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Women in the hot seat

Who went?

Denise Salt, PE teacher at Parkstone Grammar School in Poole.

What was the course?

Women into Deputy Headship, run by the Association of School and College Leaders.

What did it do?

The two-day course offered advice on job applications and interview techniques.

Why go?

I'm head of Year 11 and beginning to think about the next step in my career.

Message, motto or mantra

Be confident. Apparently, when men look at job criteria they focus on the things they can do. Women are more likely to worry about the things they cannot do.

Handouts or hands-on?

We all arrived with an application for a fictitious job. We looked at everyone's letter and CV, drew up a shortlist of candidates, then held mock interviews. Those not selected played the role of governor or head so you got to see things from the other side.

Something I liked

There was lots of one-to-one attention and my CV and letter came back covered in helpful comments.

Something I learned

At interviews, be yourself. If you don't get the job, it's probably just that your face doesn't fit. On the other hand, if you're not getting interviews, you need to look again at your application.

Has it made a difference?

I'm much less daunted by the idea of applying for senior posts.

The verdict?

The course leader really wanted to be there, which gave it a positive feel

Interview by Steven Hastings

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