On this day 2 years ago I had my first interview at Edge Hill for Primary Education with QTS. Today I have been in the same room as around 100 applicants answering questions, discussing the interview process and seeing the nerves and excitement that I had when I was in their position. This led me to think about my interview process and how I found my experience at Edge Hill.
Out of all the universities I applied for Edge Hill was the first interview I attended. One of the things that stood out to me about the interview process here was the level of organisation and how important you were made to feel from the outset. I came to the interview with my Dad and travelling up from Nottingham it was one of the first times I was actually able to look around the university also. The campus was one of the main things that stood out to me on the day, with everything being contained together and the country surroundings, I knew that this was somewhere I could see myself for the next 3 years. The day was structured well and when I first arrived I had to hand in my exam certificates to be checked and then went into one of the lecture theatres. On the day you are given the option to have a campus tour or stay for a question and answer session with current students (something that I am currently doing with new applicants). On the day I choose to stay for the question and answer session, this was really informative for me and having the session led by students put me at ease as there was an informal tone. They allow you to ask any questions and give you their perspective of life at Edge Hill and life in Ormskirk. Following on from this I was taken into another lecture theatre to complete the test aspect of the interview. Many people worry about these tests, but there is nothing to be scared of. Of course you should try your best on them, but the purpose is to not only identify areas of strength but to also see where you can improve. As a teacher you are not expected to know everything especially at this early stage and if you are successful in your interview these tests provide the basis for extending your knowledge and identifying targets to ensure you are making progression in your subject knowledge.
Following on from this you have your interview with a member of staff at Edge Hill, this part of the interview is normally based around a task or scenario. For my interview I had to bring in a book or an object and identify cross curricular links and discuss my lesson ideas for this. When you are invited to interview you will be fully informed of what the task involves and be given plenty of time to prepare. This is often the area that people find most daunting. It is important to remember that nerves are okay, the interviewers understand how scary the process can be and ultimately they want you to do well. The interviewers are not out to get you and it is basically just your chance to show your potential and passion for the subject. My main advice would be to dress smart to make a good impression from the start, have eye contact this shows you’re interested and engaged and be yourself, they want to see what you have to offer and understand that we’re all human.
After the interview it can take up to four weeks before you receive an offer. Whether you are successful or unsuccessful you will receive a notification via UCAS. As well as this the university will e-mail providing you with feedback regarding your interview and results from the tests in which you participated. As this was my first interview the feedback I received was really beneficial in preparing me for future interviews and helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses prior to starting the course. Another thing I found really useful following my interview was the e-mail communications from Edge Hill, this included advice on gaining experience, things to do before starting the course as well as information about open days.
Overall the positivity of the interview was one of my main reasons for choosing Edge Hill, I knew that if I could feel comfortable in that situation that I would be able to fit in as part of the course and part of the university life style.