After getting through the online application process, you will be invited to their assessment centre. It is a full day assessment centre which involves three main tasks: one-to-one interview with a TeachFirst staff/ambassador; group case study and; presentation of your chosen lesson title. The first of these is usually the one-to-one interview where you will be given a series of competency questions from their lists of competencies:
Humility, respect and empathy (HRE)
Planning and organising
The interview is relatively straightforward if you have prepared a couple of different examples for each competency. The assessor was patient and very friendly. The great thing about the TeachFirst interview is that they give you a chance to come back to questions if you don't feel confident with it at the time, this gives you a chance to think about it whilst going through other questions. The questions themselves are predetermined and goes through each competency so it is very important that you have prepared these. However, they have no access to your online application so you can use your answers which you provided on there. I would say that this part of the interview was the easiest for me as I prepared thoroughly.
Most difficult question
1) Please give an example of a situation that you have created which was leading to, or resulted in a negative outcome. Explain how the measures you put in place helped to improve the situation.
2) Please give an example of the time when you had a positive influence on someone.
My best advice would be to go through each competencies and list different examples for each one as well as finding ways to incorporate those competencies in the group task and lesson plan. Also, during the day it is vital that you just relax, be yourself and have fun.
Lastly, the best thing you can do to be successful at this assessment centre is PREPARE, PREPARE AND PREPARE!
Experiences at the assessment centre
The assessment centre is relaxed and very informative. There were about 15 of us at the time and we were given breaks in between the different tasks. This gave us time to talk amongst ourselves as well as do some last minute preparation. We were given detailed instruction in the morning of what we were required to do during our time there. It was really well organised and everything ran smoothly. The staff there were very helpful and it felt that they wanted us to do the best we can. The atmosphere didn't feel at all tense.
After you've done your one-to-one interview, you are then assigned to a group of maybe 4-7 people depending on the number of the participants during the day. The group tasks involves discussing different solutions to a problem and deciding on an answer as a group. You are given a few minutes to read over an information pack. The best way to get through this is by making quality contributions as well as involving other participants into the conversation. Do not take over the whole discussion or interrupt other participants whilst they are speaking.
The last task of the day is the lesson preparation. A week or two before your assessment centre you are given a choice of lesson titles and out of these you must prepare 1 lesson which you will present to two adult assessors (acting like kids) for exactly 7 minutes. It's really important that this lesson is both creative and engaging. You must also be able to control the situation when it comes to bad behaviour or lack of attention. However, this certainly was the most fun part of the day!
Overall, TeachFirst is looking for someone that match their criteria so just make sure you know and apply the list of competencies throughout the selection process. You will also be given self evaluation forms which is crucial to identifying your strength and weaknesses. My advice is just to make the most out of the day and be yourself!
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