So what have they taught you at college about interviews? Some courses go to town on it, others do very little. You may get conflicting advice. Only one thing is certain: the key to success is preparation.
There follow some useful suggestions from a teacher training course co-ordinator, a head of department and a headteacher. As they appear to be in complete harmony with one another despite never having met, we may take their advice seri ously.
Oxford Brookes University's approach to the business of application and interview focuses on research and rehearsal. Training course co-ordinator Brenda Stevens speaks of the value of getting students "to deconstruct the advertisement , see what they can offer to that school, and that situation, and then write the letter, do their CVs and criticize each other's." Finally, they role play inte rviewer and interviewee.
This is sterling stuff, and Brookes students spend a couple of weeks on it. "The better prepared students won't be thrown by nerves on the day, "says Ms St evens. "They'll have their strategies and questions worked out. " She also says, a trifle disconcertingly, "the better the student, the worse the interviewee. " She believes the most capable students are less able to put themselves forward. Even if this were tree, says Ms Stevens, you must still make your own case.
"Beware of infernality,"she advises. One aspirant teacher, now a head of d epartment at a smart secondary school, failed his first job interview because he took his jacket off while waiting for his appointment. It was hot and everyone in the staffroom was in shirtsleeves but at the end of the day they criticized his casual attitude, which they had deduced from the fact that he took his jacket off in the staffroom, even though he put it back on for the interview.
Incidentally, men really do have to wear a suit to the interview and women really cannot wear jeans, even if men never wear the suit again and women teach most days in jeans. Panels respond instantly to these indicators. But beware: it will not please them any better if you are too smart.
Find out about the people who will talk to you. In the early meetings they are likely to be heads of departments or heads of year. Often they may be concer ned with pastoral matters. It makes sense to know their priorities and let them hear the things about you that they want to hear.
During preliminary meetings you may be seen in groups with two or three oth er applicants and you must demonstrate that you know your stuff without putting your companions down. The interviewers will be watching how you work with a team. But remember the warning about informality: however friendly and co-operative the other participants are, do not give way to the idea that you are there just to be friends.
Routine questions can be rehearsed, but"don't go on too long," advises the department head. They may well ask: "What have been your worst/best moments when teaching?", or want you to "talk about some good teaching you have done. " The experts agree you should recognize your weaknesses and offer a strategy for over coming them. "I know I've got to work on classroom management - I would hope for some help," perhaps. No one expects a new teacher to know it all, but they hope for an objective appraisal of capabilities.
Be warned against inexpert questioning. You may be asked questions in such a way that it seems impossible to present your best features. Some questions may be plain silly, asked perhaps by people on the panel who are from outside the situation. Do not be thrown, have ways of circumnavigating it, and never, ever le t them see that you think they have said something foolish.
You will almost certainly be asked how you see the future and it is import ant to have a good answer prepared. Some people are put off by being asked what they expect to be doing in five or ten years' time. On your preliminary visit, says the department head, be sure to give them a bit of an interview of your own, to see the direction the department is going and what you could contribute to it.
The headteacher offers his thoughts in a nine-point plan. Iron the application form! Then it stands out from everyone else's, which have been folded and battered in the post. It gives an initial impression which may get your application to the top of the pile. Ensure that your application is tailored to the particular school. Make the hea d feel you are writing directly to him or her. Put yourself at ease before you meet the interviewing panel: if you are nervous , you will talk too quickly. Before you enter the room remember that the people are human beings too; take away the mystique of their roles. Listen. There is a danger of not hearing accurately what is being said. Make ey e contact with the speakers, and with everyone in the room. Allow your warmth and humanity to be seen. A sense of humour is very important.
Have a portfolio of your work that can link theory to practice. Many schools wa nt you to show work. For a primary appointment, give examples from the range of the curriculum, not just art. (For this reason, taking pictures on your teaching practice is important. ) Prepare yourself in case you are asked to give a talk. Have prompt cards ready, and don't waffle.
Your speech must be clear and articulate, with correct grammar. This is importa nt: they want to hear you and they want to hear how well you can communicate wit h children. Believe in yourself and have confidence.
Some of the people asking the questions don't know much about what you do. Be ready to help them.
Thus armed, you should have no difficulty at all. Good luck and keep your jac ket on!
21. Ms. Brenda Stevens suggests that before applying job applicants should ___.
A. go through each other's CVs
B. rehearse their answers to questions
C. understand thoroughly the situations
D. go to town to attend training course
22. Is it wise to admit some of your weaknesses relating to work?
A. Yes, but you should have ideas for improvement in the future.
B. Yes, because it is natural to be weak in certain aspects.
C. No, admitting weaknesses may put you at a disadvantage.
D. No, it will only prompt the interviewees to reject you.
23. The best way to deal with odd questions from the interviewers is to ___.
A. remain smiling and kindly point out the inaccuracies
B. keep calm and try to be tactful in your answers
C. say frankly what you think about the issues raised
D. suggest something else to get over your nervousness
24. The suggestions offered by the headteacher are ___.
A. original B. ambiguousC. practical D. co ntroversial
【詳細解答】短文第三段第二句說"Brenda Stevens speaks of the value of getting students' to deconstruct the advertisement, see what they can offer to that school, and that situation, and then write the letter, do their CVs and criticize each o ther's.'"由此可知，面試訓練班的目的是讓學生對所處場面的了解，故Brenda Stevens 女士建議求職者在求職前應該是C“徹底了解所處的場面”。
【詳細解答】短文第十段第三句說"The experts agree you should recognize your weaknes ses and offer a strategy for overcoming them."這里以專家的觀點說明應聘者應該正視自己的弱點，并且要有克服它們的策略。故答案選A。
【詳細解答】短文第十一段談到如果面試者提出愚蠢問題時，應聘者應該"Do not be thrown , have ways of circumnavigating it, and never, ever let them see that you think they have said something foolish." 即應試者應從側面巧妙地避開問題，并且千萬不要讓面試者看出你認為他們問了愚蠢的問題。故選項B為正確答案。