, in different secondary schools. Accept any work as long as they pay you what you want for the day (£115? Secondary schools pay £220 a day)You will have fun, and no work to do at the end of the day.
    2. By working in a short term post you will have the pressure of 'not being a proper teacher' and still have all the usual responsibilities for less pay than you are worth. Also, if you are offered a full time job the school has to buy you out...cheaper to get someone who has not been introduced via supply.
    Seriously...you sound like you need some respite, some fun time. That's just my two pennyworth, I realise there are probably financial pressures. This is why you sign up to lots of agencies!
    3. You will do well in interview when you are less stressed and calm, when you have 'failed' a few more it will be like water off a ducks back. You will have given up caring... then you will probably perform at your best.
    4. Be you, but perhaps with a few extra smiles, don't be someone that you are not! Answer questions how you think they should be answered, don't try to second guess what the interviewer wants to hear.
    5. What has worked for me? Don't overcomplicate things (I think you did this didn't you?!), keep it simple, some sort of questioning/feedback at beginning (possibly middle) and end to try to gauge some sort of starting point and progress. Link to exam criteria at beginning and working towards part of that- even if it is just a plan, a table or a paragraph which will help to answer a question.
    lanokia likes this.
  7. opalfeet

    opalfeet Occasional commenter

    And some sort of supportive structure for the less able. Writing frame, hint cards etc.
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Thank you @opalfeet

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