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I have an interview coming up for the role of Headteacher's PA. This will be my first interview in a school environment and I wondered what I can expect? Questions and tasks etc... any tips will be greatly appreciated too!
Thanks in advance for all your help!
Confidentiality will certain be a big issue. A Head's PA will be working with the Head probably closer than any other member of staff and will be privy to a range of confidential information on staff and pupils so confidentiality is of the utmost importance.
Child Protection /Safeguarding - another hot topic in schools. Interviewers can present scenarios to see if interviewees are able to identify a particular course of action or risk that can arise from certain situations. This is probably more relevant in a primary environment where all staff have much closer day to day involvement with the children but you can be asked "if a child comes to you and discloses something which could be the subject of a child protection concern" what would you do?
Working in a school environment - having worked in both the private and public sector, schools are environments with their own unique stresses. You have to have the ability to work with constant interruption, to be extremely well organised so you have to chop and change and pick up where you left off. You often get called away from what may be a very important task to deal with something else which can be trivial. This requires a calm, unflappable sort of person who has good organisational skills and, above all, can multi task. You may be presented at interview with a scenario in which you have to prioritise a variety of tasks or asked how you would deal with difficult staff or parents.
Schools are customer focussed environments - above all a Head wants a PA with good inter-personal skills - able to deal with staff and difficult parents with a smile but yet firm and confident.
I hate to say it but to an extent the Head will have to connect with you at interview and you can't really prepare for that. He or she will just instinctively know if you're the one for them.
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