Interviews area common part of the selection process. It is a chance to meet the candidates in person and ask all the relevant questions.
We recommend asking questions according to the competence matrix you created for the position. More about competence matrix can be found in the section Before you start.
It is advised to prepare the questions in advance. Do not forget to ask about the candidate’s previous position and reasons why they are interested in the position you are offering. Asking about the motivation that keeps the candidate working is a good source of information especially if you are trying to find someone for a difficult position. In order to see if the candidate is the right one for your institution it is very helpful to find out more about the candidate’s personal vision for next years.
A case study is a very effective way to test the candidates by giving them a concrete problem to solve.We recommend choosing some common difficultsituations which have happened in your school.
The best way to see the talents of the candidate is to see them in action. Sometimes it is not possible and therefore there is an option of role playing.
It enables the interviewer to play a role (e.g a parent, child or a colleague), set the topic and circumstances of the situation. We recommend choosing a scenario that really happened in your school. Have in mind that the candidate is already in some level of stress and make sure that the chosen situation is solvable in a few minutes. Also, set an aim of the activity. You should have a clear vision what kind of activity or competencies you want to see in the candidate’s actions (e.g. problem solving, negotiations and communication skills) and when it is time to finish the role play (e.g.until the parent or child agree on the nextsteps the candidate proposed).
Since the most important aim of selection is to assess candidates’ skills, the best way is to directly put them into action. Group activity is highly flexible and modifiable – you choose the competencies you wish to monitor and create a scenario for your candidates.
Because this is always about their interaction with others, the natural choice are competencies related to interpersonal relation and communication. You can also take a look at others, e.g. problem solving or strategy. The scenarios can directly mirror daily settings in your school. The point istofirstly set the goal, and then arrange the activity.
One way to lead the group activity is to invite more candidates and make them solve an assignment as a group. You can also make the candidates to have a discussion with teachers of the same subject who already teach inyour school. Either way, do not be afraid to experiment, and always keep your goals in mind.
Naturally, the school should review candidates’ teaching skills before hiring them.
There are a myriad of ways to do it – we list three most commonly used which guarantee most effective results. Feel free to choose the one you find suitable:
Sample lesson plan
Ask the candidate to prepare the lesson plan for a chosen topic. It can also be a good practical activity if you give applicants more time to prepare in advance. In case you want to make it as part of the personal meeting, make sure thatthe assignment is not too big and your expectations are in line with the amount of time the candidate gets for the assignment. The important objective here is to see if the candidate is able to set a realistic goal and come up with effective methods and activities to achieve it.
You want to see the candidate’s real teaching skills but not to involve the students? You can ask a few of your colleagues to play students. As the time is precious it does not have to be a full 45-minute lesson. You can limit the time for just 10-15 minutes. This is also great fun for your teachers.
Teaching a lesson in the real class full of actual pupils of your school is a real test. However, during evaluation take into account the fact that the candidate had seen the children for the first time and they do not have any relationship with them yet.
(Bonus) Lesson observation
It might be a good idea to ask the candidate to observe a lesson taught by you or one of the school’s current teachers. Even though you would not get much information about the candidate’s teaching skills, it might help the mutual understanding of school’s concept and standards. We recommend to reflect on the observation afterwards in order to see what is important for your candidate and how they approach their priorities in teaching.