You may remember from my last post that I had a huge problem finding interview clothes and had finally settled on a cardigan and suit trousers. I was promptly told by several people to go and get a cheaper suit for the interview and invest in a more expensive one later. So I ran into Dunnes the day before the interview and got a navy suit and a white top. While it was stressful trying to find things to wear when time was tight, I have to say that I did feel a lot more confident and in control in my cheap suit than my expensive cardigan and trousers and I was told when I asked for feedback that I was dressed ‘beautifully’.
I received a second call for interview shortly after I wrote my last post. There were five vacancies coming up in the school. There was about a week between interviews and unfortunately I was unsuccessful in both. I asked for feedback from both schools and only one replied. The principal told me that you can’t ask for feedback, you can only ask for the points you got for your answers. However, because they knew me, they told me that for a few of the jobs, teachers were just re-interviewing for jobs that they already had and the rest were given to teachers with a couple of years of experience. As for the other interview, a teacher who had worked in the school for the previous year got the job and put it up on Facebook three days before I got my rejection letter. While this might seem unfair, I didn’t really mind because I feel that if it were me who had been working in that school for a year, I would have been annoyed to have lost the job to an NQT with less experience.
As regards the interviews themselves, I was nervous but tried to remember to sit forward, make eye contact, smile, wait to be asked to sit down and all the rest of it. There were three people, the principal, the chairperson and an independent person. The questions were pretty much what was on the list on Educationposts.ie. The following questions caught me off-guard: What is your experience of using ICT in the classroom? (I have nothing beyond using Powerpoint) How would you maintain good relations with parents? Would you feel confident in preparing children for Holy Communion and Confirmation?
Since the interviews, I have gotten quite a number of rejection letters, which I am saving to show the dole office in September as proof that I am applying for jobs. Even though these are all negative, it is nice to get a reply, an acknowledgement of your application.
I have accepted that I will be subbing for next year and hopefully will have enough experience to get a contract next year. It’s been a dissapointing start to my teaching career, but I’m glad I got some interview experience and feel that I will be better prepared for the next ones. I am told that subbing is an excellent learning experience and might be a good opportunity to try out new lessons and approaches, so I’m looking forward to that.
Hope you found this helpful and good luck to all the teachers still applying.