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Another job in a school where interview was not successful

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by MisssyHTH, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. MisssyHTH

    MisssyHTH New commenter

    Hello all!
    I am a NQT who had an interview in a school in February. Although I was not successful my feedback was extremely positive. This very small school is now advertising again, will my application still be considered despite being unsuccessful last time?
    If I do apply should I fully change my application/covering letter, or keep aspects the same. Also what additional things would they be looking to see in my application and covering letter to show I have progressed.
    Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated!
  2. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    I'm speaking from my personal experience, but I wouldn't be keen. I once had my heart set on a school and, like you, though I received some positive feedback following an interview, ultimately, they went for someone else. Within a month, they advertised a very similar post again. I contacted the Head to let them know I was still very much interested in the school, and wanted to apply - they didn't put me off, as such, but I think they were being polite in saying that I was a good candidate first time around. So I put myself through it all again - submitted an application (it wasn't substantially different from my first, as the posts were quite similar, though I was careful to amend according to the job specification second time around, and I acknowledged my interview experience first time around / what I had got out of the process), was shortlisted and invited for interview again, but again lost out. I felt really foolish afterwards and it was a humbling experience.

    But don't take my word for it: your circumstances may be very different, and I'm sure there may be others who have done exactly this and who were fortunate to get the post second time around. I dare say if I was a stronger candidate, I may have got the post second time around, but facing the same people on the interview panel, and being observed by the same people in my observed lesson, it felt very much like their minds were already made up - and indeed, it was a waste of time on my part. In retrospect, I should have just accepted the rejection first time around and just moved on in my mind - but it's difficult, I know, when you have your heart set on a school.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    agathamorse and MisssyHTH like this.
  3. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Schools give positive feedback to unsuccessful applicants to let them down gently and avoid argument or backlash. If you had impressed them sufficiently that they actually wanted to employ you last time but you were pipped by a better candidate, they would have contacted you when this new vacancy came up.

    That said - they may be forgetful or inept and if you are emotionally resilient enough to cope with possibly being knocked back a second time, there is no harm in contacting them and asking if they would welcome your re-application. Just don't get your hopes up on the basis of positive feedback from an unsuccessful interview.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    They wouldn't have interviewed you if they had already made their minds up not to hire you. They interviewed you because they thought you were a good candidate. Setting up interviews is time consuming and disruptive, we don't interview lightly.
    And although the candidate will recall the interview in detail for a long time, the interview panel will not: they've made their notes, made their decision and moved on.
    agathamorse and ABCDETeacher like this.
  5. ABCDETeacher

    ABCDETeacher New commenter

    I agree with this, I'd say go for it. What do you have to lose?

    Given the current situation, the fact they've already seen you teach a lesson (ofc providing your interview lesson was good) could even count in your favour.
    agathamorse, anikabla1 and Piranha like this.
  6. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    This is true. I stand corrected.
    agathamorse likes this.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Do it.
    MisssyHTH likes this.
  8. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    I wouldn't, if you are happy that you did a good job. If you know you messed it up somehow specifically and feel you could do better with a second chance then it might be worth it.

    But generally, I'd take the view that if they were not sensible enough to hire you the first time, then they are not a good enough team to work for!

    Also, the idea that if schools were not prepared to offer you a post they would not have interviewed you is incorrect; two schools where I worked earlier in my career interviewed applicants for a post when we knew perfectly well which candidate would get the job from the start. I made the point that it was unfair and a waste of time but my HoD told me to be quiet and that they had to go through the motions.
  9. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    I got my first job after being unsuccessful at interview. I was told I had come second, and a week later someone else in the department handed their notice in. I was then offered that job.

    Just because you weren’t their first choice for one job, doesn’t mean you won’t be the best candidate for another.

    Apply. What do you have to lose? Tweak your application if necessary, but don’t totally rewrite it. You are still you with the same experience.

    If you don’t get an interview you’ll know that it’s not the school for you.
  10. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    There is no law to this effect. Some employers do have a rule about minimum size of shortlist.
    TheoGriff and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  11. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    Thanks, I didn't know if it was a requirement or just a convention.
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    And some schools shortlist internal candidates who are not going to get the job, because it will be good experience. But let them have the stress and dashed hopes, mind you!

    But even worse, some schools shortlist hopeless internal candidates because the Head hasn't got the guts to come out and say: We are not shortlisting this time because there are more suitable candidates. But we will help you with your professional development so that you are better placed in the future. They find it easier to say I'm afraid that the panel selected another candidate for the post due to an outstanding interview.

    Weak Heads are weak in every situation, in my experience.

    Keep safe, everyone
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. anikabla1

    anikabla1 New commenter

    I agree too.
    A teacher I know had her heart set on a particular school and ended up interview 3x! Before getting a position there. Go for it. If anything, it will show you are keen to work there
    MisssyHTH likes this.
  14. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Agree with @TheoGriff .
    I should have phrased it, "Some less-than-good employers...."
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Put in an application. If they don't want you they won't offer you an interview. Study the job spec and alter your application a little, but it did the job first time round so don't change it too much. It will be a blow if you don't get the job again so be aware of that - someone else mentioned "emotional resilience" and you will need that. I held a lasting grudge against a head who turned me down twice and then got turned down for another job where his wife was deputy - those were the days!! Just go for it with your eyes open. Do remember as well, that, as someone else said, feedback is not always honest. It's a game but you can choose to play it as hard as you want, just be prepared for the knocks. You've got to be in it to win it. GOOD LUCK!
    MisssyHTH likes this.
  16. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    On balance - I probably wouldn't apply again.

    If they really wanted you then you would have been offered the post.
    steely1 and Jolly_Roger15 like this.
  17. MisssyHTH

    MisssyHTH New commenter

    I agree! You are never going to win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket! I think the knock back the first time has really built my resilience. I'm also not going to put all my eggs in one basket and continuing to apply for other jobs in my area, as there are quite a few at the moment.
    ABCDETeacher and lindenlea like this.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    So get applying for them.

    I'd leave the school you previously had an interview at out.
  19. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Yes, I totally concur with this. I have seen this happen on too many occasions where some staff being approached to apply for particular positions and advert suggests all can apply and then said member of staff is offered post - naughty but still happening and explained away under 'there were stronger candidates .." etc.. and to top it up; you are offered no CPD that's tailored to you, despite performance appraisal meetings, but instead included in whole school CPD and 2nd year teachers promoted above more experienced.

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