Research finds interviews to be biggest barrier in teacher’s early career development

By Jessica Durston - 19 May 2022

  • Emily Weston, Year 6 teacher at Gorse Hill Primary School

    Emily Weston, Year 6 teacher at Gorse Hill Primary School

New research undertaken by the Department for Education’s Teaching Vacancies service shows one in five teachers say interviews are one of the hardest parts of their early career development.

In response to the findings of this research, job recruitment site Teaching Vacancies is teaming up with a number of leading lights in the education sector including Swindon teacher Emily Weston, to provide tips and advice for early career teachers and job hunting teachers to ace their interviews.

For those entering the profession and at every stage of their career, Teaching Vacancies says it aims to take the hassle out of searching through lots of job boards by consolidating teacher recruitment into one easy-to-use service.

The free service is designed to put schools in control of their own recruitment. The business says the more schools and teachers that use the service, the more money schools across the country will save meaning they can spend it where it counts most – in the classroom.

Advice and guidance on interviews from the campaign advocates for job-hunting teachers includes:

1.    Do your homework: research the school to make sure it’s a place you want to work, and so you can demonstrate you have the skills needed during interview.

2.    The panel is on your side: remember the interviewers want you to do well, they’ve been impressed with your application and now want to find out a bit more.

3.    Be authentic: Don’t pretend to be something you are not. You can only ever be yourself and the right employer will see that, and you will get the job based on who you are.

4.    Practice makes perfect: spend time with a family member or friend going through expected questions and building your bank of examples which highlight your skills.

5.    Be friendly: Get to know as many staff members, teaching and otherwise, on your interview day. It will help you give a real for the school and, if you get the job, will make your first day a little less intimidating.


Emily Weston, a Year 6 Teacher at Gorse Hill School and popular blogger from Swindon, shares her top tips and advice on how to ace job interviews for early career teachers.

Emily said: When I was first applying for jobs as a teacher, interviews were one of the hardest challenges I had to overcome. However, over the years and with more experience under my belt Ive become more confident with the process.

"My advice would be to approach interviews as an opportunity for you to check the school is the right fit for you – as much as you need to be a right fit for them.  Not only do you want your academic views to align with those of the school, but you also want a school which is accepting of you as a person. We spend so much of our lives at our work and its important we feel happy to be there.”

Emily also runs an online blog entitled 'Teaching isn't B&W', where she shares a range of content to help teachers.  

She added: "On my blog, Teaching isnt B&W, I share a range of content. This includes advice to support teacherswellbeing, teaching recourses for KS2, KS3 and SATS, and career and teaching advice for those at the beginning of the profession as well as PGCE students; I have had years of experience mentoring the latter in a personal capacity.

"My aim with the blog is to inspire teachers and offer a place where they can get advice and resources from someone who is also in the classroom."

She says that her blog, and Twitter account (@primaryteachew) can offer advice to those who are teachers or PGCE students. Emily said she shares helpful teaching resources and tips through these pages.

Emily added: "If you are looking for a job then a great place to look is Teaching Vacancies, where you can sign up for job alerts to help you find the job that best fits you.”

Teaching Vacancies is already in active use in most schools in England, advertising over 30,994 vacancies this year, with over 80% of schools signed up and using the service.

Job hunting teachers can be in with a chance of finding their next job on Teaching Vacancies at

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