Home' Teacher : December 2009 Contents 8 TEACHER DECEMBER 2009
attitude necessary to do the job, how well
you fit their school and how interested you
are in the role at their school. Remember,
though, the interview is a two-way street,
so prepare at least three questions you might
like to ask during the interview, possibly
asking for more information about:
the position and responsibilities that go
the cultu re of the school
the demographics of the student body
induction and ongoing training programs
the sort of teachers that have done well
in the position
the challenges you might expect in the
the school's approach to the reward and
recognition of those who demonstrate
outstanding ability, and
challenges facing the school both cur-
rently and in the future.
You should always dress in smart busi-
ness attire, be punctual, shake hands
firmly and make good eye contact. Follow
the interviewers' leads, but try to obtain a
full description of the position and duties
expected early so that you can relay your
appropriate background and skills.
Don't answer questions with a simple
'yes' or 'no.' Explain whenever possible.
Only you can sell your good points, so make
the interviewers aware of the potential ben-
efits that you can offer the school. Describe
those things about yourself that relate to the
Most importantly, always conduct your-
self as if you're determined to get the posi-
tion, even when you have several inter views.
It's better to be in the position where you
can choose from a number of offers, rather
than only one.
The interview panellists should question
you closely on your past experience todeter-
mine particular behavioural competencies
or skills. The questions will typically be
prefaced by 'Can you give me an example
of. . .' or 'Tell me about a situation where
you had to. . .' It's a good idea to rehearse
your answers to possible questions, giving
examples that demonstrate that you have
the skills they may be seeking. When you
rehearse, ensure you clearly explain the
example or situation involved, why you
decided to take a particular action and what
the outcome was.
At the end of the interview, ask about the
next interview stage, if that's applicable. If
the interview panellists offer the position,
you can accept it on the spot or politely ask
for time to consider the offer, setting a defi-
nite date when you can provide an answer.
Don't be discouraged if the panellists make
no definite offer, since they'll probably want
to consult and may have other candidates to
interview before making a decision.
If you get the impression that the inter-
view is going badly and that you've already
been rejected, don't let your discouragement
show. Once in a while, an inter viewer who
is genuinely interested in your possibilities
may seem to discourage you in order to test
you r reaction and resilience.
Thank the interview panellists for the
time spent with you, as it ends the entire
experience on a positive note. If a recruit-
ment consultant organised the interview for
you, contact them im mediately and explain
what happened. This will help the consult-
ant identify the next steps to take.
It's worth accepting the offer of post-
selection counselling. Counselling after an
interview provides a constructive opportu-
nity todiscuss your performance in the selec-
tion process as well as your strengths and
weaknesses in terms of the selection criteria.
Post-selection counselling may also help in
planning the type of training and develop-
ment that you'd like to undertake in prepa-
ration for seeking another teaching post.
Christine Curphey is the Operation s
Director of Randstad Education,
formerly Select Education, the leading
recr uitment company specialising in
school and early years staff in Australia
and New Zealand. Randstad Educ ation
also provides profession al development
for the educ ation sector.
Once in a while, an
interviewer who is
genuinely interested in
your possibilities may
seem to discourage
you in order to test your
reaction and resilience.
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