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Internal vs external candidate.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by TEA2111, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    So, you visit the school prior to spending half the day getting your CV and covering letter completed to get your application in before the deadline. You may or may not get an interview, but what happens next is that you find out the successful candidate is someone who works internally at the school.
    Because I've seen it happen where I teach, I wouldn't waste my time applying for a job if I knew there was an internal candidate. But how does one find out?
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I got jobs where there was an internal candidate (and also failed to get them). I wouldn't advise ignoring those where there are internal candidates...
    midnight_angel and TEA2111 like this.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Well, you could ring and ask, but they'd be unlikely to tell you.

    Its up to you. You either apply or you don't. As FF says, sometimes internals get the job, sometimes they don't.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  4. thethiefoftime

    thethiefoftime Occasional commenter

    I have a friend who applied for a HOD job externally and she got the job above two internal candidates.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Our distinguished poster @Middlemarch tells of getting several SLT posts as an external when there were internals, yet she was appointed. Well of course any one would appoint Middlemarch!

    I too have won out over internals, and also lost to them.

    When I have been on selection panels, we have sometimes appointed internals, sometimes not.

    And I'll tell you something. Internals are sometimes shortlisted (but not under my watch!), when they aren't really up to it, Just to give him/her the experience of being interviewed.

    And even worse - sometimes (but not under my watch!), internals are shortlisted when they aren't up to it because the Head hasn't got the courage to say We haven't shortlisted you, you aren't ready for this next step yet. How much easier to say The panel decided to appoint another candidate.

    So sometimes the internal candidates are the weakest of the bunch.

    Best wishes

    DYNAMO67, TEA2111 and rachelpaula008 like this.
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I would agree that you have to go for it. Sometimes it may seem to be a shoo-in for the internal candidate, but if HT's really really want to promote their internal candidate, they don't have to have interviews. Why go to all the trouble and expense for no reason?
    As Theo says, some internal candidates haven't a hope.
    DYNAMO67 and TEA2111 like this.
  7. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Very recently, in a neighbouring school an external candidate got a deputy head teacher post over two internals.
    So don't give up.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  8. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Ahh, thanks guys...:)
  9. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I applied for a job where there was an internal candidate and I thought well they will definitely get the job then but it was offered to me!
    The head actually told me that this person as devestated but she just felt she wasn't ready for the challenge of the role which I found a bit weird.
    midnight_angel and TEA2111 like this.
  10. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    I've also got jobs against internals. Sometimes there are stitch-ups (let's not pretend we've not seen it) but not all schools are like that.
    It's about the gap that the school needs to fill.
    midnight_angel and TEA2111 like this.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Feeling better about it now @TEA2111 ?

    Hope so!

    Best wishes

    Gsr25 and TEA2111 like this.
  12. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    Yes thank you TheoGriff.
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    And have you been reading my scores of advice articles on job seeking, applying for a job, preparing for interview?

    Come over to Jobseekers and ask ! @TEA2111

    Best wishes

  14. sedberghteacher

    sedberghteacher New commenter

    I had about 10 interviews for head of subject and head of dept roles last year, and at all of them (a range of inde boarding schools) I eventually met up with the internal candidate somewhere in the process. Although incredibly annoying to spend so long preparing for each position, I used the experience to hone my interview skills, and finally a HoD role dropped into my lap. So even if it does feel like a waste of time, you can always learn something.
    ilovepoppies and midnight_angel like this.
  15. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    I didn't get a job last year where I was the internal candidate (and the expected shoe-in by many of the staff) so had to leave at the end of the year (I was originally there on a fixed term basis) so don't assume that internals always get the jobs. In my experience schools are very fair and really do treat the interviewees all the same on the day. I've also been on interview recently where I didn't get the role as an external candidate, but another external candidate did over the internal. It can go either way of course.

    Before my experience last year I would have thought the same and would have been put off going for an interview/job if I thought they had an internal candidate 'lined up', however I wouldn't let it put me off at all now.
    midnight_angel likes this.
  16. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    We once had a post with two internal candidates and three externals. An internal got it, simply because all the externals pulled out before the day of the interview. If you're not in it, you can't win it.
  17. puppyofdoom

    puppyofdoom New commenter

    I have been the internal candidate who didn't get the job. Or, more accurately, one of the three jobs that were going. That was a tough day. I think I made a lucky escape in retrospect.
    midnight_angel likes this.
  18. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    It's often the case that the HT wants to bring in someone new from outside, especially with AST or DT because they want a fresh perspective or to change something in the way the school is run (and presumably want some back-up).
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That was almost ALWAYS my feeling. I twice appointed internal candidates having sworn blind that I wanted an external candidate - simply because on the day, there was no contest - the internals were head and shoulder above the others.

    As Theo says, I was also appointed to my two headships in preference to two internals (deputies who had each been at the school for donkeys' years and were much-loved by colleagues and governors).

    As others point out, the head can just appoint without advertising or interviewing - sometimes, the internal candidate just performs the best on the day.

    Keep applying for any jobs that interest you!
    midnight_angel likes this.
  20. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I have been the internal not getting it before. In SOME cases an internal = no chance but in many other cases an external has every chance!

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