This is long due, but I've promised a few friends that I'd share some tips. Now, I don't profess to be a pro when it comes to interviews. In fact, I've only gone for two in 7 years- the first was when I went for the TESL interview, and the second was this SPP thing.
Now, you should keep in mind that with everything that's been going on (including the lateness in posting this year), things may change. Interviews may be conducted differently in the future. However, I think these are all basic tips that can be applied for any sort of interview. I collected them from own experiences, as well from many people including my particular batch of Cohort 4 TESL grads (hello to you if any of you are reading this!). I hope this is helpful.
1. Appearance & Attire
- Wear formal clothing. This would usually mean traditional dresses (baju kurung) for the ladies and collared shirts & black pants for the men. People may have different opinions about this, but I'd advice ladies to go for baju kurung. Easy. No skirts with splits at the back. Wear what you'd wear to school everyday. (Yang Muslims, tutup aurat ya. I needn't say more.)
-Wear dark-coloured covered shoes. This would usually mean high-heeled, dark coloured 'court' shoes, as we call them, for the ladies.
- Wear blazers. This isn't compulsory, but from my experience, it does help make you look smart and professional. I noticed this because all the TESL candidates wore blazers and it makes a lot of difference (well we all shared tips with each other, hehe). We even had an interviewer comment that he gave extra marks for those who wear blazers. They should be dark in colour- black or dark blue would do nicely. Make sure you feel comfortable in yours.
-Wear nametags. The sort you wore when you went for practicum.
-Just make sure you look smart from top to toe. Iron your clothes, pin your tudung into place, etc.
-Look smart and professional. How do you that? I don't know, figure it out, you're teachers are't you? Hehe
-Put on a pleasant face. I know some people like to look serious, and I guess it works too. Just don't joke around too much or be too playful. There are times and places for that. Just calm down and relax. -
-Follow the Person-In-Charge's instructions. There will be a PIC for every centre, and before you go into the room, they will give a short briefing session and explain what you have to do. Some even give tips.
-Be respectful. At my place, we were asked to give salam to the interviewer before entering the room. Enter in single file, and don't sit before you're told to. Don't cross your legs. Hehe.
-Don't pretend to know if you don't know something. Uh-huh. Just respectfully say you''re not sure, but if you want to try and answer anyway, go ahead. Each interviewer is different, but we'll get to that later.
3. Required Documents
-Make sure you have everything prepared ahead of time. I've heard a lot of cases were candidates were not allowed to sit for an interviewer due to missing documents. Some PICs may be more lenient, but don't hope for that. Make sure you have anything necessary compiled.
-Print out the checklist from the SPP website You will also get letters delivered to your home, and sometimes the checklist is included. But double check with your friends and the SPP website. Double and triple check everything.
-Arrange all original documents in a clear holder.
-Make extra extra copies of the original documents and make sure you get them all verified. Clip or staple the required copies together.
-This is the list of documents we had to take. It may be different for different courses etc.:
(ii) Birth certificate
(iii) SPM certificate
(iv) Graduation scroll
(v) Graduation transcript
(vi) Programme offer letter (which you got when you were first offered your teaching programme)
-Some had to bring their practicum record book. I brought mine, but it wasn't required. Teachers who are already working in schools have to bring other additional documents.
This is all I can think of at the moment. If I think of anything else, I'll update this post. If you have any comments or questions... well, just shoot me a comment below. Insya-Allah I'll try my best to respond.
[Next up: Part 2: What to Read for the Interview. Stay tuned.]