As I have been to a few different interviews recently, I thought it might be useful to share my experiences.
I had applied for various positions – Head of Spanish, Curriculum Leader (a position on the leadership scale) and also Head of MFL. Each brought with them a different set of circumstances and interview questions and I learnt so much from each day.
Two of the three schools asked for me to teach a lesson. In fact, one school got me back for a second interview where I had to teach two further lessons, so in all I experienced 4 interview lessons, at all key stages. I felt quite comfortable planning in depth and being observed, but my advice would be to consider things such as classroom management techniques, as I easily ‘forgot’ to incorporate them into some sessions as I am used to my pupils behaving according to my expectations as they had already been set and enforced right from the beginning of the year. Secondly, be prepared to need to warm the group up, particularly if you teach like me and use TL a lot. In fact, in my final interview I realised that it would be better to set some brief expectations at the beginning of the lesson where I told the group that I would be using TL a lot and I would expect them to use it as much as possible. Start as you mean to go on!
The other school required a presentation, rather than a lesson, however, the set up was in a classroom, in a lesson slot, so I although I planned the content like a lesson (pairworks, teacher led moments etc) I needed to take into account other elements of the situation such as how to quieten a group down.
The interviews I attended I felt very comfortable with as I found that I was able to discuss my true pedagogical beliefs with professionals, who found that what I had to say was (I hope) interesting. I had prepared as much as I could have for interview questions, and I even got the MFL twitterati to #twinterview me, which as a great help as they bombarded me with questions and really made me think about what I could be asked. My past and background were probed in interview, as were my reasons for leaving, but the best bit of the interview for the job I got was when I was questioned in order to reveal my inner self – how do you put your hangers in the wardrobe? Do you drive in the fast lane or the slow lane? These were key questions from a group (I think) called Hays. If a leader can question me and look to find out what type of person I am, as well as expect us to do it with the kids, then I’m in!
Of all my experiences I loved meeting the staff at the school the most. It is so interesting seeing other people in action, either in their day jobs, on display on interview, or in power interviewing. My advice would be to smile, to be pleasant, and to ensure that the real you comes across. After all, if you want to work there for a while then you need to fit in!