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Interviews and being offered the job...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by anon1908, May 16, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I wondered if anyone can give me some advice, no one at school seems 100% sure.
    If you go for a job interview and they ask you in the interview whether you'll take the job if offered, can you say yes you think so but when offered the job, then say no?
    There are loads of rumours flying around that if you are asked that question in an interview and you say you're interested but when offered turn the job down, it's a black mark against your name.
    I appreciate you can't take a job and then change your mind but surely you are able to go away and think about what you've seen?
    Even just chatting to the teachers at school today I'm getting a lot of different answers.
  2. 'Custom and practice' dictates that if you are offered a teaching job on the day, you either accept it or you don't, unless the Head Teacher / Chair of the interview panel has said that applicants can take some time to think about it. Certainly, if you say 'yes' on the day then later change your mind, I don't think you will end up in court (as Sam Goldwyn said, 'a verbal contract ain't worth the paper it's written on') - but head teachers <u>do</u> speak to one another, and I think you might damage your chances at any other local interviews. besided which, it's just unprofessional. If you aren't sure you want the job, say so, and let someone else have a crack at it.
  3. If you mean "yes, I'll accept" then say that.
    If you mean "no, I won't accept, in fact I'll decline" then say that.
    If you mean "I'd like to think about it for the evening and then let you know first thing in the morning" then say that ... but be prepared to say WHY you want time to think (or, more to the point, what it is you want time to think about).
  4. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    The better schools will ask if you are still "a serious candidate" - they're not intending to offer you the job on the spot, so why should you have to make up your mind without some consideration?
    By asking if you're still interested, it allows you to avoid wasting everyone's time (including your own) in sitting through an interview for a job you now know (perhaps because of the atmosphere or the people you met in the staffroom, the behaviour of the kids and so on) you wouldn't accept if offered, and that's fair enough.
    By trying to get you to say you'd accept if offered, the school is really asking to have its cake and eat it.

  5. I'm coming to the end of my GTP so I and a number of people I know are going through interviews at the moment. A number of us were offered on the spot (including me! woo-hoo!), so it does happen. Admittedly, in most cases, it was from schools at which the interviewee had spent a bulk of their training time, so their future had been discussed informally anyway.
    I agree, though, that interviewees shouldn't really be put on the spot. A number of schools don't seem to view an interview as a two-way process. There's a certain arrogance about the process that assumes a teacher should feel blessed to be offered and why on earth wouldn't they accept!?!
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Do not accept a post and then turn it down later. A contract of employment is in force from when you accept a post verbally and it is binding on both parties. Anyway the obvious point is that no one wants to be messed about. Heads want to appoint teachers who want to work in their schools. The time to decide is during the interview and visit to the school- after all that is what the process is about. Heads are also very aware of the local teachers who accept posts then pull out!
  7. Your post is quite subtle. There is a difference between saying yes you would probably accept the job - in most interviews this is asked of all candidat5es regardless of who they offer the job to and the ACTUAL offer os a job.
    In the former case I would say yes subject to finding out the detail of the offer e.g. pay scale etc. BUT if it is an actual job offer and you agree then that is a verbal contract and if you subsequently turn it down it could result in heads chatting and passing on uncomplimentary remarls about integrity.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    If you mean can you go and wait for the call to offer the job (or, if you've stayed in the school, the moment when the head asks you back in) and then refuse when it's offered - that's extremely unprofessional.
    As a head I had exactly that happen. Six candidates for a MPS job were interviewed and all opted to stay and wait for the verdict (they were given the choice to stay or go, no strings attached). The candidate we wanted to appoint let me get into the room, thank them all for coming, say how we'd enjoyed meeting them all etc - it was a fairly lengthy speech - and then ask her back in. At this point, in front of all the other five, she said, 'I've decided I don't want the job.'
    Given that she'd been asked at the beginning and end of the interview, we'd taken a good hour after we'd seen them all (and she was number 3 in the running order), etc - what on earth had stopped her from asking to see me outside at any point to say she was withdrawing?
    It meant that the candidate who came second (and it was a v close second as it was a very good field) knew he wasn't first choice.
    Please - if you know you don't want it, say so as soon as possible - spare your colleagues and give them the chance to be first.
    PS Yes - I did circulate her name amongst my colleague heads.
  9. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    Last year I was asked if I was a firm candidate and I said yes because I didn't have the courage to say no to them. I then withdrew myself whilst they were making a decision. I knew I should have done it earlier but I couldn't quite work up the nerve.
    All day I knew I didn't want to work there and I knew I didn't want to move that far away or to that area.
  10. I had a similar situation a couple of weeks ago. It was my 3rd interview in 7 days and by lunchtime I was already having serious doubts about whether I'd want to work in that school. It was also far away from where I live now in a teeny village where I'd know no-one.

    At the end of lunch, as a sort of passing remark rather than a direct question, one of the deputy heads said "have you asked them all if they're still firm candidates?". To which the head replied "oh yes of course they all are, aren't you?"

    Didn't have the bottle to say no there and then in front of the 3 other candidates and the whole of the SLT. Assumed they'd ask again at the end of the interview and I could say so then, but they didn't and I was too scared to say anything.

    Felt my interview didn't really go that well (maybe because I knew I didn't want it), so was quite shocked when they rang and offered me the job. I had to turn them down there and then, they wouldn't give me time to think about it and I ended up feeling guilty all evening!!

    Will this mean I'm blacklisted by that authority now?? I suppose it's not quite as bad as accepting and then changing my mind, but I'm still worried!
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    'Too scared'? What did you think they'd do to you?
    Now you're scared you're blacklisted - can you see how much better it would have been to have asked to see the head (or deputy) privately and withdrawn? All you had to do was follow them out of the room.
    Colleagues - if you know you don't want the job, SAY SO before they offer it.
  12. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I have withdrawn from two interviews, one when i was NQT many yrs ago and one in the last couple of years, in both cases I knew it was not right for me.
    The first one, I just didn't get the right feel about the place.
    The more recent one, I withdrew from because the organisation of the interview day was a complete shambles and I felt like I had had my time wasted, it was twice as far as I work at the moment and the behaviour of the kids was just as bad so if I had got the job i would have been travelling (and spending more on fuel!!) further, having a longer day and working with people that I just could not repect.

    In the second interview, I sat down with the head and explained why I was withdrawing, he was lovely but I could not have worked in that department and felt much better for saying so. It was all very polite.

    No one would think bad of you if you withdrew, best to be honest, and like someone else said, give the others a chance
  13. I think the pressure can be difficult and it might be a bit harsh to question the integrity or honesty of someone who backs out at the last minute. In any interview situation, the power is heavily balanced towards the interview panel. I'm a confident and mature NQT but if I was asked if I'd accept the job and I wasn't sure, I really wouldn't want to say 'no' or 'I don't know' as I'd feel very awkward and would also be concerned it would jeopardise my chances if I decided I did want the job! I think it's a bit unreasonable to expect candidates to answer either way on the spot and I'm glad it doesn't generally happen that way during primary school interviews. It's not in the best interests of the headteacher and school either, surely, to pressure someone into an answer? Surely it makes more sense to ask people to go away and then call them with a decision later when they've had a chance to absorb the events of the day and decide how they feel? That way, the second choice candidate would also never know they were not the first choice. Headteachers are always discussing the importance of the appointment being a good 'fit' for both school and candidate.
    I appreciate it must be frustrating for the SMT and the scenario middlemarch mentioned does sound cringeworthy for all parties, but isn't that evidence that thinking time might prevent such situations? I'm imagining how the girl in question might have been feeling sitting there nervously wondering how and when to voice her doubts- that can't have been nice for her either.

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