1. Do your research

Having no knowledge of the school is just about the biggest mistake you can make. Research the school; browse its website; read its Ofsted report; look at its prospectus. You should come across as wanting, not just any old job, but a job at THAT school.

2. Practise

This is especially useful if you haven’t been for an interview for some time and you’re feeling rusty. Ask a friend or colleague to interview you and be truthful about how you did. It’s useful to go through a checklist of questions you’re likely to be asked (see our blog post Interview questions for teachers) and think about your answers. It’s equally important to give thought to the questions you’d rather NOT be asked, and plan what you might say.

3. Create a great impression

It’s a sad fact that everyone makes snap judgements. According to the TES, 90% of interviews are decided in the first two minutes. So be polite and friendly to everyone, smile and look interested in what is being said to you. These small things really do matter. And ensure you are dressed appropriately, in smart workwear.

4. Listen

It’s common to talk too much when you’re nervous and this can sometimes mean we forget to listen. Try to remain calm, stop when you’ve made a point, and really focus on the questions you’re being asked.

5. Don’t be negative

Consider the impression you’d create if an interviewer asks why you left your last job, and you say negative things about the school. The outcome is never going to be good. If you’ve been negative about your last role, you’re considered likely to be negative about this one too.

6. Be yourself

It’s possible you’ll be asked to teach a lesson or lead an activity, and usually you’ll have been given details of this beforehand. Stick with your normal teaching style that works for you – the minute you put on an act, you’ll lose your confidence and the children (and observers) will sense it.