5 mistakes to avoid during your teacher training interview
You’ve been asked to come in for a teacher training interview, congratulations!
This can be a very exciting step in your career, and even the most confident individual would be forgiven for feeling a little bit nervous about the big day.
You know you need to make a good impression, and you know preparation is key, but there is no way of knowing exactly what to expect from the interview.
Arming yourself with knowledge will give you the best chance of success - with that in mind, there are some common pitfalls you should be aware of.
Here are five common mistakes to avoid during your teacher training interview.
Displaying negative body language
Whether you’re giving a presentation or answering interview questions, you need to come across as confident and in control. Imagine the interviewers are a class of students; you don’t want to be nervously fumbling around or tripping over your ideas!
The best way to appear calm and confident (even if you’re trembling inside) is through body language. Be careful not to fold your arms or stare at the ground, fiddle with your clothes or avoid eye contact. Instead, stand tall, smile and engage with the interviewers.
You want to radiate a warm and approachable presence. After all, these are important traits in a teacher.
Only saying what you think they want to hear
While it can be tempting to script and learn answers to popular teacher training questions, this could actually backfire. That’s not to say you shouldn’t prepare some ideas and examples for common teacher training interview questions.
Having some examples at the forefront of your mind can make you feel more confident and can help you to give clear and concise answers that showcase your relevant skills and attributes.
However, you don’t want to simply say what you think the interviewers want to hear, and you don’t want to just reel off your answers like a robot, trying to cover every single thing you saw in the teaching course description.
Only preparing for interview questions
As we’ve said, preparation is the key to interview success! But when it comes to teacher training interviews, it’s not just common questions that you need to be ready for. Many of these types of interviews will require you to take part in other activities, such as group exercises or short presentations, as well as an interview stage.
Often, your interview invitation will mention the types of activities you will have to complete on the day, so don’t panic about that! But do make sure you prepare.
You’ve probably heard the old adage, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’, and it’s true. If you want your interview and the subsequent activities to go well, then you need to make sure you prepare as thoroughly as you can beforehand for all aspects of the day.
Not knowing enough about the school and sector
As part of your pre-interview preparation, you need to make sure you’ve done your research, otherwise, you might find you struggle to answer the questions and show your passion during the interview.
There are several important things you need to know before you go. It’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about the school, college or university that you have applied for.
Whether it’s school-age or university-led training that you have applied to, it’s important to remember that every institution is different. As such, the interviewer wants to know why you’ve expressed interest in their establishment in particular.
If it becomes clear you don’t know anything about the school, you could be in trouble.
It’s also important to get clued up about the current state of the education sector as a whole, as you might be faced with questions about this. And even if you aren’t, it shows you are passionate about the industry and its future.
Not asking your own questions
At the end of the interview, you’ll have an opportunity to ask your own questions, and if you don’t have any, this can reflect badly on you.
Having your own questions prepared shows that you’ve done your research, that you’re genuinely interested in the training position, and gives the interviewer a chance to get to know more about you. This is because the questions you ask can reveal a lot about who you are.
You might find that questions come to you naturally along the way, but it can also be helpful to prepare some questions for things you’d like to know before you attend the interview.
Take our advice and avoid these five common mistakes wherever possible, and you will increase your chance of interview success. Good luck!
About the author
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading UK careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.