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Teaching assistant interview tomorrow - but what on earth to wear!

(16 Posts)
herbaceous Mon 28-Sep-15 12:26:41


I have recently finished a PGCE, and have my first ever interview for an actual job. It's as a high-level teaching assistant in the ELA department of a secondary school. I have to take a lesson, then later on have an interview.

So, I need to be both smart and comfortable. Slightly smarter than a TA would normally be, I guess, but with comfy shoes. The weather is not going to be helpful, as it will be chilly first thing, when I get there, but be hotting up by my interview in the afternoon. What would a TA normally wear?

As ever, shoes are the problem. I guess trainers are out. My ankle boots need reheeling, and my only comfy flat shoes are silver and white brogues, which don't really go with the black opaque tights I'll need to keep my legs warm. I have no smart trousers. Or none that fit, at least.

Are leggings out of the question?

I'm 49, 5'8", hourglass 12/14.

NewLife4Me Mon 28-Sep-15 12:34:14

With the weather being as it is tomorrow I'd suggest light clothing with a cardigan.
Maybe go for trousers pretty blouse/top and cardi?
I certainly wouldn't consider leggings, but trousers can be comfy, smart and still be fashionable.

NewLife4Me Mon 28-Sep-15 12:37:46

Sorry just saw the no trousers comment.
Can you get boots reheeled in time, would this give you more possibilities with your existing wardrobe.
I can remember borrowing stuff for a similar thing once.
Good luck thanks

herbaceous Mon 28-Sep-15 12:42:38

My only smart trousers are wide-legged pinstriped ones with pleats at the top, that I've had for about 10 years! I've put on a few pounds over the summer hols, and everything is now too tight, or too tight for comfort, at least.

I have got another pair of ankle boots with OK heels, but they're not as comfy. I'll only be teaching for 30 minutes, so maybe I can suffer on through...

Floisme Mon 28-Sep-15 13:23:30

It's not often I say this but, if it's an intervew, I would go for discomfort. Good luck.

herbaceous Mon 28-Sep-15 13:44:46

I fear you might be right. How about jersey dress, smart coat, opaques, ankle boots?

Floisme Mon 28-Sep-15 13:51:03

That sounds good: smart but also practical and approachable.

And take your trainers to wear on the way home grin

hollieberrie Mon 28-Sep-15 20:16:05

I fear you might be right. How about jersey dress, smart coat, opaques, ankle boots?

I'm a teacher OP and this is basically what i wear to work most days through the Autumn & Winter. Comfort is key as teaching is so unpredictable - you never know what you'll end up doing! Also i usually get very hot when i'm in the classroom, so make sure your jersey dress isnt too thick and wooly? If it is, maybe a thinner type dress with a long cardie over the top?

We've had candidates turn up in converse and cords type outfits and a couple of them got the job - they'll be much more concerned with how you perform than how smartly you are dressed.

Good luck!

herbaceous Mon 28-Sep-15 20:30:16

Thank you! It's quite a thin dress, though with long sleeves. Sainsbury's finest! (Though once mistaken for DvF, admittedly in a very dark party)

I daren't be too casual - I need a bit of smartness to make me feel more confident. It's my first interview in the teaching milieu, and I've got no idea what to expect...

amarmai Tue 29-Sep-15 13:45:27

Since you're going to be teaching a lesson, how you feel will communicate to the students and affect how they behave. So wear what makes you feel good and that will engender a better response from the students.Personally i'd go for smart casual and comfy. Good luck !

EmmaWoodlouse Tue 29-Sep-15 17:14:25

I am a TA and the advice I've always been given is not to wear anything to an interview that looks as if you don't realise how practical the job is. So no pencil skirts, uncomfortable heels, cream trousers etc. I got my current job wearing a wrap dress (it was summer) but would cheerfully go to a TA interview in the outfit you describe, or even something like wide dark-coloured trousers, lowish-heeled boots and a scoop-neck top and cardigan.

If you get the job, it would definitely be worth getting a couple of pairs of "smart but not very smart" trousers that you're comfortable in. Where I work, most of the TAs wear trousers more often than skirts, although skirts aren't actually frowned on so long as they're not excessively short!

herbaceous Tue 29-Sep-15 17:26:06

Thank you all. I didn't get the job, but it was nothing to do with the outfit. I did a great lesson, best of the bunch, but didn't have the correct terminology-friendly answers to the interview questions to hand. Bah.

EmmaWoodlouse Tue 29-Sep-15 17:29:46

Sorry to hear that. I got caught out once like that - they wanted me to mention IEPs and I didn't, then I made sure I did at the next interview and I got that job. Unfortunately they're not called IEPs any more and I can't remember off the top of my head what they are called, but my current job is in a school I've worked at before and I think they just took it as read that I knew how the system works.

gonegrey56 Tue 29-Sep-15 17:41:17

What a nonsense - surely what matters most is the quality of the teaching? Not being able to spout "correct terminology " . I know who I would rather teach my dcs, someone who is engaging and inspiring !
Commiserations OP.

Floisme Tue 29-Sep-15 19:05:21

I'm very sorry to hear that. I think the terminology you are looking for is, 'fuck them to fuckery'.



hollieberrie Tue 29-Sep-15 22:50:42

Ohhh, I'm sorry OP. I hate all that terminology - I'd prob struggle with some of it too tbh. I'm early years and know all our terminology - but doubt i could name all the KS2 stuff, it changes so often and so fast! Good luck with your next one - at least you have more of an idea now about what they might ask.

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