Before the Interview Day
Don't just put the date that works for your school on an advertisement and assume that the best people can make this. Existing teachers may be on a school trip or have childcare responsibilities; trainees may have assignment deadlines or tutor visits. Don't worry if this means not everyone is interviewed on the same day.
2. Keep preparation to a minimum
Good teachers and prospective teachers are busy. If they're asked to prepare complex lessons or prepare long presentations they may decide not to bother coming. It's a lot better to ask them teach something they've covered recently and set a short self-contained task on the day.
3. Make your first contact count
If the first contact from a prospective employer is short, dull or even rude, this has a powerful influence on all subsequent interactions. The best approach would be to start with a phone conversation from a senior teacher to thank them for the application, to offer an informal visit or to ask them their best time for interview. If this is followed up with a personal email it becomes increasingly difficult to pull out of the process.
On the Interview Day
The first view of a school and contact with a member of staff can reveal a lot about a school. Make sure that reception staff know about interviews taking place, that applicants aren't kept waiting for long, and that any areas where applicants will wait are well presented and ideally contain material that will reinforce why your school is a great place to work.
5. Show off the great things your school does - for teachers
As with job adverts it can be easy to focus on OFSTED grades or academic results when giving presentations or school tours. But these aren't necessarily going to persuade someone to join you. Instead, make sure you talk about the great things that your school offers to staff - training, flexible working, development opportunities - and that applicants get to meet people like themselves, not just senior staff.
6. Personalise the day
As well as personalising the date of interview, you can also tailor what happen on the day to meet the interests of the applicant. If they have an interest in pastoral, special needs or teaching sport, let them see these parts of the school and meet key people who can help them develop in these areas. If they are new to teaching, let them spend time with the people in charge of their in school training.
In the Interview
It's easy to ask questions that put people off without trying. Some applicants are happy to take part in extensive extra-curricular activities, take on research projects and have extensive experience managing and influencing others. But others may see questions beyond the actual teaching role as a sign that the school wants more than they can give. Similarly, be careful not to imply that a new teacher needs to be perfect at behaviour management or teaching A-level if you can support them to develop instead.
8. Be prepared to negotiate
One of the most common questions asked in school interviews is 'would you accept the job if we offered it now?'. While it might save time if you have dozens of good candidates it can also put people off - and if you get the reply 'no' from your sole interviewee, you're in a difficult place. A much better version is 'how do you feel about this job now you've spent time with us?'. This allows people to explain their concerns and for you to make changes to your offer.
9. Ask for feedback
Either at the end of the interview, or shortly afterwards, make sure you get feedback from all applicants (successful or not) so you can improve the day.