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Dear Theo, How can I come first?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by chintz18, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Dear Theo,
    I am thoroughly disheartened with my job search and wondered if you (or anyone!) could give me some advice (or maybe just a cheering up!!) I'm currently a Science (Chemistry) PGCE student, finishing my final placement tomorrow as I do an "odd" course. I've been applying for jobs over the past 3 weeks or so, applied for 6, got 3 interviews and out of those 3 interviews, I've been told in 2 (haven't had feedback from one yet, although to be honest I didn't feel like a good fit at that school) that I did an "outstanding lesson and interviewed excellently" (that's a quote from yesterday's, but paraphrases the other!) but both times the job has gone to someone else. This is very irritating, as you can imagine. If I had fluffed it, then I would be content to take advice and improve, but as there's no advice to take, I don't know what else to do!
    Essentially, I'm sick of coming just second. Clearly, I'm perfectly competent, look good on paper, teach a good lesson and come across well in interview. BUT I haven't got the job(s). Any advice? Something obvious I'm missing? :)
    One of the schools asked to keep my details as they may have another post coming up and in that case they would hire me, but I can't really hang about to find out! Without a full time job in September, I can't pay rent/bills/eat!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    You just missed last saturday, when we did a Get That Teaching Job seminar that focussed, in one session, on how to present yourself effectively in interviews, with practical exercises. Next one is not for 5 weeks.
    Try reading again the advice in the Interview Tips clickables inside the Welcome Thread, and go for practice interviews with a bossy friend who can be relied on to tell you where to sharpen up your answers.
    The other point is that there's a very good chance that the feedback is not worth the air it's breathed on. That they said that just to send you away happy and avoid any potential legal challenges.
    I will say that to have applied for 6 jobs and got 3 interviews you are doing extremely well. And just 6 jobs is not many to go for. There are people who get it at their 30th or 50th attempt.
    So don't despair, don't give up, and don't lose faith in yourself. Seems to me that your record so far is very hopeful - you clearly have a lot to offer a school or you wouldn't have such a good hit rate.
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    By popular demand! In response to Tessers e-mailing in: another Job Seminar now on Saturday 14th May:
    The next Moving onto Leadship seminar is Sunday 15th May.
    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.
    Look forward to seeing you!

  3. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    I think you'll find that there are lots and lots of teachers in this position. There are just not enough jobs for everyone. If you read a bit wider round the TES forums you'll see that there are people worse off than you. Some NQT's from several years back haven't completed their induction year yet. Bet they didn't tell you that on your PGCE.
  4. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    Let me spell it out then. There aren't enough jobs for all. Everyone looks good on paper, everyone has achieved the same ITT standards, everybody gets told that they have come a close second in an interview. If you haven't got anything outstanding about you to set you apart from other candidates then there is nothing you can do to make your application more desireable.
    You are asking for a answer which is worth it's weight in gold. All unemployed teachers want the answer to this. I'm telling you you're the same as everyone else, not because I want you to feel sorry for other teachers but for you to see that you have exactly the same qualities as other candidates. And as there are so many teachers with the same qualities as you, HT's can choose who they like. It could be based on whether your face fits or whether they like your jumper.
    Again, I say read wider round the TES forums and you will see that feedback is worth toffee. Schools do not have time to give feedback, nor will it tend to be truthful. I do believe LaraMFL2005 has contributed widely to a thread of this nature, as has TheoGriff.
    And again, I point out that this may (or not) be a long road for you to securing an NQT position. Several years ago I had to move 100 miles away for an NQT post. Others haven't secured a post from up to 4 years ago- they too are worried about themselves in the same way as you. Essentially, there is no magic answer for anyone.
    However, you may wish to brush up on your interpersonal skills and come across as less desperate and rude in your interviews, as maybe you have been here. Good luck in your search for a job.


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