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Interview outfit for prep school

Discussion in 'Independent' started by missdarling, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. missdarling

    missdarling New commenter

    To my great excitement I have secured an interview at a nearby prep school. The job will be in KS1.

    I want to wear something that is stretchy and comfortable enough to get down on the floor during the lesson observation but is also smart enough for interview. I am not a black two-piece suit sort of a girl.

    I will probably have to buy something new and am currently only working 0.4 FTE so budget is a concern.

    My day-to-day wear at home and school is of the nice dress (plain jersey or Joules type print), leggings or thick tights and brown leather knee-high boots variety.

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    (I am reasonably slim and in my late 20s, if that is of any consequence.)
  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Could you wear a nice dress as you already say you wear with a jacket that looks smart, e.g. in the jacket for interview but then can put aside for lesson, etc? Also, perhaps black leather smart shoes (I wear black loafers to work or simple patent leather loafer/flats). Primark is OK for a smart jacket but I'd be careful of their shoes (maybe BHS or M&S). Not sure about the boots at an interview but maybe also a colourful scarf (removable with the jacket) to add a nice touch...

    Good luck!
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Well done on getting that interview!

    Speaking as a Head from the independent sector, generally it is one step up the formality range from a maintained school. Especially for interview.

    So this will probably mean a trouser suit, is my guess. M&S will do some mix and max ones that will last for all the formal school occasions (Carol Service, Easter Play, Prize Giving) so an investment.

    Or the Joules dress, without leggings nor boots but with a jacket for the interview.

    What shall I wear to the interview?

    Now here are some advice articles on interviews - I am including ones that aren't relevant to you, for the benefit of other readers.

    Preparing for Interview I suggest that you read these in this order

    Help, I've got an interview!*** The basic advice ***

    Teaching an observed lesson at interview

    Using mind-mapping for interviews*** The best-loved advice ***

    Tell us about yourself - dream or nightmare question?*** Read and note this ***

    Daft Interview Questions

    Interviews – making a positive first impression

    How do you decide who to appoint?

    What excuse can I give for going to interview?

    Child Protection: the questions, NOT the answers

    A typical Child Protection Policy

    Two interviews and a dilemma

    Interview feedback - they blamed my experience, but they knew that when they shortlisted me!

    SLT interviews - possible questions

    In-tray exercises. Deputy Head

    Assistant Head interviews

    General interview questions

    Questions to ask at the end of your interview

    The tradition on here when you get a job is to go to the Jobseekers Forum and start a brand-new thread called Dear Theo - I got that job!

    This allows people to congratulate you, and gives fresh enthusiasm and hope to other jobseekers. Make sure that you congratulate someone when you see a thread like this - there is one here today!

    So to finish I'll say: I'm looking forward to your Dear Theo - I got that job!

    Best wishes and good luck

  4. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Going back a few years now, I admit, but I once worked for a head who had an absolute ban on women wearing trousers of any kind. He actually sent a member of my department home to change into a dress and covered her class while she did so. You don't see many heads like that these days (thank heavens!).
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    For sitting on the floor with small children, trousers are excellent.

    Comfortable, practical and modest.

    You obviously have never sat on the floor with 3 year olds while wearing a skirt, @florian gassmann , and suddenly found a little hand has crept up under the skirt to touch your bare thigh!


    Best wishes

  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I wore a White Stuff dress with a jacket from Sainsburys for mine in October.
    Proper tights (grown up ones, kept specially for such occasions. I even bought a twin pack and took the spare in case I ripped them in the lesson!)
    Then low heeled court shoes.

    Leggings and thick tights with boots are fine in my school for teaching day to day (and most pre-prep staff wear exactly that) but would look a little casual for interview.
    Similarly a jacket is better than a cardi for interview, but for day to day a smart cardi is fine.
  7. missrturner

    missrturner Occasional commenter

    If you're not wanting the whole black trousers kind of look, I sometimes wear light grey pants that are pretty feminine. They'd be great for an interview. I got them from Primark, so they didn't cost a lot. I pair this up with a light 'girly' blouse, cardigan and flats. Great for being 'stretchy' and you'd be able to wear it again and again :) Best of luck!
  8. missdarling

    missdarling New commenter

    Thank you everyone for your excellent advice. I ended up buying a navy blue trouser suit and a cream sleeveless blouse. Minus the jacket I feel like a smart version of my usual self. I will try to take the jacket off when possible!
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Best of luck!


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