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Dear Theo - First interview for a teaching job - EVER!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by HuskyPaws, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Hello!

    I read these forums avidly, but this is the first time I have actually posted. Up to now, the only things I would have had to post were frustrated rants about the difficulty I have found in getting anywhere with applying for jobs as a primary NQT - especially after having gone back to university as a mature student to retrain after a redundancy (damn that council funding being cut!) - and there are more than enough of those for me to read already, all of which have brought me some comfort and let me know I haven't been alone with this situation this year.

    However - I have FINALLY been shortlisted for an interview! After visiting a school and being told by the headteacher that if I hadn't had any interviews yet it was because my application wasn't grabbing people's attention enough, I had a really good go at making it stand out using my own noggin AND lots of the advice to be found here on TES, and finally something seems to have 'clicked'! I don't really have that many specific questions yet as all they have told me so far is that I have been shortlisted, with more information to come soon. As well as being excited, I'm now also fairly nervous (and a little terrified!).

    One of the things I would like some informal advice on is dressing for interview - does one (with one being a female) absolutely HAVE to wear a suit, with a button-up shirt/blouse? I have a lot of trouble finding shirts that fit me properly and let me move/breathe comfortably. I also am not sure if I can afford to buy a suit, as money is VERY tight at the moment (much as many schools ask me back by name when I do supply for them, it has stil been very sparse this year). I do need to go shopping for interview clothes so if anyone has any advice about this, that would be great. I know it's not the MOST important thing about going to interview but I am also aware that first impressions count for a lot!

    I expect I will post again when I have more details about the interview itself with some more specific questions or worries. The teaching part of the interview isn't seeming TOO daunting to me, as I feel like I've settled in to a nice little groove with my supply teaching this year, but I am still very nervous about messing up, particularly when they ask me searching questions in the interview. So any reassurance or advice that anybody has would be very, VERY gratefully received!

    Sorry for the long post - and thanks for reading - and I look forward to any replies that ensue!
  2. Oh dear. That DID have paragraphs when I wrote it, honest. I use Linux, do I need to do something particular to allow my paragraphs to show up? :/
  3. TES forums have a nasty habit of nicking people's paragaphs. ;-) - It's not just you!

  4. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I'm not sure about Linux but with safari you need to put a greater than and less than symbol with a p in the middle every time I want a new paragraph. Sorry can't show it as I just reads it as a new paragraph!

    Re dress: smart as you can manage. Obviously you need to be able to move comfortably when teaching , but I usually wear a suit, and take my jacket off whenever I'm working with children. If a suit is out of the question then go smart and conservative. You need to look convincing for the role.
  5. fishtail

    fishtail New commenter

    You are right to be concerned about first impressions--like handwriting, not fair to be judged by it but it still makes an impact, and you need to be aware of that. I would suggest that you dress for the job you want, not for the job you have--hoary advice, but still not bad. In other words, you don't have to wear a suit, but you do have to look professional, grown-up and neat. No jeans or overly fluffy/frilly/bright (as in fluorescent)/very alarming patterns for an interview, would be my advice. Tie hair back neatly if it's not short.

    Wearing a jacket with a dress is fine, avoid droopy cardigans, however comforting, have smart but comfy shoes (in case of long site tours). Do let something of your natural personality shine through, though--don't dress in drab grey if you are normally a bright and shiny soul, as you won't do yourself or your employer any favours by pretending to be what you are not. Just try and be the best, neatest, most professional you.

    Apparently women are more likely to get jobs if they wear lipstick. Not at all sure about that one, but worth wearing if it gives you confidence, but avoid piercings (multiple ear piercings as well), overly done make-up (not false lash time) and so on. Be your professional self. Remember that after five minutes talking to the most striking person in the world, you start thinking about what they're saying and not their looks, and be confident in your normal lovely self that gets invited back fro supply.

    Good luck!!
  6. That's CRACKING advice guys, thank you. The idea of a dress with a jacket is a good one - I think I would feel comfortable as well as smart in that. Being comfortable while doing the teaching is something that's on my mind, so wearing something smart where I can lose the jacket to deliver my lesson is a really good idea - that sounds like the perfect solution! Interesting point about the lipstick, too - I'll break out the Clinique then (although maybe not the pillarbox red)! :D
  7. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    I wear a black suit with a girly/floaty smart blouse to soften the whole effect with ballet pumps and my hair up (its very very very long)

    Someone once told me people wearing hues of purple/green/blue are more likely to get the Job.Also I have been told to not wear strong perfume and definately have make-up but in neutral tones.

    I didnt wear a jacket to my interview today, just black trousers and a purpley blouse and got the job!
  8. Congratulations!! That's great news! Also gives me a bit more hope that I WILL get a teaching job this year :)

    My hair is very very long too, so definitely going to put it up with a clip or something. A floaty blouse is a good idea. I may have to try and see if any of my friends have a suit I could borrow - looks like that is the way to go, with either a dress under a suit jacket or a floaty blouse of some sort. I wasn't sure if something a bit girly/floaty might be a bit too informal - it's crisp shirts I have the most problems with, being a little, er, curvy on the top half ;) Expensive shirts with a better cut are usually a much more comfortable fit of course, but my budget is more Primark than Whistles at the moment! Purple is a good colour for me and I do think it gives off an approachable yet smart air, so will probably go down the bluey/purpley route. Thanks :)
  9. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I would say, wear a suit trouser or skirt. It's more professional. Luckily we girls can look good in cheap suits (that fall apart in a few months). Primark, Matalan, M&S have some retail outlets, La Redoute online and especially Tesco and George at Asda really, really good. Really nice stuff, looks good, lasts longer and can even pass for Next! And definitely no T shirts. A good quality crisp blouse, ironed. If your top heavy, wear a size larger blouse. Once the job is yours, you can project your personality, dye your hair green, and wear white lipstick but now it's interview uniform suit, blouse and GOOD LUCK!
  10. Thanks! The good luck wishes and all the advice are very much appreciated! Yes, I might go for the suit option after all. A larger size blouse is a good idea, although I worry that when they look baggy elsewhere they don't look *quite* as smart. Don't worry though, I've no intention of wearing a t shirt or turning my hair green at any juncture, let alone for an interview, so we've no worries there ;) So I think I'm pretty sorted on the dress front - any other tips for a first time interviewee? I've had other interviews in the past, but mostly much more informal ones than it will be for a teaching job, and while I've got a good idea of what to expect I'd still appreciate any advice or tips anyone has! I'm really quite nervous!
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Well done for getting that interview!
    Now go and read the advice in the Interview clickables inside the Welcome thread.
    Then you'll be all ready to start a new thread called Dear Theo - I got that job!
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.

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