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First supply agancy interview

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by at64, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. at64

    at64 New commenter

    Hi, I have my first supply agency interview this week and was wondering what type of questions people have been asked, especially around safeguarding and behaviour.
  2. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I don't recall being asked anything about those at my interview. They really just want to know your experience and your what and where you will teach. Plus lots of form filling and a photograph.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and at64 like this.
  3. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    During a previous stint of supply, the interview I had was not dissimilar to a 'normal' teaching interview with questions about safeguarding, behaviour and possibly even assessment, although it was a while ago so I can't entirely remember. The lady interviewing me had been a teacher herself so I don't know whether that made a difference or not.
    When I registered with my current agency, I was expecting it to be the same but it was much more like blazer describes. I'd already sent them a CV etc so I don't think they even asked me much about my experience...it was a lot more about checking my documents in person etc. which IIRC I had already emailed electronically
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and at64 like this.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    They are not really interviews - they are exercises in data collecting and then putting you in the books.

    I had 3 - the longest one was about 45 minutes.

    The last one - was about 20 minutes - and then I got packed off to a school the next morning for a real interview.
  5. at64

    at64 New commenter

    Thank you. They said about an hour but if it's paperwork inclusive, that won't be too bad.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I went for one last week and I was there for about 45m. The questions were not very taxing. One was “Describe your teaching in 3 words”. Another was how would you deal with a misbehaving child.

    Most of the time was spent on paperwork and chatting about my expectations.
  7. at64

    at64 New commenter

    That's very helpful. Thank you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    A lot of people who work at agencies haven't the first clue about teaching. They're sales people. Rather than anticipating what they might ask, you need to line up your questions. I'd advise you to read the pinned posts at the top of the page. Ask them about what they pay for a qualified teacher and don't take any flannel about unpaid trial days, umbrella company payroll or working as a TA for half the price. Find out what your MPS pay rate should be and start the bidding from there. Agencies will try to get away with offering very low rates and asking you to travel miles for a few hours work unless you actually are prepared to spend a fortune on petrol and waste hours traveling around unfamiliar towns. Those of us who have made a go of it, did it by putting ourselves first.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  9. at64

    at64 New commenter

    Thank you for the advice. I have read all the information on pinned posts and as a NEU union rep, had read all the advice they give and made a list of questions to ask.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    They will almost certainly ask you about safeguarding. Questions could (or should) be something like: What signs of abuse would you recognise? and On what occasions are you obliged to report something a student as told you in confidence.?

    If you have a long period of time unaccounted for or spent outside the UK they might be interested in that too.

    Don't worry too much about it since, unless you make a complete hash of it, they will sign you onto their books,
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and at64 like this.
  11. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    Q1. How much do you pay? a suitable reply to their opening gambit is, Is that all
    Q2. How do you pay? depending upon the response, if a) PAYE, your response is that's fine.
    if b) Umbrella company, your response, why not PAYE? if you are paying me via umbrella company, then it will be at least £15 a day extra.

    Remember, you are the teacher, the agency will try to pay you as little as they can, whilst claiming from the school, as much as they can. Thus, if they pay you little, their coffers get overlaoded.

    You also need to know.
    Umbrella companies will dedcut from YOU,
    A fee (admin) to actually pay you.
    Your N.I. and the employers N.I.
    If you enrol into workplace pension, then you will pay your share, AND THE EMPLOYERS SHARE
    You may well also be deducted an apprentice levy as well.

  12. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Very hard to make a go of it these days - especially on Day2day Supply, without another source of income.
    agathamorse and at64 like this.
  13. at64

    at64 New commenter

    Thank you for responding. Sounds quite standard and that I can manage.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. at64

    at64 New commenter

    So I've heard but I am fortunate enough to be looking for 2-3 days a week on average.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Me too, good luck.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. at64

    at64 New commenter

    Thank you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    I think you have been given the general feel of what will happen by various posters. Someone, on this forum I believe, once said the purpose of the agency interview is to check you have a pulse :) I rather liked that. It is, as you can see from the replies, a little bit more, but the more you do, the easier it gets as they follow a pattern. It depends on your location and subject, but I'd advise caution about pricing yourself out of the market unless you are uber-confident you and your skills are in demand. Get an idea in your head of what you will work for and try to to stick to that. I had a good start to supply but this term is very disappointing so far. You will almost certainly be asked if you will do cover supervisor work (about half teacher pay). So far I have resisted, but it does seem to be a very tough market right now. Even longer term supply is hard to get. You need to factor in being in competition with direct applicants (a lot of jobs agencies that are asked to supply candidates for, posts like maternity covers or notice fillers, are also advertised), and suddenly assignments that seemed relatively straightforward to get, really aren't. Also beware the phantom jobs that remain on agency websites long after they are filled, if indeed they every existed. But having said that, I do hope it works out for you - and us all - and I wish you the best of luck for your time on supply.
  18. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    My interview was quite amusing as I was interviewed by a former pupil! Once or twice she nearly called me 'Sir'!
  19. HS65

    HS65 Occasional commenter

    I'm with a few agencies ,the interviews have ranged from mostly form filling to something that started to feel like a proper interview .... differentiation, classroom managements etc etc. My answers were brief but delivered with an air of "I know what I'm doing" ;)

    I am also with an agency staffed by an ex pupil/ex colleague's offspring. I went there because of that as I like dealing with people I know and who know me a bit. I had a few daily placements from them, they've offered some longer term stuff but I'm already committed for now .... and they reacted the best when I started discussing slightly upping my daily rate with them all.
  20. at64

    at64 New commenter

    Thank you to everyone who gave me advice and support. I am a signed up member of the agency. It was a 'proper' school interview, less the teaching and interview with school council. Not too much paperwork, good contract and fair pay, bang in the middle of what I was planning to ask for, but put forward before I could say what I wanted. Fingers crossed I will get enough work not to have to go back into a school.
    les25paul, agathamorse and Jesmond12 like this.

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