Time for a change?To stand out from the crowd in an interview, it is essential that you have clear, articulate responses. Unfortunately all too often our nerves can get in the way. This post will describes the use of the STAR technique in a teacher (or leadership) interview and will hopefully give you some ideas as to how to approach your interviews with more confidence.STAR techniqueThe star interview technique is quite widely used in business but I haven’t heard too many teachers talk about. It is something I have used in the past with lots of success. The acronym stands forS- SituationT – TaskA- ActionR- ResultSituation or TaskThe first part of your answer outlines the context. Introducing a response in this way gives you credibility and shows you can be an effective practitioner. In a classroom this may be a pupil who was underachieving, a boy who didn’t want to read or a child who was being bullied. It’s helpful to prepare a few examples before interview. By starting off in this way you will already start to stand out because you are relating it to your own experience.
Introduce your examples with phrases such as;On my last placement there was…When working with a Year 5 class I…One example I was particularly proud of was when…ActionThe second component of your answer is describing what you did. If a child was being bullied in class, what did you do about it? If a child was struggling to read then how did you help motivate them? Describing the action will demonstrate how you are able to use your initiative in the classroom. It gives the interview panel evidence of how effective you would be in their school and persuades them that you are the ideal candidate. In your preparation for interview reflect on your full range of actions. Did you follow a school policy? If so tell them. Did you liaise with the parents or senior management team? Describing the action is probably the most important part of your answer as it highlights your response to a particular scenario. Don’t forget to include what you did, how you did it and the all important why.ResultBy talking about the results of your actions you can demonstrate how effective you have been. What happened as a result of the action you put into place? By being specific in your answers you will provide an even clearer picture to the interview panel. Perhaps the child suddenly progressed one sublevel. Maybe a child stopped being bullied and the parents thanked you. There may have been a fantastic impact on the child’s attitude and behaviour in school. Whatever the result make sure you highlight it – it is something you are proud of and shows your ability to be effective in a school setting.
A bit extra that doesn’t fit in the acronym!You wouldn’t want to do this next bit for every question but if you can pick your moments it can be hugely effective. By saying what you would do if you were successful in getting the job, you demonstrate your enthusiasm for the post.It might not work for every type of question but used correctly STAR can be a really useful tool in teacher interviews whether you are a teacher or an aspiring leader.Happy job hunting!