Home' Teacher : October 2010 Contents 10 TEACHER OCTOBER 2010
By addressing those four areas, you can
identify your strengths and be ready to pro-
vide tangible examples to your interviewers.
Interviewers using the targeted selec-
tion technique or behavioural interviewing
may ask you for evidence of how you've
demonstrated a particular skill or action
in addressing a problem, for example, how
you met a very tight deadline. This is your
opportunity to recount achievements rel-
evant to the question. Keep your answers
concise and to the point. Mention what the
problem was, what you did to overcome it
and what the outcome was.
In reality, everyone in an interview is
both interviewer and interviewee at the
same time. By asking questions yourself,
you can help turn the interview into a con-
versation and communicate your interest.
Some questions you might ask include:
What future changes do you see for the
What direction do you see the school
going in the future?
Who are your competitors in the local
How successful have you been in market-
ing your school?
What makes your school different from
What induction program is available?
What ongoing professional development
support is available to graduates?
Be an active listener.
Preparing for questions regarding the
ethos of a school requires prior research.
Most religious schools expect staff to be role
models for students. While employers will
expect all staff to support the values of their
particular school, this doesn't mean they
expect that all staff share the same religion.
You might explain your practical support for
the ethos of a school in terms of a commit-
ment to teach religion, pray with your class
or classes and attend school liturgy.
First impressions are crucial in determin-
ing how well you come across during the
interview. First impressions tend to last and
once you have been categorised, subsequent
information will be assimilated with this first
impression. Aspects of presentation include
how you dress, grooming, deportment and
personal confidence. A good rule of thumb
is to wear the kind of clothes that are most
commonly worn in the job for which you're
applying. If you're uncertain, err on the side
of caution -- it's better to slightly overdress.
A common way that an interview is
closed is for the interviewer to ask if you
have any questions. This is a good time
to refer to your prepared questions, if you
haven't already done so during the session.
Make sure that you know the next step in
the application process before you leave
the inter view. Determine if the interviewer
will contact you, or if you should contact
them in a particular time frame. Find out if
there is likely to be a second interview, for
example. That way, if the inter viewer hasn't
responded by the nominated date, you can
follow up with a polite inquiry.
Continue to market yourself after the
inter view by sending a brief thank-you
letter, reiterating your enthusiasm for and
interest in the position and reconfirming the
details of the follow-up steps as agreed at
Remember, job searching is itself a full-
time job, so even when you're seeking your
first teaching position you're already mov-
ing in the same direction as those in the
profession who are seeking a promotion or
Keep your eye on things like workload,
legal liability, the changing curriculu m,
reporting and assessment, and negotiations
for professional pay and conditions: they're
all challenges that are best faced together.
Roslyn McLe nnan is Assistant General
Secretary of the Quee n sland Indepe ndent
Educ ation Union (QIEU). A shorte r ver-
sion of this article first appeared in the
August edition of Independent Voice, the
monthly journal of the QIEU. It draws on
content addressed in Strategies for Seeking
Employment in the Non -Government
Educ ation Sector workshops for QIEU
me mbers and for associate members in
their final year of university.
By asking questions
yourself, you can help
turn the interview into
a conversation and
communicate your interest.
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