Interviews found to be biggest barrier in teacher’s early career development

New research undertaken by the Department for Education’s Teaching Vacancies service shows one in five teachers have highlighted interviews as one of the hardest parts of their early career development.

In response, Teaching Vacancies is teaming up with a number of leading lights in the education sector including Haili Hughes, Andy Taylor (of Mr T’s NQT/ECT support Twitter account) and Emily Weston, to provide tips and advice for early career teachers and job hunting teachers to ace their interviews.

For those entering the profession and at every stage of their career, Teaching Vacancies takes the hassle out of searching through lots of job boards by consolidating teacher recruitment into one easy-to-use service. The free service puts schools in control of their own recruitment. The more schools and teachers that use the service, the more money schools across the country will save meaning they can spend it where it counts most – in the classroom.

Advice and guidance on interviews from the campaign advocates for job-hunting teachers includes:

  1. Do your homework: research the school to make sure it’s a place you want to work, and so you can demonstrate you have the skills needed during interview.
  2. The panel is on your side: remember the interviewers want you to do well, they’ve been impressed with your application and now want to find out a bit more.
  3. Be authentic: Don’t pretend to be something you are not. You can only ever be yourself and the right employer will see that, and you will get the job based on who you are.
  4. Practice makes perfect: spend time with a family member or friend going through expected questions and building your bank of examples which highlight your skills.
  5. Be friendly: Get to know as many staff members, teaching and otherwise, on your interview day. It will help you give a real for the school and, if you get the job, will make your first day a little less intimidating.

Haili Hughes is Head of Education at IRIS Connect and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sunderland - and until last year she’d been an English teacher for 15 years. She shared her top interview tips as part of the campaign recommends all teachers do thorough research on their prospective school ahead of interviews. She says, “There is a plethora of information on the internet about every school which can help you build a picture of its aims, atmosphere and how you could fit into the picture. Take a look at the school’s website, they’ll often link to their Ofsted report and you can see what their priorities are. You can then you match their priorities with your skills at interview.”

Andy Taylor is a Senior Lecturer of Primary Education at the University of Worcester with 16 years’ experience as a class teacher under his belt. He is also the face of popular teaching mentor Twitter account ‘Mr T's NQT/ECT support’, where he shares what he has learnt over the years to support students, NQTs and ECTs as they navigate their early career. His top tip to calm interviews nerves is to remember the panel want you to do well. Andy says, “Having been on both sides of the interviewing table I can honestly say that the panel are willing you to do well. If you feel your mind go blank or you need to take some time to consider a response, let them know that. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to repeat the question or give you a moment to pause and think. They want to see you at your best!”

Michelle, an Interventions Lead Teacher from West Yorkshire, moved to her current school last academic year, having seen the job advertised on the Teaching Vacancies website. Her advice to job-hunting teachers is, “When applying for jobs – and at interview - sell yourself and back it up with class based evidence. Come to interviews prepared with a bank of examples to draw on to show how amazing you are. Using a service like Teaching Vacancies to search for roles means you don’t miss out on opportunities as you can set up job alerts  for roles you might be interested that go  in straight to your inbox.”

Teaching Vacancies is already in active use in most schools in England, advertising over 30,994 vacancies this year, with over 80% of schools signed up and using the service.

Job hunting teachers can find their next job on Teaching Vacancies, join thousands of other teachers and start your job search here: teaching-vacancies.service.gov.uk 

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