My interview experience

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Hello!

Today I thought I would talk about my experience of interviewing for a SCITT with PGCE programme. During my application process, I was offered interviews at all three of the providers but only went to one of them.

I received responses from the all my choices very quickly and had my first interview on 28th Feb just a week after applying. My interview lasted half of the school day with me having to arrive for 8.30am. There were several different tasks to complete during the day which I will list below:

·         5-minute presentation on “why I want to be a teacher and what I bring to the role”. This was to be given to a group of students and must keep them engaged.

·         Subject knowledge audit

·         Two written tasks one based on the importance of my subject (maths) in the curriculum and the other on an issue affecting education.

·         Formal interview

·         Helping in a maths class

·         Document checking

The presentation was something I struggled to plan. I wasn’t told what age group I would be presenting to so wasn’t sure what level to pitch at. I decided to go in and just be myself and get the class involved by asking questions. It seemed to be received well and I didn’t see anyone yawning‼

The subject knowledge audit was combined with the two written tasks. I was given the materials for all of them at the same time then given 90 minutes to complete everything. The subject knowledge audit was half of a non-calculator GCSE paper and the written tasks were as described above. For each of the written tasks I had to write 200 words, however, this was not a strict limit. As long you wrote around a page of A4 I think it would be fine. For preparation I didn’t feel the need to practice for the paper but I did read lots of articles from https://www.tes.com/news/school-news to prepare for the questions about curriculum and current issues. For my current issue I discussed the teacher shortages and my personal opinions on what could be done better etc.

My formal interview was quite laid back but you could tell you were still being assessed. I had two senior members of staff who took it in turns to ask questions. Two examples of questions I was asked are:

·         What is the role of the form tutor?

·         How would you deal with a student being rude?

I wish I could remember more to tell you but my memory isn’t great! Overall, I thought the interview went well and they seemed to respond well to my answers.

My favourite part of the day was definitely getting to help out in a maths class. I was placed into a second set year 8 class while they were being taught how to multiply positive and negative numbers. I really enjoyed working with them and it was good to see how their teacher handled the class. I got involved as much as I could while they were doing group activities and the teacher got me to hand out credits as reward for good work. Being part of great lessons like that one are what make me excited to be a teacher!

My interview finished at 1pm after checking my ID and DBS check and at 4pm I got the call to say I had been successful. The interview had actually taken place at my old secondary school and was my first choice of training provider with it being the closest to home.  My other two interview offers were not in ideal locations so I decided to accept the first offer and decline interviews at my other choices. I am both excited and nervous to be learning to teach with some of my of my old teachers but I am sure it will work out for the best. As it is a partnership of schools I may not even be placed in my old school so I won’t worry about that just yet. If any of you have learnt to teach in your old school I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

I’m definitely guilty of rambling in this post but I think I’ve covered everything I wanted to. if I’ve left anything out or there’s anything else you want to know then please feel free to leave a comment 😊

Thanks for reading! xox

 

The application process

I submitted my application 20th February and by the next day I had received an offer for interview. Now, I like to think this was because of the amazinggg personal statement I submitted which my housemates and I spent hours perfecting. But, I am aware of the teacher shortage and do worry that they simply need anyone and that’s why I received such a fast response. Unless this is typical for teacher training providers? From sending off my application to receiving an offer was just 8 days!

I applied for three SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) programmes and was offered interviews for all of them. However, after receiving a place after my first interview (my first choice) I decided not to attend the others.

Now, how did I get these interviews? The application process happens through UCAS no matter what route you decide on (Teach First excluded) and as such was near identical to applying to university. The similarities did not put me at ease. Being a maths student it had been a long time since I had done an extended piece of writing and so I did initially find it hard to get my ideas down on paper. See, I knew why I wanted to teach and all the reasons I thought they should pick me but how was I meant to translate that into 47 lines? My advice would be to brainstorm A LOT before starting if you were as rusty as I was. Also, get yourself some harsh critics.

I experienced two hold-ups in the process of filling out my form: references and GCSE results. I’ll start with my results. UCAS ask for grades and which exam board you completed them with. I don’t know about you but which exam boards I sat exams with is not the type of information that sticks with me. At the time, I was at uni and my exam certificates were at home – in a different city. I thought I would have to wait until I could get back to see them but I came up with a smart idea (if I do say so myself!) and I checked my previous UCAS application and found all the details there. If you want to avoid the same stress I recommend you have the certificates on hand before you start! Secondly, I did not contact my referees early enough so I had finished my application and was waiting for them to say yes and then to write it which did take up some time.  Despite the setbacks, the application took me about 2-3 weeks so really not too long.

As part of applying for a teacher training course you must pass professional skills tests in numeracy in literacy. These don’t have to be completed before you apply but you must have set a date for them. You have 3 attempts to pass each test with the first try being free, each attempt after that is £19.50 so it’s definitely worth getting right the first time. I may talk more about these later on 😊

In my next post, I’ll talk about the interview process and why I chose to only attend one.

Thanks for reading 😊 xox

p.s. for anyone wondering, the cost of the UCAS application was £24

About me…

For now I want to keep this blog anonymous but there is plenty more to know about me!

I’m 20 years old and currently in the third year of maths degree which I will complete this summer. As most students in their final year will know, the pressure to figure out what to do next is all around. All anyone can think about is the plans for after graduation whether that be further study, travel or a coveted grad scheme. I myself applied for quite a few grad schemes only to be let down when I didn’t get the response I hoped for.

It was after yet another rejection that I considered teaching. Now, this is not the first time I had entertained the idea. I have gone back and forth with the idea frequently even taking part in an internship working in a school to test it out. At the start of my third year I had told myself I would apply for a job in the corporate world and then if I didn’t like it I could always apply for teaching in a year or two. However, with the lack of results from the jobs I had applied to and my reluctance to keep searching for something I had no idea if I would enjoy, I decided to take the plunge and apply for a teaching course. Fortunately, I was accepted on to my desired course very quickly and I am now one of the lucky ones with an answer to “What are your plans after uni?”.

You can follow this blog for an honest account of how I find the whole process. This will include posts on application, interview, preparation and everything that follows in my ITT year without the rose-tinted glasses. In my next post I will talk about the application process and any advice I would give to someone looking to apply.

Thanks for reading 🙂