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Non-teaching interview

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by leonslow, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. leonslow

    leonslow New commenter

    Hi all,

    I have an interview for a student support role at a university coming up. Mostly I am confident about how I can sell my transferable skills from teaching into this role and I meet everything from the person specification.

    What I'm dreading is the inevitable 'why did you choose to leave teaching/change career paths?' question. I am a not an experienced teacher who is seeking a new challenge, I am an NQT who should have quit during the PGCE but through terrible personal support (then boyfriend telling me to 'get over' my near-daily panic attacks) and pure pig-headedness on my part, I stuck it out. Got a one-term job at a school and had a full on breakdown in November.

    I just don't know how to express my reasoning without sounding work shy ('I want my normal life back and to enjoy weekends') or incompetent ('I couldn't cope with the constant scrutiny and ridiculous demands')

    Any advice would be appreciated!

  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You have to make it about really wanting this job and what you can bring to it - and not about why you desperately want out of teaching. So focus on what you really like the look of about the job and why your skills, etc make you an excellent candidate.
    welshwales likes this.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Just tell them that the 70hr week and the immense pressures put on all teachers were more than you could bear. They are bound to know about this. Just keep it very brief - as I have suggested - and don't go into it in any detail. Add at the end something like this: But I am confident that the work ethic that I have developed will enable me to carry out your job to a high standard. As @Middlemarch has said, you need to be talking about their job and how well you can do it, not the one that you've left.


    I'm going to add now some of the advice articles on interviews that are relevant to you. Anyone else reading this and would like the rest of the articles, including those relating to a teaching post, come to Jobseekers forum and ask.

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

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

    What shall I wear to the interview?

    Interviews – making a positive first impression

    How do you decide who to appoint?

    Best wishes


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