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How do I move on?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by moggycat, May 25, 2019.

  1. moggycat

    moggycat New commenter

    I didn't get a job at a school that looked really nice. I didn't even get to the actual interview. Oh don't get me wrong, I got invited to the interview day but after the lesson and planning an activity stage, two out of four of us were told we hadn't made it to the interview. This came with no warning. At the start of the day, they made out we'd all go through the same interview process. Anyway I can't help dwelling on my lesson. I thought it went ok and children were fine but I guess it was quite simple and maybe the head was bored. I just wondered how many others didn't get to the actual interview bit and why you think this was?

    I'm really upset as low in confidence as it is. It's not that I assumed I'd get it but to not even get to the interview has really knocked my confidence.
    steely1 and pepper5 like this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    If there were quite a few interviewees invited to the initial phase I can see how they'd want to sift through and cut down on interview time by just taking no more than 3 people through. Interviewing too many can tend to blur the impressions, unless one builds in 'feedback time between the candidates and then that elongates the time period.

    Sometimes it can be a 'gut feeling' that certain candidates would fit into the staff, or complement existing skill sets and it's actually nothing to do with your lesson - just other people were a better fit' when they saw you all in person.

    I've had an even worse experience. Admittedly it was for a promoted post, but we had an 'informal' pre-interview sherry party to 'meet the staff', and obviously it wasn't informal at all but a sifting out process. Then the following morning 'informal interviews, with just 3 candidates going through to the 'formal interviews' in the afternoon. Then after all that the Head decided not to appoint but to re-advertise. o_O :rolleyes: In other words none of us were 'up to the mark' . That was worse than knowing I'd been beaten on the day by somebody who'd done a better presentation/ interview / lesson.

    Just pick yourself up after a day or so and realise that sometimes it's just somebody 'clicks' with the interview panel. Someone used to refer to it a bit like falling n love' lots of suitable people out there, but sometimes there' just a connection and other times there isn't.
    Schools can be very different and you both need to know you are a 'good fit' for the ethos and would complement existing staff.
    There will be a school out there for you.
  3. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I went on an interview day where there were a series of short activities that all the candidates completed at the same time. One by one, a candidate was asked to leave. We were all sitting in the staff room, waiting for the door to open and the next one was asked to leave and the remainder moved on to the next activity. It was only when they were down to 3 candidates that the interviews took place. They started with 8 and narrowed it down. Interviews take up a large amount of individual time, if they have a large number of canddates they need to sift somehow.
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Rather than see it as you not being good enough to be interviewed, see it as there being two candidates who were so impressive in the classroom that the school was absolutely sure it would want to appoint one of them. That being so, they thought you might rather get home and get on with the next application.
    steely1, strawbs, pepper5 and 2 others like this.
  5. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It’s quite common, in my experience to ask candidates to leave after the observation. It isn’t so much a question of not being any good, but more that other candidates taught a more interesting/dynamic/ motivating/ exciting or whatever, lesson.

    If there are several candidates invited for interview, it makes sense, in terms of timing, to take only those to formal interview, with hat the school thinks will be a good fit.
    steely1, Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The other candidates simply taught a lesson that was in line with what the observers wanted.
    You might well have taught a 'better' lesson, but didn't tick enough boxes.
    Or maybe they just didn't take to you, for no reason at all except that they just didn't.

    If they knew after the lesson you weren't going to be appointed, it is better that they didn't waste your afternoon.

    But it really, really hurts not to be wanted...chin up someone else will want you soon.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I've had that a couple of times.

    I've also walked out halfway through an interview day twice because I didn't like the school.

    It's swings and roundabouts.
    jlishman2158, Pomza, steely1 and 6 others like this.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Actually I don't think it's intrinsically about the lesson even though the timing of being ushered out suggests so.
    You don't go to an interview day and do the lesson straight away. There's a bit of preamble, a hello, a cup of tea, whatever. I've always thought that if they're going to sift during the course of the day, they're going to decide in that time, with the caveat that the teaching must be at least acceptable. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.
    You have to do the lesson for three reasons-firstly to evidence that you are not a total charlatan in your subject area, also because you bothered to prepare it and they have a class waiting for you who need a teacher. And it also gives something to talk about in the actual interview, where basically they are looking for somebody who knows which bits were rubbish and who describes how they would improve it.
    Don't be hard on yourself about the lesson you delivered, because clearly you simply didn't wear their favourite coloured jacket and somebody else did.
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    It's a disappointment, isn't it? And not to be able to show what you are like in an interview is a shame. And because we put ourselves out there for these thisngs, it is difficult not to take it personally.
    But you describe your lesson as "fine", "quite simple" and "ok". These are not very enthusiastic adjectives, so maybe you just didn't shine that morning? Or maybe, as others suggested, they had someone in mind? Or maybe they needed a cheaper teacher?
    Who knows? Try not to let it knock your confidence - you and this school just didn't fit.
    Move on, enjoy the holiday and relax. there will be a school who you click with out there!
    Good luck.
  10. moggycat

    moggycat New commenter

    Thank you for your kind replies.
  11. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Interviews are funny things. I've gone within a week from "that lesson was really great" to "off you go then".
    They have to weed folk out, sometimes the criteria are not always scientific or logical. I've observed a lesson where it took 30s to decide that the candidate wasn't a good match for the schools needs (and the next 29.5minutes didn't improve).
    You have to take the rough with the smooth and find the school where you are the right person.
  12. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Moggycat - please don't agonise about your experience: put it down to experience and try to move on.

    I've posted about this on other threads in the past but I had a near identical experience to you two or three years ago. Essentially, I was one of about 8 candidates and taught my lesson in the morning. I thought it was a decent lesson - not my best - but I figured they weren't too keen on me judging by the person observing my lesson who didn't engage with me at all before / after the lesson. Although the pupils seemed lovely and interesting, I wasn't too enamoured with the school and the staff. To put it in context, my background has been in the independent sector and this was a state school - it didn't bode well when the Head got all the candidates in for an initial briefing at the start of the day, espousing their philosophy and making it clear that they were not fond of the independent sector.

    For me, it was actually a relief when I was one of two candidates to be told by the Head to leave at lunchtime and we weren't proceeding to the interviews in the afternoon.

    It really was a blessing in disguise. A month or so later, I got a job in a school that was much more "up my street" (though I won't pretend it's been plain-sailing, as I've posted about elsewhere on the forum).

    Ultimately, I would urge you not to dwell on it. Having been on both sides of an interview panel, I can tell you know that the school in question won't be giving you a second thought, sorry to say - though I hope that you have been given some (meaningful) feedback. I didn't receive any from the school that told me to go home at lunchtime.
  13. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Did exactly this in my last interview as a HoD

    We had 6 candidates. Never going to take all through. Three who we knew it’d really be between. Took a 4th just in case. Let one go.

    It wasn’t that he was a bad teacher, just I didn’t think he’d fit in and wasn’t as good. The other one was similar
    grumpydogwoman and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    As, has been already intimated on here, interviews are too time consuming and disruptive to the running of the school to do 20 or so for every post that comes up.

    I went for an interview and after tour of the school the head arrived full of his self importance and said "I'm tired of time wasters, if you are offered the job will you take it."
    Obviously he was far more convinced of the appeal of the job than I was.
    I told him there and then "I can't possibly say that, you might only offer the job part time" (exactly that had happened at my previous interview).

    Interview processes can be extremely random. I was told by a head who had recruited for a school in the middle East that he had eliminated all candidates who kept their sunglasses on their heads. Well in the middle east it is quite common to keep your sunglasses about your person for most of the day. Mind you, the same guy gave me feedback for a promoted post "I find people who write during interviews rude".

    1 You really need to believe in yourself. Easier for me to say and yonks than for an NQT or someone in their first few years.
    2 Ask yourself "why do you value their opinion?"
    3 It isn't really about you alone. You don't have to have done anything wrong etc. There might simply have been one or three 'better'* outstanding candidates. You might be outstanding, they were just better. *Here 'better is a term relative to what the school thinks is better.
    4 It's only a job. There are others.
    5 There are (almost certainly) better schools and better jobs
    6 Are you actually better off not working in a school where you are not valued/appreciated.

    Clever people are more likely to suffer from imposter syndrome than those who are dull.

    Finally, if you don't believe in yourself; why do you expect anyone else to?


    Jump right back on that buckeroo and ride it.
  15. k1tsun3

    k1tsun3 New commenter

    It's quite common for schools to do this, although the ones I've been to that have done it told us that would be the case. You can always ask for feedback on the lesson, although they may not provide any.

    Keep your head up. You'll get there. It doesn't mean your lesson was poor, but that maybe the other candidates were stronger. There are so many things that factor into it.

    Good luck. Keep going!!!!
    agathamorse, steely1 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Oh, getting a new appointment is such a lottery. Who knows what sort of numpties were on the panel and what sort of criteria they applied. Disappointment is a huge emotion but after you've had a wallow pick yourself up and plough on. Do take a minute or two to work out what you've learnt from the experience though - there's always something to take on to the next application.
    it's Bank Holiday - have a nice day :)
  17. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    I think turn it around to being relieved they did not waste a whole day of your time, to then say ‘no’. If multiple candidates at the beginning of the day, the panel will have a view of the strengths of each and the ‘interesting’ qualities of each from the application form and references taken up. In a process it’s always comparative, plus for teachers you have to demonstrate great learning and teaching or at least meet a school’s minimum to at least be able to mould. Plus, it does come down to ‘match’ and this applies both ways. You say yourself your lesson was not the greatest- we need to shine with our best version when snapshot decisions are made. If the learning and teaching is not good enough, panels won’t waste their time interviewing as it’s the bread and butter of being a teacher. Next time wow with your lesson.
  18. moggycat

    moggycat New commenter

    I think I made the mistake of thinking they'd be looking at my teaching style and the way I was with the children. I aimed to make the lesson one which was nice but, yes, I spose I made the mistake of not making it shine. I feel sad as opportunities don't come up like this often as many jobs are a distance out and I don't drive..... and I thought the school seemed nice. Oh well! Thanks for all of your replies.
    steely1 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    Yes they will be looking for relationships, interactions and the creativity or if children enjoy, but it’s always the key question of was the learning pitched well and the lesson adapted in response to AfL opps so all children progressed in the lesson?

    Mind you, they may have had a candidate in mind who was ‘good enough’ and still not shining. It can be about match when you have a choiceof candidates.

    Good luck for the next one. My original draft of my post detailed some of my own experiences but I deleted as didn’t want to detract from you and your post. However, I completely empathise and sympathise with how you feel. You invest in a process and in hopes for the future when applying and shortlisted. I hope another one comes up soon- and the right one.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. moggycat

    moggycat New commenter

    Thank you
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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