Job Interview Questions
by Lyndsey Homar, Senior Technician at Ridgewood School
Job interviews are always high stress situations. Preparation will help calm your nerves, and allow your personality to shine through!
Whether you're interviewing, or being interviewed, we've compiled a database of questions that other technicians have faced below.
Job interview tips
🔎 Research the school you are applying to
Research the school you are applying to - what are their priorities? Have a look at their most recent OFSTED report, and look at the age groups they teach, and the courses they run.
Example priority: We care about developing interest in science, beyond the curriculum.
Example response: I run the science club for our school, and we've done activities such as the CREST AWARD and Salters Chemistry Club
❓ Ask questions
Remember that interviews are a two way street. They want to find out about you, but you need to decide whether the school is right for you - ask questions!
- Are there any events organised for social interaction in the department or school
- Departments often look for people who will fit in socially with the rest of the team, too!
- What are the opportunities for progression or CPD
- This suggests that you are ambitious, and always looking to improve
🧳 Arrange a visit
Think about arranging an informal visit before you apply/interview - chat with the Lead/Senior Tech and HoD if possible so you can get a feel for those you will be working with and a feel for the school.
➕ Think positive
Don’t assume lack of experience/education will rule you out - Having been the interviewer for a number of new techs; personality, work ethic and how well you might fit into the team can be more important.
👨💼 Dress to impress
Dust off that suit or blouse - first impressions count! Yes this is a technical role and your normal work dress may need to be more suitable for getting dirty but for an interview you should always be suited and booted.
😌 Remain calm
Try not to let nerves get in the way of letting your personality come though - as previously mentioned interviewers will be looking for whether you fit in to the existing team just as much/if not more than your experience and/or qualifications.
⁉️ What if I don't know the answer to a question?
Try not to get phased if you don’t know the answer to a question - giving what you can, or simply admitting you don’t know says a lot, as does being able to ask for help when you need it.
Example response: I’m not sure how to do that off the top of my head, but here’s how I would find out:
- I’d search CLEAPPS for the relevant hazcard
- I’d ask a lead technician
- I’d clarify with the teacher
- I’d check with the HoD
📝 Make a note of your contributions
While working in your current role, make a note of anything that you do that goes above and beyond normal expectations. For example, you may have organised an extracurricular science project, arranged a trip or ran a CPD event.
Keep this safe in a file somewhere and pull it out when you come to apply for your next job.
Technician service factor calculator
Use Bunsen to compare prices on science supplies and save money for your department.