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Help! Teaching interviews - to suit or not to suit?

(20 Posts)
NorthernShores Thu 07-Nov-13 21:49:31

I'm looking at going back to work, have some applications in, and I need to be prepared if I get an interview.

I can't wear old jeans and jumpers that I've been wearing for the last 5 years can I?

I'm looking at Secondary, mainly Grammar/private schools. Should I wear a suit? I don't want to look like a banker!

I was a lot younger (and slimmer) when I last got a job. I think I would like a dress suit but I'm a bit large for that now Does it need to be trouser suit? I'm about size 20.


KalevalaForMePlease Thu 07-Nov-13 22:08:21

I would definitely wear a suit, either a trouser suit with a nice blouse or top underneath, or a smart fitted dress with a blazer over it. Good luck!

NorthernShores Thu 07-Nov-13 22:10:13

Thank-you. I'm not sure if a dress and blazer would work on my size, but I'll have a look tomorrow. Its a look I'd like if I were slimmer!

Are shoes with a slight heel smarter than flats? I'm really out of it! I used to wear black trousers/ pretty top or skirt/boots when I used to teach, but it was a while ago and when I was much much slimmer.

YonilyDevotedToYou Thu 07-Nov-13 22:13:14

I would definitely wear a suit. I have never been to an interview for a teaching job where I didn't wear a suit, or at the very least a dress and jacket. In fact in many schools now (including my 'bog standard comp') there is a dress code for teachers which states specifically that we must wear a jacket.

Philoslothy Thu 07-Nov-13 22:13:35

I think a smart dress is fine.

EverybodysGoneSurfing Thu 07-Nov-13 22:15:52

Definitely a suit and definitely not a cardigan- our principal makes snap judgements on this and she can't be the only one. If it helps, I am a size 20 and I wear skirts, dresses and trousers with jackets for work.

Littlefish Thu 07-Nov-13 22:17:16

For secondary grammar/private I would definitely wear a suit. For infant/primary if you are teaching as part of the interview then I would wear something smart, but not necessarily a suit.

NorthernShores Thu 07-Nov-13 22:25:29

Thank-you all. Everyone, really appreciate the feedback. I used to wear cardigans to work... so it helps to know I definitely want a suit. I'd love it if you could say what sort of shop or any clue as to style? I'm the sort of person that took a friend shopping 10 years ago and then stuck to what she said suited me.... I haven't a clue!

Do people do the whole "scarf" thing? Or is that not an interview thing. I'm not used to wearing one but see it a lot.

Where do I get large person suits from.... trousers/dress/skirt matter? Very much appreciating advice! Do you buy suit and trousers together so they match? I can't remember when I last wore a suit. (Possibly university interview).

Oh and brogue shoes? Court shoes? Shoes with straps? I'm googling "interview outfit" but struggling to know what kind of thing is right.

EverybodysGoneSurfing Thu 07-Nov-13 22:29:48

For work each day, as a large person, I wear jersey dresses with black jacket, jersey skirt with jacket and top or trousers and top. My current jackets are from M&S, Asos Curve and Kaliko. Trousers always from M&S or Sainsburys as they come up to belly button so no risk of bum showing! I don't buy matching, always were separates. I do quite often do all black with a scarf- Sainsburys great for scarves! For an interview I would wear nice dress and jacket and heels (court shoes, I guess). But I am an assistant head who teaches English (aged 31) so don't need to be cool and funky- maybe different if I taught drama or media!

wonderwooman Thu 07-Nov-13 22:35:23

I went for an interview 8 months ago (my first job in 8 years since children & I couldn't fit into any of my pre-children suits) at a boarding school & wore a shift dress & cardigan & ballet flats and got the job...

I think it's important to wear what you feel comfortable and confident in - not good if you're self-conscious wearing something you don't normally wear.

wonderwooman Thu 07-Nov-13 22:37:27

Just to add, whilst at work I rarely wear a jacket and there are plenty of other teachers in the staff room who don't either...

NorthernShores Thu 07-Nov-13 23:37:48

I don't need to be cool and funky, just tricky trying to think myself out of the jeans I have lived in for the last 5 years. I quite like White stuff and fat face, but they're not really "worky".

Good hint about the trousers. I'll have a look tomorrow.

EATmum Fri 08-Nov-13 00:12:07

Try a personal shopping session at a dept store, and let them know what kind of thing you're after. They're usually free, and I've found no pressure to buy anything - and I've been impressed with the advice I've received.
Another fab tip I received some years back was going to have your hair put 'up' for an interview - if you have longish hair, a french pleat or slick 'do' can make you feel really polished, even if it's an interview you're dreading.

complexnumber Fri 08-Nov-13 00:49:39

Try a personal shopping session at a dept store, and let them know what kind of thing you're after. They're usually free, and I've found no pressure to buy anything - and I've been impressed with the advice I've received.

Alternatively take me shopping, and be sure to ignore absolutely any advice I may offer.

Let us know how the interview went!

KalevalaForMePlease Fri 08-Nov-13 01:09:39

I would go for comfy but smart shoes as well, don't they sometimes take you on a tour of the school? How exciting, I'm on my third year out of teaching now, at home with DD. This will be me someday! Best of luck!

NorthernShores Fri 08-Nov-13 01:45:28

Thank-you all. I've decided to try Debenhams personal shopper service tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be too expensive!

Complex - love to take you shopping if you're available Saturday and live near me!

Kalevala - I'm beginning to get excited by the prospect of getting stuck in again!

feelingood Fri 08-Nov-13 01:52:26

good tailoring will work - get something tailoured not loose cover up. Longline all the way. Dotn cut yourself off at your widest point.

make sure you wear heels to try on, take fats in bag.

Do interview hair and makeup to to get full pic

KalevalaForMePlease Fri 08-Nov-13 02:31:28

Northern, I really miss it, being at home with a whiny toddler makes me miss stroppy teenagers! I read all my old workmates comments on Facebook, complaining about going back after half term and I just feel jealous! But then when it was me I was one of the biggest whiners! Grass is always greener, eh?

NorthernShores Fri 08-Nov-13 02:34:33

Thank-you feeling.

Kalevala - oh yes, me too! I'm hoping that returning part-time will help balance things out a bit.

NorthernShores Fri 08-Nov-13 20:55:45

Suit dress and jacket bought! Now hopefully the interviews will roll in!

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