Get that job, interview success – a 3 minute quick read.

I have been at my current school for 9 years now and during that time I have had 2 external teaching interviews and a couple of internal promotions [and a couple of external teaching related jobs]. The comments from my early internal interviews where that I had to improve how I answered questions. When I reflect back on the interviews, I was under-prepared and lacked the confidence to answer questions in the required fashion.

I spent a lot of time on how I could improve my technique. I googled and collated a list of questions relevant to the job I was applying for, and thought about I would answer the questions. There was lots of common questions on a general theme, so I created a mindmap for those likewise for my buying buttons [what I can offer the school]. I still have these and it is always good to have a glance over them.

The mindmaps and questions made me reflect more on my impact. What actual difference have I made to student outcomes, staff CPD, schemes of learning, school and departmental improvement and change. This led me to reflect about all the responsibilities I have taken on {and led to this A to Z list]and how they may link to common questions:

• When have you led a project?
• Describe a project you have led, what went wrong and the lessons you have learnt from it?
• How have improved capacity of colleagues?
• What impact have you had on raising standards in Science?

Once I had examples in my head – I tried to get as much data as I could regarding student outcomes and I felt far more confident. Getting all this right, then led to answering it with the star technique.

S – Situation – context and background.
T – Task – my/role in the situation/within the team
A – Action – what you did! Do not undersell yourself here.
R – Result – the impact you had. This could be data and what happened. Also reflect on what went well and how it could be improved.

Lots of further advice here: http://www.mrgilladvice.com/assistant-headteachers.html

I also needed to work on my confidence in answering ‘future’ based questions, and answering with a strong moral purpose. If the school/interviewer doesn’t like the answer at least you are true to yourself, which is the most important thing. I knew I had to think about, what I had to implement along with time frames and how I would measure impact – again something I was unprepared for in my first interviews.

Over the past few years I have been successful in some interviews (county subject network leader, SLE) and have been unsuccessful at others. My two AHT interviews, however feedback has been positive on my actual interview it has just been lack of experience as the reasons given why I didnt get the job.
When applying for jobs, the process takes over my week prior to the interview. I end up writing notes and ideas on anything, post-its, bits of paper, my phones and anything I can get my hand on [including my hand]. This can be for the actual supporting statement but also for the actual spoken interview, so I created a 5 minute planning sheet to jot my thoughts all on one page (or two). I could then throw (recycle) all the other bits of paper.

The sheets are free to download on TES. There is two, the second more relevant for a leadership post (middle or senior)
https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/interview-5-minute-preparation-planning-sheet-nqt-hod-middle-senior-leader-assistant-headteacher-11902565

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