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Good questions to ask during an interview?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by ihatemondays, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. ihatemondays

    ihatemondays New commenter

    Two questions I have been asked by candidates at the end of the interviews which I would strongly avoid asking:
    1. Do I get sick pay?
    2. What job have I applied for?
    Good luck.
     
  2. tigger82

    tigger82 New commenter

    Middlemarch and Ihatemondays. Really? Do people really ask things like that? Eek.
    That said nerves can do funny things to people.
    OP - why do you feel you MUST ask a question? Just curious...
     
    sbragg1 likes this.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Yes, really! The ones who take out a list (it would be good if, for a kind of comic effect, it unrolled and spilled on to the floor like a toilet roll), then sit there silently reading it (cut to head and governors twidling their thumbs) before launching into a torrent of fatuous questions, are the best. I've had:
    * Applicant: Will I get my own classroom? Me: I think you were shown the classroom you'd be teaching in during the tour of the school this morning, weren't you? Applicant: Oh, yes.
    * Applicant: Will I get any A level teaching? Me: Er, no - we're an 11-16 school...
    * Applicant: What books will I be teaching at GCSE next year? Me: I don't know - did you ask the head of English that question during your meeting with her? Applicant: No.


     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I sincerely hope those were from long ago! Gave me a good laugh though!

     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, everybody above has got it just right about the questions to ask - or not to ask. Just take their advice.
    Now for my story of shame.
    I once had a candidate for a Deputy Head post who at the end asked me the following.
    I've seen your strategic plan, and your objectives for the next five years. Could you tell me what are your strategic objectives for the 5-10 year period?
    I then did something awful. Really, really awful. Really awful. I shouldn't have done it.
    I looked her straight in the face, and just said No.
    Why not?, asked she, somewhat taken aback that I hadn't just floundered around trying to find an answer to what she cleverly had devised as a question to show me up in a bad light, since nobody would know that.
    So I said - here it comes, I am ashamed:
    Because I don't want to. Because <u>I </u>am interviewing <u>you</u>, not <u>you</u> interviewing <u>me</u>.
    I hang my head in shame still at the thought at it. The two Governors on the panel giggled, which didn't help much either.
    But it just shows you how asking a question to make yourself look good can really, really, REALLY go down the wrong way.
    Best wishes
    ___________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
     
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I had a similar, smart alec question at the end of the final deputy head interview process, Theo, though it can't have been the same candidate as it was a man and he asked me what the main elements of our 3 year sip were.
    I said 'I believe the three year school strategic improvement plan was included in the pack we sent you, but which you obviously didn't read.'
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    We can blush together, then, MM!
    Because - and I am now speaking to all you out there who are dreading the next interview - we all normally try very, very hard to be nice and friendly to applicants at interview, not say nasty things.
    That's the only bad thing I've said in over 20 years of interviewing, probably nearer 30 years now I come to think about it.
    Best wishes
    ___________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th
    www.tesweekendworkshop87.eventbrite.com
     
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Just to say 'Thank You' to Theo & Middlemarch for 'owning up' and showing nervous potential interviewees that 'Heads are human'.
    Though I have to say, that most Heads I've encountered, have been very human and I've worked with/for some super ones in my time.
     
  9. Thanks everyone for your replies!

    In answer to one of the questions, I don't feel that I hve to ask a question but often feel silly when asked 'are there any questions' and I don't have one!
     
  10. Emmamartiez- I actually feel the the same, but if I genuinely don't have any questions I usually just say 'no, I don't have any at present' or 'no, I think everything I need has been answered, thank you.' Probably better than asking a silly question and regretting it.

    I did once sort of joke 'now I have to think of something intelligent to say! Followed quickly by 'I actually don't have any questions thank you' which actually made the people interviewing me smile, although not sure in a good way!! Ha. Don't think I would say that again though!
     
  11. I didn't always ask questions at interviews and in my most recent one I just said that everything had been answered on the tour, during the interview and on the school website (which is actually very good). I got that job.
     
  12. I didn't have a tour of the school when I was there? And the interview isn't at the school tomorrow. Always worries me that!
     
  13. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Gosh Theo - that was pretty rotten!
    I do appreciate some of the stories are just daft: on the other hand, that question isn't so bad, is it? ... or is it!
    When I was being interviewed for my second in department position, I was asked "what are the qualities of a good Head of Department?" and I launched into a very thorough answer! When I (finally) finished, the HOD said very sarkily, "no pressure there, then!" and they all laughed [​IMG]
    It can't have done much harm as I was offered the job, but fortunately it was asked at the end of the interview not the beginning. I just wanted the floor to swallow me up and it was only because I had wanted the job and wanted to make a good impression.
     
  14. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Sorry by the way as I sounded a bit rude! I was just cringing a bit on that woman's behalf! Talk about worst nightmare.
     
  15. I didn't get the job, an internal candidate did - hence the "not being shown around the school" business! I did ask the question about NQT provision and had a very good reply - covered everything that would be provided/expected as an NQT.
     

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