Congratulations! All the work that went into updating your CV and completing your profile has paid off. You’ve made it through the shortlisting, and have been invited for an interview at your dream school. Now, with the chance of a job offer within reach, it’s up to you to make sure that you nail the interview, and land that dream job!
Interviews are the time for you sell yourself and your teaching experience; to show the interviewer that their school cannot possibly pass up this opportunity to take you on on-board. At the same time, you must try not to come across as too arrogant, as this can quickly turn your interviewer against you. It is a balancing act that is tough to perfect.
At Teacher Horizons, we are proud of the fact that we support our teachers entirely throughout the process of gaining a new international teaching position. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of 6 interview tips that from our experience, will really improve your chances of success.
1) Be enthusiastic
This is perhaps the most important advice we can offer. You should be prepared to speak with passion and enthusiasm about your subject and your motivations to teach. How will you answer questions about what made you become a teacher, what’s the best part of your day? What examples can you give to tell the interviewer about your imaginative and engaging lessons?
Engage with your interviewer, show your passion for teaching, and make sure they’re listening to every last word.
For more tips on first impressions, read a blog written by John Regan, one of our Recruitment Advisers who is also an experienced international school Principal.
2) Know your curriculum.
So, it turns out your dream school teaches a curriculum that you don’t have experience of. Gulp.
If this is the case, and you’re being invited to interview, it’s highly likely that the school will be willing to train you in this new curriculum. Still, you can prepare by taking the time to research the school’s curriculum, and find out as much about it as possible.
Show that you understand how assessment works in the AP, that you know what the Theory of Knowledge course entails in the IB, and how GCSEs are now being graded from 9-1. Completing this research is a great way to show your interviewer that, even without experience, you’re ready to take on the challenges of teaching a new curriculum.
3) Dress to impress.
The interview may be via Skype, but make sure you are dressed appropriately. If it’s early in the morning before work, or in the evening after a long day at school, make sure you’re wearing appropriate business dress. These small touches can really help to impress a prospective employer.
For tips specific to Skype interviews, have a read of this blog.
4) Know your school
What values does the school hold? Does it place a particular emphasis on sports or the performing arts? When was it founded?
Research the school as thoroughly as you’ve researched the curriculum, and think of examples to show how you demonstrate its values in your own teaching.
5) Extra-curricular experience
Many schools are looking for teachers who can offer a contribution both inside and outside the classroom. If you have experience of extra-curricular involvement, make sure to bring this up in your interview.
Coaching sports teams, leading student bands, running debate clubs; all of these experiences will be of great interest to your interviewer.
Find more info about getting involved outside of school here.
6) Know your statistics
We’ve all worked hard to help our students achieve well in their exams. What track record do you have with results? These statistics can be a great way to showcase your impact in the classroom, whether it’s the number of students who you guided from a D to a C, or the overall pass rate of your classes.
What are international schools really looking for in a teacher? Find out.
At Teacher Horizons we are here to provide extra help or advice at any stage, so please do get in contact with your Recruitment Adviser if you are feeling especially worried about your interview. We have taken the time to get to know our schools well, so can often give a little bit of extra inside scoop. The main thing is to relax into the interview, and try to bond with your interviewer. Make sure you ask all of your burning questions too because remember, interviews are also a chance for you to get to know the school and make an informed decision about whether it is somewhere you would like to continue your teaching career.