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Keep bombing interviews! Help!

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by lukester1986, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. I have no problem getting interviews. My CV is clearly strong and I have just finished my PGCE at one of the most respected institutions in the country. But my lesson/interview keeps letting me down. It's partly nerves and partly inexperience in teaching itself, I think (in one interview I was told to do something that I had been strongly told not to do by my tutor which says something about my tutor but hey-ho!).
    Obviously no-one can give me any adequate advice on how to suddenly become a stronger teacher on this sort of forum but does anyone have any general advice on interviewing better?
    Also, with the summer coming up, clearly time is running short. Can anyone suggest other jobs I could apply for which might increase my chances of getting a teaching job (my subject is English) for either December or next September? I'm worried that schools will see that I havent been working in schools for a year despite finishing a PGCE and draw conclusions from that - what can I do to "soften" this blow?
  2. Talc_1234

    Talc_1234 New commenter

    Sign up with some agencies and work in supply for a range of schools. If you are half decent you will be noticed
  3. First off, well done on getting through to the interview stage, next you need to work on your confidence! You should toatally wipe from your mind any thoughts such as teaching inexperience and needing to become a stronger teacher. Even if you don't mention these at an interview if you believe them to be true the interviewers will pick up on it. Instead try and think of the positives. One of the most inspiring things about working as a teacher is that no matter how long colleague have been in the job there is nearly always something you can learn from them. Departments like NQTs because thet usually bring with them a wealth of up to date ideas and bags of enthusiasm.
    I think the key to being calm on the day is being prepared. Write a list of all the things you have done well/been involved in and could mention in an interview. Reflecting back on acheivements like this can also help boost your confidence as you realise just how much you have done.
    I like to take an A4 portfolio with me, contiaining examples of worksheets, AFL activities, marked work, newspaper articles, photos of wall displays, powerpoints etc. You might not use it, but just knowing its there to back you up in an interview can help you feel a bit more reasurred and it can give you the edge.
    Try an anticipate questions that are likely to come up e.g. How would you deal with a disruptive student? How do you used assessment in your lessons? Why do you want to teach at this school? For questions like the first two I find it's always good to refer to past experiences, tell them about an actual student who was disruptive in your lessons and how you resolved the situation. Obviuosly be tactful here - don't mention his/her name or say what a pain in the backside they were!
    Remember that although you will have time slots for formal interviews and lesson observations, you are being 'interviewed' all day. Make an effort to talk to other members of the department during tea breaks and lunch hours. They want to see if you are going to get on with the department, this will also work in your favour as you want to know if they are they type of people you want to work with too!
    Just plan the best lesson you can. It's o.k. to look for insipration or resources on site such as the TES or to go back to your tutor or school and ask for advice. Make sure you are happy the lesson is the best you can do and you are well prepapred, (take at least two copies of the lesson plan, one for you and one for the observer) then go and enjoy teaching it! Try to forget the interviewer is there.
    Finally remember that you are there to see if the school suits you as much as they are there to check you out. It's nice to be a little philiosophical about these things, if it didn't work out, don't take it personally, it just might not be the right place for you.

  4. I was in the same position as you a year ago. I had a fairly torrid training year (my GTP mentor knocked my confidence way below zero) and was despairing that I'd ever begun teacher training. I managed to land a job after many (and I mean many!) unsuccessful interviews right at the end of term. In contrast my NQT year has been brilliant - from satisfactory/unsatisfactory last year to good/outstanding all this year. I think you just have to dig in deep and keep going. Sign up for supply, it's not as plentiful as it could be, but be prepared to take on challenges - take on special needs posts, show you're a grafter and you will get recognised on merit rather than the charade that is teaching interviews.
  5. Thank-you! That's really good to hear! Very similar, really. Its been a really tough year and though I think I did a little better than "scrape" through, it has been a real struggle this year - I had some really good mentors but a tough tutor who really pushed me and wasn't always as supportive as he could have been.
    My teaching is not, of course, as good as I would like it to be. I know that. I'm not even an NQT yet, so I'm OK with that. But without a job it wont get any better any time soon, either!!
  6. Silent85

    Silent85 New commenter

    Have you asked for feedback on the unsuccessful interviews?
  7. yes - its frustrating as every interview seems to be looking for something different!
  8. Silent85

    Silent85 New commenter

    I find that you take a concensus of what they say, granted one might say your lesson wasn't tight enough (variable) however you presented yourself well (less open to variation) and work from there. Take into account, the amount of classroom data they give you (how much differentiation can you get from a class list with no SEN data etc)

    And above all keep your chin up.

  9. I was exactly in the same boat until a few weeks ago but then eventually after many interviews I managed to seal an NQT place. The thing you have to try is to be better than the others and I think the key here is to over-prepare the lesson. show your lesson plan to mentors, colleagues, friends and then try it out at home endless times, in front of somebody too.. I know it's a pain but this is the stuff that's going to make the difference from good to outstanding. I spent 3 days preparing a 20 minute lesson which is crazy but that was the one that sealed me the job.. remember that whoever is observing you is ticking off all the boxes: have you differentiated, have you assessed, ICT skills, safety etc. For the interview part, research the school, show you know the school ethos and whatever its specialism is in the interview part. Be enthusiastic and think inside you're going to get the job as opposed to not. Give examples of what you say, everyone at an interview will say for example that they differentiate in a lesson but you must be specific and give examples of ways you've done so...even bring examples of resources which may back you up. You probably know what sort of questions will come up..practice them at home and have examples backing up everything you say. Be confident and show it. I know this is an overload but these things work, don't worry, it'll come and keep your chin up all the time.
    hope it helps
  10. Awww I am in the same boat and have had 5 interviews so far with no joy on an offer yet so know how you feel. Hopefully the right one will come up soon!!

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