INTERVIEW WITH LUCIE DALUISO
Divisional managing director for further education at Reed
We sat down with Lucie Daluiso, Divisional Managing Director for Further Education at Reed, to gain an insight into the main things to consider when interviewing for a further education (FE) teaching role. She confides the elements that should make for a winning formula during the interview.
Once your application for an FE teaching role has been successful, there is the not-to-be underestimated hurdle of the interview itself. Expressing a positive attitude and enthusiasm for the role is a key component to winning over the room during an FE interview. “We’ve all had that one teacher we loved, simply due to their passion for the subject they were teaching,” Lucie says. “This is still true in further education, and it is often expressed through the knowledge a lecturer has in their area of expertise.”
She adds: “If you know the ongoing debates occurring in your topic of expertise and how you wish to contribute towards them or change the industry you work in for the better, you will easily be able to express your passion.”
Lucie believes that practice is the name of the game when it comes to best showcasing communication and interpersonal skills in the interview. “Effective communication involves conveying your message clearly, concisely and accurately – practising your answers, micro-teach or presentation is the best way to do this.”
Expressing a penchant for listening is also key. “A good way to show that you have been listening to what the interviewer is asking is to ask them questions to expand their ideas and thoughts,” Lucie says. “This is a more natural way to get conversations started and to express your curiosity about the role.”
The most common stumbling block for candidates in interviews for FE jobs is a lack of preparedness. Lucie states: “Most obstacles come from being underprepared, as this can also impact the level of nerves you feel on the day. If you’ve prepared thoroughly before the interview, you should know the ins and outs of the institution to answer any curveball questions.”
Another piece of solid advice is to ensure you are self-deprecating enough to acknowledge any tough times you may have experienced in your work in the past and to showcase the solutions you found to said problems. Being a successful teacher in the FE sector is about managing the inevitable peaks and troughs that present themselves, sometimes on the same day.
“When it comes to working in education, you can be faced with disruption or adversities from students or unexpected situations – touching on overcoming previous challenges, whether it was in previous education roles or in previous industry roles, is a good way of showcasing your communication and interpersonal skills,” says Lucie.
When asked how favourably recruiters and FE colleges look upon experience outside of the classroom, from candidates who are looking for a career change, Lucie was clear that this need to be an obstacle, indeed “competition for talent is particularly fierce now”.
Although it is “especially difficult to attract the right lecturers into further education, as you need someone who has a crossover of the ability to teach and refine academic skills”, industry experience and transferrable skills are growing in importance in the modern FE workplace, according to Lucie.
“Technical skills and knowledge are increasingly attractive for colleges, given that a lot of industries and organisations tend to demand more practical experience and insights,” she states. “Essentially, it’s no longer only about knowing the theoretical side of a subject, but also about being equipped with the right skills. That means having industry experience instead of purely teaching experience is by no means unfavourable – it’s actually in demand, and many colleges will offer you teacher training if you come out of a skilled industry to lecture.”
Non-FE teaching experience, therefore, can be turned into a positive when interviewing for an FE role. “Looking at the demands of the industry and how it will benefit students is a great way to express your knowledge and the positive impact you would have in teaching at the college,” Lucie explains.
“With many industries rapidly developing – especially those that are being heavily impacted by technological advancements – possessing the in-demand, interpersonal skills is vital. A lot of this knowledge only really comes from industry experts, so demonstrating this during an interview is essential for the best chance of success.”
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