Eight crucial tips for acing an interview

The TIC team's guide to international school job interviews

Today’s job interviews are demanding and preparation is essential for success. Here are TIC’s top tips to make sure you handle your interview well:

1. Be sure - The school will be evaluating you to see how well you might fit into their school and location. Be honest with yourself: do you have the qualities, skills, personality, ability and right mind-set to face the challenges of teaching at the school and living in a new country?

2. Be informed - Use the internet, social media and any documents the school shares with you to find out as much as you can about the school. Find out about the leadership team and your interviewers if you can. LinkedIn and Twitter are helpful in this situation. Talk to your recruitment advisor who may be able to give you extra information about the school.  Think about how you can match your own career accomplishments and experiences with the needs of the school.

3. Be professional - Whatever the interview setting, make sure your attire is smart, tidy and appropriate – even if your interview is via Skype. Have a portfolio accessible containing your CV, teaching certificates and any work you're particularly proud of. Be prepared to share this electronically as well as in a hard copy. Have a pen and paper or iPad handy for note taking.

4. Be ready – In fact, be early. If it’s a face-to-face interview, make sure you know where you are going and how long it will take to get there. If it’s a Skype interview, make sure you're in a suitable, quiet and undistracted environment (but not your bedroom!) and, in advance, make sure your Skype sound and visuals are working well. If you are unavoidably held up, let the interviewer know as soon as possible.

5. Be attentive - Pay close attention to all the discussion. Listen to every question in its entirety before you answer. Make sure that you focus your reply on what has been asked of you.

6. Be personable - Be warm and welcoming, but not overly friendly, with all your interviewers. Be the first to extend a handshake or appropriate welcome. Ensure you maintain appropriate eye contact with the interviewer(s). And try and remember to smile.

7. Be clear – The pressure of an interview makes many people garble, rush their responses and talk for too long. Speak clearly, at a steady pace so that everyone can understand you (especially if you have a strong accent), and provide detailed but concise answers.

8. Be appreciative – Follow your interview with a thank you message to everyone on the interview panel. Confirm your continued interest, and your enthusiasm for the position.

Most international schools interview during January, February and March and if you’re registered with TIC, we will help you get as interview-ready as possible.

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