Any Interview Tips?

Good evening,

I've been invited to interview for an HR Advisor role within a young, but growing MAT. it's a position i'm really excited about however i don't have any experience of working with a MAT's HR function.

Please feel free to comment with any advice or tips you may have for performing at the interview.

many thanks

  • Congratulations on getting the interview Steven, and good luck.

    Firstly I'd read through all the threads in the Schools and Academies section, as it will give a good indicator about the issues coming up in education - the Harpur Trust ruling, issues around the TPS, teacher workload and so on.

    Schools are really interesting - I've worked in the state sector (many years ago) and now in the independent sector. It would be hard to find many people who work harder or who care more passionately about what they do. They work long hours during term time and spend the majority of their days 'performing' in front of a teenage audience, and while they benefit from long holidays it's hard to gain balance. Staff welfare is critical area, and good HR practices in education can help with communication, dealing with stress, and managing workloads. You can't wave a magic wand though and make the fundamental realities of teaching change.

    Recruitment is a real focus - getting the right staff in, and supporting them to do the best job they can, is the best way to improve schools. The timing of school recruitment based around the trigger dates when teachers have to resign by (half term in the state sector, a full term in independents), makes the whole thing very intensive. I've worked very hard where I am now to make the recruitment process as slick as possible, so that we can reach well-informed decisions quickly.

    The current circumstances, operating with a pandemic going on in the background is obviously an enormous challenge for all schools right now. There's more to write on that topic than I have time to do right now, but very happy to chat about any of this offline if it's helpful before your interview. You can find me on Linked In or connect through this forum I believe.

    Meantime - best of luck.

  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    Hi Nina, I would absolutely love to discuss with you about the independent education sector if at all possible? I have an interview on Wednesday for a private school locally to where I am (I'm not from the education sector) and so would love to ask you some advice! I am on Linkedin but can't message you directly, otherwise happy to message on here (if you have time of course!)
  • In reply to Lucy:

    Be great to hear from you Lucy. I've tried to connect on LinkedIn, but if it would help to call my number at work is 020 3829 1661.
  • At the risk of teaching grannies to suck eggs ...
    I encourage people to do a 'they want' and 'I have' matching exercise, draw upon previous experience in perhaps a different sector. Think about the issues affecting the education sector (TES is a good source). See what teacher forums are saying and get a view of where any mismatch between HR/Leadership and teacher viewpoints are.