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Interview Etiquette - when someone is interviewing for the job you are leaving...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by fantastischfish, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I've been appointed to a new post, so today was interview day for my post. I was pulled aside by my headteacher and sternly told that it wasn't appropriate for me to communicate with the candidates and that I should "take a back seat" at lunch time. In other words, he didn't want me talking to them and since I was due to be free for two hours today due to year 11 time I shouldn't sit in the office (where they were being 'held') and chat with them whilst I was working. Moreover, I was pretty much told to avoid the faculty office at lunchtime.
    Does this strike anyone else as a) wrong - surely the candidates have the right to speak to anyone in the school they want to; they are making a decision about whether they want to work there, after all and b) as though the head is somehow scared that I would say something unflattering about the school?
    In fact, I had greeted the candidates that morning, introduced myself and asked them a little about themselves (name, where have you trained...mundane things like that). I made a few positive comments about the school: You'll like it here, the kids are nice, this is a fun department to work in...and so on.
    Why would a headteacher feel that this is inappropriate? At my recent interview, the outgoing member of staff was the person I spoke to the most! She came and sat with us at break time and gave us lots of information about the post and what she'd done so far.
    I was rather miffed I must say, especially given the way it was delivered.
  2. Your head sounds like a complete idiot. Ignore her/him and do whatever you want to do.
  3. Are you leaving on particularly bad terms? It seems odd but perhaps it has something to do with equal opportunitie and they worry you could disclose something about the post.
  4. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Because you could introduce a deliberate or inadvertent bias into the proceedings that could lead disappointed candidates to cry "foul".
  5. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Succinctly put!
  6. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    They seem great reasons, but seems odd to me. I have a secondment post at another school next year and have been in consyannt contact with the outgoing postholder both before and after I got the post. We are closing middle school system, but this sort of thing has always been standard procedure in my school.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    It is considered "Good HR practice" that an outgoing employee has no imput whatsoever into the selection procedure of her/his successor. And an additional reason in this litigious climate is that you have probably not received training in all the pitfalls of questions you can and cannot ask, comments that you may and may not make . . .
    Your Head was probably only passing on the instructions from the HR Department at the Local Authority.
    Once they have been appointed, then you will be a mine of useful information for them.
    Best wishes


    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.

    do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the
    Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive
    summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really

  8. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Thanks for the advice. I guess more than anything it was the accusatory tone with which I was addressed. I took no part in the interview process at all, gave no opinion on any of the candidates and did not speak to any of them individually. I didn't actually even mention anything about the post other than to say, "You'll enjoy it here, the kids are nice and the staff are nice. Good luck".
    I suppose it felt more like the head was having a go at me, rather than asking me to steer clear. Effectively telling me to eat my lunch elsewhere or sit in silence whilst other staff talked to the candidates was a bit off in my opinion.
    I take your point, Theogriff, about lack of traing (that said, I have been involved in interviews before) but similarly none of the rest of the department have been trained in this way and all were allowed to speak to the candidates. The school I'm going to encouraged us to speak informally with the staff at break and lunchtimes and find out as much as we could, since we were deciding if the school was right us us as much as vice versa.
    Maybe it's just the way different heads like to work. Even so, there are ways and means of going about these things.
    I liked my mum's comment: "If they didn't want you around, they should have given you the day off...". Good thinking Mother, I'll suggest that next time!
  9. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    When I was interviewed for my current post I was finished first and had a couple of hours to kill while they interviewed the other candidates. I spent quite a bit of that chatting the the person whose post I was being interviewed for.
    I found it very informative. Even more so when I went in to be told I had the job. The Head asked how I had filled the time and there were faces like slapped behinds all round when I told them who I had been talking to.
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I like your Mum's comment too!

    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.

    do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the
    Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive
    summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really

  11. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Your mum sounds very rational, Eva.
    What a shame normal behaviour and social pleasantries have been poisoned by the current litigous culture and those wonderful solicitors.
    Perhaps your headteacher lacks tact. At the time did, he explain <u>why</u> to you? Perhaps he is unhappy that you are leaving.


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