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Interview techniques

Life is a series of hurdles, as soon as you clear one you have to negotiate another. Job hunting is the same. You get qualified, look for a post, get accepted for the interview and then reality kicks in. Getting through the interview should be the easy part because you're qualified, experienced, committed and keen. What will now stand between you and the job will be a few sentences, a confident performance and the ability to sell yourself well.

Be on time

Never be late for an interview: it speaks volumes about your time management skills. Know where the interview will take place and be there in good time. Traffic should not be blamed! Don't arrive out of breath and give yourself time to collect your thoughts and calm down.

Talk to the whole panel

Don't just talk to the person who asks the questions. Keep good eye contact and speak clearly.

Don't overuse gestures

Don't be over expressive or flap your arms about, but equally don't look as if your whole body has just had a botox injection. Find a balance. Don't be over casual in how you sit and try not to look like rabbit in the headlights. Words are important but you speak volumes by how you look.

Dress smart

How you dress is important at an interview. Don't wear denims and a t shirt, even if they have just been ironed. Dress to impress for a teaching job not for the Milan catwalk.

Answer in detail but don't go on too long

Give examples of best practice of what you have achieved, of the positive impact you have had with your classes. Don't undersell yourself with difficulties you have had.

Know who you're speaking to

If you are being interviewed in a particular school, make sure you ask questions specifically about that school. If your interview is with an authority, make your question subject specific but general to any school.

Be passionate about teaching

Take the passion that led you to teaching into your interview with you. It will be obvious in your replies that you care about your new career.

Re-read your application form

Remember what you wrote in your application form as this may well come up in the interview.