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School receptionist interview. Advice please!

(16 Posts)
G121 Sat 25-Jan-20 06:35:07

Hi everyone,

I’m new to this site, but I’m looking for some advice please. I have an interview for a school receptionist job at a secondary school on Monday and I am becoming extremely anxious about it.

Can anyone please give me any advice as to what to expect? The type of questions they will ask? Will there be an assessment? Or even what I should wear? I am looking for work after a long break and I just don’t feel confident.

I suffer from anxiety and as it’s getting closer, I’m feeling so nervous that I can’t sleep properly.

Would appreciate some advice please. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
BrightonBB Sat 25-Jan-20 06:54:03

Make sure you understand safeguarding.
Make sure you’ve had a good look at the School website.

BrightonBB Sat 25-Jan-20 06:57:45

Google ‘secondary school acronyms’ - you don’t need to learn them all just a quick read through but at least you’ll get the gist if they mention eg SLT.

UncomfortableSilence Sat 25-Jan-20 07:09:51

Read the school website, safeguarding will most definitely come up so familiarise yourself with this. If you were to do any kind of assessment you would probably be pre warned. I work in school finance and had nothing like that.

However anxious you feel, smile, be warm and friendly. Have some questions prepared, in our school the receptionists have a wide role so find out the exact expectations, working in a school is generally extremely busy so you will need to display good organisation skills and time management as well as the ability to deal with parents and the kids.

I wore cigarette style trousers with a blouse and brogues for my interview, I would go smart but not overly formal.

caulkheaded Sat 25-Jan-20 07:31:06

It’s the first point of contact so it’s a busy and sometimes stressful role - our admin staff are answering phones, writing letters, fetching students, welcoming visitors, sending emails, transferring calls, talking to students, first aid trained, arranging meeting rooms. You’ll need to give examples of when you had to prioritise or manage multiple tasks I imagine. Lots of talking about staying calm when it’s stressful.

Find out what your contracted hours are - some need to stay till 4:45 and some of the holidays when yr11 study is on.

IamHyouweegobshite Sat 25-Jan-20 07:41:24

I work in a primary school. Our receptionists are smart, think trouser/blouse or skirt, dress. They are front of house and deal with the parents, visitors as well as children and staff. Safeguarding is of high importance, confidentiality, being efficient and adaptable. Good telephone manner as well. In secondary you will have to deal with older kids and sometimes the attitudes that come with them, a scenario could be asked of what would you do in a certain situation. Good luck

Ginbauble Sat 25-Jan-20 07:54:34

I work in recruitment.

Look at the job description and person specification. Think of examples of when you have carried out those tasks or demonstrated those skills- use real examples.

Also research safeguarding and GDPR/ data protection in schools. Look at the school policies on these and any other policies they have on their website as you will be expected to work to these.

G121 Sun 26-Jan-20 07:27:05

Thank you so much for your replies. I appreciate the time you have taken to reply back to me.

OP’s posts: |
Throughabushbackwards Sun 26-Jan-20 07:36:55

You might be given some kind of prioritisation task - a list of emails or problems that you have to sort into an order from do now to do later. You could also get a proofing task where you have to identify errors in a document.

As PP said you will be asked safeguarding questions - why do you want to work in a school, what would you do if a child confided something serious to you (etc.) - so read the school's policy but also your local authority's.

Isleepinahedgefund Sun 26-Jan-20 13:20:19

I did recruitment for a school receptionist job at the school I'm a governor of recently.

Safeguarding, confidentiality and customer service are the three biggest things.

Also understanding that the job is not just receptionist - You're the first point of contact for visitors, gatekeeper for the Head, you'll be dealing with angry parents, sick kids, 1000 interruptions a day to your actual very varied work - it's not quite the lovely little school hours job people seem to think it is! It's a pivotal role to the running of the school, and I think if you go in with that understanding you'll do well.

G121 Mon 27-Jan-20 16:54:29

Thank you for your replies.

This is just a general question, what would be included in an in-tray task for school administrators? I’ve only recently heard about this.

OP’s posts: |
caulkheaded Mon 27-Jan-20 16:59:56

For us it would be prioritisation of tasks and probably some letters/phone calls/messages ie all the things in someone’s in tray and how you would go about them...

Our administrator has sent a lot of letters out with the wrong dates on recently so avoiding that kind of thing.

student26 Mon 27-Jan-20 17:04:32

Talk about being able to adapt for talking to children of perhaps nursery age to children in the upper school. Give an example for everything to back up what you are saying.

sixtimes Mon 27-Jan-20 17:57:13

If the school has a Nursery, I would read up on the 'free' 30 hours & 15 hours entitlement. Our school secretary spends a lot of time chasing parents for the codes (& additional fees) so they don't lose their place. Good luck!

Isleepinahedgefund Mon 27-Jan-20 18:15:52

The in tray we did was to produce a newsletter, take a phone message, deal with a parent (a teacher pretending!) and to take a phone message from the answerphone.

G121 Thu 30-Jan-20 05:30:43

Thank you for all your advice. Much appreciated

OP’s posts: |

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