I was asked recently how best to prepare for an interview at a new school.  One thing I shared was this checklist from Ticked Off.  As we enter high season for job interviews, I thought it might be helpful to share it here too.

Image: Mohammed Omar Faruque Masud

Pause point: Checklists need pause points, the point at which we stop and work through them.  This checklist could be used for a last minute check the night before an interview, or it could be worked through, one action at a time, during preparation.

  •  Does the lesson plan explain what I will be doing at each point in the lesson, and why?

  • Do I have all the necessary lesson resources?

  • What is the school’s vision, ethos and context?

  • Why do I want this role? Why would I be good at it?

  • What are my key strengths in my current role? What evidence supports this?

  • What would I do in a child protection case?

    • (This is a question you are almost certain to be asked, and yet people still get caught out. Hint: tell the designated child protection officer.)

  • How will I get to the school early?

The checklist won’t ensure your lesson is well planned, nor will it induce unfamiliar students to respond as you’d hope.  It won’t remove the dreaded internal candidate from the pool.  It offers two things however:

  1. It will ensure you’ve prepared for the most important aspects of the interview – particularly useful if you’ve received late notice and are still preparing cover the afternoon beforehand.
  2. It may settle your nerves – as with any good checklist, if you’ve checked the key points, you can allow yourself to relax and get a decent night’s sleep before the interview.

If preparing for challenges in this way appeals, there are a range of checklists and advice to help you in my new book, Ticked Off.  Buy it here.

Checklist 2.jpg
Image: John Haydon

As a footnote: my advice on applying to a new school is no different to that any school.  The one thing I would advise thinking carefully about is the vision and ethos the head seeks, and how you will contribute to that.

As always, thoughts very welcome: do you think this works?  What would you add to the checklist?  And what would you remove to make space for it?