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Interview: is this unprofessional?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Xsxs22, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. Xsxs22

    Xsxs22 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am a trainee teacher and I had a job interview today. It was my first interview and at the end of the process I was offered the job. I had enjoyed the day and liked the school overall, but upon being offered the post something suddenly changed. I no longer felt sure it was the right thing for me. I had not expected to be offered the job and was rather shocked. I asked the head teacher if he'd be willing to let me take 24 hours to think about it. He agreed, albeit slightly reluctantly. Upon returning home and taking a few hours to consider the offer, I have decided I will have to call in the morning to decline as something about this does not feel right. I'm now rather worried that changing my mind at this late stage in the process will now be a black mark against my name and that my university tutor may refuse to give me a reference for future applications based on this decision. Any advice?
  2. PGCE_tutor

    PGCE_tutor New commenter

    Much better to do this than to say yes and regret it, or attempt to withdraw later. What was it about the school that made you want to apply? It would be helpful (to you) if you could put your finger on what it is that has unsettled you - if it's first job nerves then that's going to happen wherever you go. If it's something more specific to the school then you'll know what to look out for when you next make your pre-application visit.
    As for;
    that's not gong to happen.
    Stiltskin and install like this.
  3. Xsxs22

    Xsxs22 New commenter

    Thank you for you kind response. After my interview had taken place, a member of staff at the school came into the room where the candidates were waiting to be told the verdict. This member of staff spoke very honestly to us about what its actually like to work at the school on a daily basis. I will not go into the details of what they said but it made me re-consider whether or not the school is the right place for me, and whether or not I'm the right person for the school. I'm just praying my tutor is not upset with me when I email to inform them today!
    will_osweighton likes this.
  4. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    Could I first say, well done you for listening to your instincts and making an adult decision. There is nothing wrong in declining an offer, but there is a lot wrong in accepting one that doesn't feel right at the outset. Once accepted you wouldn't be able to get out before Christmas.

    As far as your university tutor is concerned, it is their job to provide you with a reference, it isn't their job to insist you accept any offer made. That is your choice and yours alone. It is uncomfortable when you turn down a job offer, it does feel as though you are 'letting the side down' somehow, but I would always, always say listen to your instincts. A job interview is a 2-way street, yes, you want to impress a potential employer, but they need to also impress you. If it doesn't feel right, don't take it.
    TheoGriff, Pomza, Stiltskin and 4 others like this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    It is highly professional. They will just ask the next best candidate instead. Well done you for going with your gut. You must be good.

    Your tutor will understand.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
    TheoGriff, Pomza, Stiltskin and 3 others like this.
  6. Xsxs22

    Xsxs22 New commenter

    Thank you all so much for your kind and supportive answers.

    I called the school and they were very understanding and gracious, saying they understood the process is as much about me deciding if they are the right school for me as much as it is about them deciding if I am the right candidate for them.

    My tutor does not seem best pleased, saying that "head teachers do tend to talk to each other" and stressing how much time and money it costs schools to advertise and interview for jobs. I explained that I will take a break from applying for jobs now to ensure that I get it right next time and that it was not my intention to put any school in a difficult position. Hopefully this doesn't mean she'll refuse me a reference next time
    TheoGriff and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. will_osweighton

    will_osweighton Occasional commenter

    Nothing wrong at all and I agree that you behaved entirely professionally. They made an offer and you asked for time to consider -and have now decided it's not for you. You didn't accept, so there's no verbal contract in place. Walk away with your head high and well done for trusting your instinct.
    TheoGriff, Pomza and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    Regrettably, your tutor is in the wrong. They didn't waste any money in advertising, they didn't waste any money in interviewing. They are searching for the right candidate for their post, that can mean not employing anyone if they don't seem the right fit. They would then advertise and interview again, all part and parcel of running a school.

    You are but a tiny cog in a huge machine. The school have responded to you in the appropriate manner, respecting you as a new professional making the right decision for both you and them. They want the right fit. Your tutor is behaving in the manner of an autocrat bullying a subordinate. You are not a subordinate, you are an equal.

    HT's do talk - about ex members of staff. They really are very busy people with more to do than ring round asking each other who they've interviewed.

    Please understand this, your tutor MUST provide you with a reference. S/he doesn't have an option, it's part of their professional responsibility - their job. S/he would quickly be out if references were not forthcoming, you've paid a great deal of money to the institution for your training, it's part of your contract with them - you are the customer.

    Keep applying for posts, don't wait, this is peak season for NQT's. You are looking for the right fit for you, you are at the beginning of what will hopefully be a long career. Let your first post be one that fires you up

    Good luck, it'll all work out right in the end.
    Kartoshka, TheoGriff and MissGeorgi like this.
  9. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Remember one of your tutors performance management targets could be what percentage of his cohort get jobs this year. The sooner people get jobs the more time he/she can devote to those who haven’t got them.
    minnie me and TheoGriff like this.
  10. Xsxs22

    Xsxs22 New commenter

    Thank you all so much for the support. I will continue to look for the right job and I will stand my ground with my tutor if the subject is raised again. You're all right in saying I haven't really done any wrong so I will escalate it if I have any issues. Thank you :)
    TheoGriff likes this.
  11. richwrigley

    richwrigley New commenter

    I did the exact same thing when I was a traniee teacher almost 10 years ago. I am now in managment and been on the other side of interviews. I can tell you what you did is totally fine. I have had candidates do a similar thing, and it is always disspaointing, but you just move on to the next one. I certainly would not worry about your PGCE tutor writing a bad reference becasue of this.
    TheoGriff and install like this.
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Just remember this: they probably haven´t had to re-advertise and re-interview.

    When you said that you wanted 24 hours to consider, they immediately told the other candidates that they would be making their final decision in 24 hours. So when you turned down the offer, they already had a Plan B, and will have contacted another candidate straight after your refusal, to make a job offer.

    They were keen to be able to appoint before the end of February resignation date for any new appointee, and that´s all done now.

    We need also to say Congratulations! to you. First on getting interviewed, and second on getting a job offer. You've done extremely well.

    And don't let this put you off. Yes, your studies are important, but if you see an advert for another job that is appropriate for you, then don´t delay applying just because of this. Teachers throughout the land who are moving on will be handing in their notice for 28/29 February, so there will be a number of new job opportunities coming up very soon. Don't miss out on them! The next big rush will not be until half term in the summer. And if you or your colleagues would like some support with applications and interviews, then a quick click on here http://bit.do/Clickk could be the place to start!

    Best wishes. And I'll repeat the Congratulations!

    roman_eagle likes this.

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