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over 3 years ago by Hana Abdulkadir

Face to Face Interviews – Do’s and Don’ts

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In this current climate, mastering your techniques in an interview is imperative in such a competitive environment. So we’re here to make it easier for you in this month’s blog, with some simple do’s and don’ts in an interview, so that you can put your best foot forward when presenting yourself to a school.

Use of Language: 
Don’t use negative phrases: for example, “I wouldn’t be able to do this” or “I won’t be open to this aspect of the role”. Employers look for candidates with a positive attitude to working, and the first way to spot this trait, is through the use of your language.

Therefore, do use positive words and phrases, such as “I am willing to try this” and “I am happy to participate in…”.


Employers get a good sense of how reliable someone is through the recruitment process.

Don’t be late! Whether for an interview, a trial or a working day, be on time. We always suggest planning your journey to arrive at a school a minimum of 10 minutes prior to your start time, to avoid being late.

Do plan ahead. Last minute cancellations and rescheduling is definitely not a good look for a first impression and is likely to make an employer question how reliable you are, which isn’t the way you’d want to introduce yourself. Make sure you check your schedule before confirming an interview and ensure you are committed.

Sell Yourself! 
Don’t be vague in answers. Interviews are a chance for you to talk about all of your achievements, experience and ultimately what make you different. Provide examples to back up your points, adopt “STAR” (situation, task, action, result) style responses and link your experience to the role you are applying for.

Do be curious! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it shows the school that you’re interested in finding out more about them and the role.


Preparing for interviews is key! It’s not just about practicing typical interview questions, it’s about knowing yourself, your assets and about the school you are applying for.

Do carry out research on the school. Take a look at their latest Ofsted report. Have a read through their welcome page. Check for things like whether they have their own SEN unit, how large the school is and what their core values are.

Do make notes on what your achievements have been. It’s easy to forget the things we’re really proud of when we’re put under pressure, so make sure you have a few things jotted down that make you stand out.

Don’t leave it till the last minute. Rushed preparation is not hard to miss. An employer can spot the difference between a candidate who has taken the time to prepare for an interview and one who has not, through things like whether you’re on time, whether you have brought in the correct documents and how fluent your responses are to questions.

It’s a combination of interviewing well and having relevant experience that make a great candidate, so don’t underestimate the importance of making a good first impression!