Online interviews 2 – what actually happens?

As I am sure you have realised; the effect of Covid is that the nature of teaching interviews has changed completely.

However it is not just at the interview stage that this becomes apparent. The effect of lockdown means that there is now no opportunity to visit the school and the chances of speaking with someone at a senior level are very much reduced.

Getting information before applying
The usual sources still apply….
1. The school website
2. The School OFSTED report
3. Hopefully additional information given in the schools application pack
4. Parents newsletters or local newspaper reports.

In other words “dig around” for anything you can find – which means you can comment on it in your application or interview….always a good tip!

So what sort of format are online interviews?
Well the 1st thing to say is that your interview may well start before your interview. That sounds a little confusing but bear with me on this. Some schools are using online tours of the school and in many cases this is being guided by a member of the Senior management team. In the same way as previously….if you were invited to a 1:1 tour of the school, so you do need to be prepared because like it or not you now have to opportunity to make an impression (we are looking forward to receiving an application from this person) or to fail to shine!
If you have the opportunity to have an online tour then I would suggest you do your research before the tour and also have your questions ready…not too many and remember you will also be interacting and responding to what you are seeing and being shown.

The interviews themselves…..
Many thanks to colleagues for sending me their experiences of online interviews and I will simply list these below to give you an idea of what to expect. Some tasks can be sent to you unseen and have to be completed and returned within an hour.

  1. Maths or English planning – tailored to a specific year group and either on a given topic or for you to choose – usually highlights of lesson progression
  2. Medium term plan for a specific year group on a topic of your choice – to be presented to the interview panel
  3. Recording yourself reading a story and explaining how this would be used for 2 weeks english planning and also other curriculum links
  4. Present a powerpoint (requested previously) on a series of lessons and the teaching rationale on mental health week and or Covid
  5. Plan a week of lessons on a set topic
  6. Deliver a phonics lesson
  7. Presentation on set topic
  8. Send in the planning for a sequence of lessons you have taught previously (teaching practice) followed by the interview
  9. Record a video of yourself reading “to children”
  10. Respond to a piece of childrens work…marking and feedback
  11. Presentation on the features of “quality first teaching”
  12. Straight lesson plan

So there you have it….some examples of things that group colleagues have encountered.
The bottom line is that the school will have their own ideas on what they want you to do and what they are wanting to see and that you shouldn’t let anything phase you…be prepared and one of the advantages of online interviews is that you can use notes (as mentioned in article 1 these can be posted on the wall behind your computer to avoid looking down).

Please read this article in conjunction with article 1 to get a complete picture of how to approach this successfully.

I hope that this has been a help – Covid has changed the whole system of interviews and so of course we must adapt our way of preparing and responding to the interview themselves…but with the right preparation you can and will be successful.

Good luck

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