January 8, 2021, by aeyaebr

Teach First Q&A: The Application Process

By Annie Brown, MA Creative Writing student blogger

After university, many graduates go on to teaching careers. I sat down with my friend Hannah (name changed for privacy) to discuss the application process for the popular graduate scheme Teach First. The application process for many graduate schemes is similar and knowing what to expect can help prepare you. Here is what I found out:

What was the application process like?

Hannah: The application process was straightforward. You first have to complete an online application form. This involves answering questions about why you want to be part of Teach First, your reasons for wanting to teach, and what skills and experiences you have. You also get to give your preference as to where and what you would like to teach.

The application covers some questions based on Teach First’s competencies which you will need to know well. You also have to take a situational judgement test which looks at how you would respond to different scenarios in teaching. Then, you wait to hear back as to whether you have made it to the next stage, which is a selection day.

Action: Go to Careers team’s webpage for advice on completing application forms.

What was the assessment centre like*?

Hannah: The selection day is usually held at the assessment centre in London, but they now hold them in regional areas too. I attended a selection day in Manchester instead, which was more local to me. The day began with a competency-based interview, which again covered the Teach First competencies. This was a one-on-one interview, but the interviewer was welcoming and made me feel at ease. The next part of the day involved a group case study where we had to work as a team on a given scenario. Then finally, you deliver a very short sample lesson to a couple of assessors acting as school pupils. They give you a list of lesson titles to choose from beforehand.

*Please note that this assessment centre took place pre-Covid-19.

Action: Get advice on preparing for interviews and assessment centres.

How did you find out if you had been successful?

Hannah: I received a phone call a few weeks later to be told I was successful, and where and what I will be teaching. As Teach First is a charity, you cannot be guaranteed to get your first choice in subject or location, so keep this in mind.

Any tips for future applicants?

Hannah: Be very clear on the competencies and make sure you understand them thoroughly. Do your research on them and Teach First [or any graduate scheme]. Highlighting your research and understanding through your responses will ensure you have the best chance of being successful.

Application processes can be daunting but doing your research and knowing what to expect will help ease some of the anxiety. For any application process (not just Teach First) researching the company, the employer, and the role in question and being confident in this knowledge will help impress any employer.

You may also be interested in Annie’s previous interview with Hannah about her Teach First experience.

Find out more about how to make successful applications and careers in teaching.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers Advice