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Is 'references before interview' the new norm?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by T0nyGT, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I've seen quite a few jobs advertised where the schools contact references before offering interviews. Is this the new norm? I guess for a school it's not a bad idea, but for an applicant it can be quite annoying. You might have 4 interviews before you are successful and equally might decide not to take other applications further after the interview. This means asking your referees for numerous references which not only might irritate your current head (references are no longer copy and paste jobs, but usually lengthy, time-consuming affairs) but can cause other issues.

  2. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    I have had this experience recently. I think that it is inconsiderate of the advertising school re: possibly wasting a referee's valuable time, and causing annoyance and a reluctance regarding writing any more...the latter has happened to me.
  3. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    p.s. I always state on my applications that I must be contacted before my referees are contacted, so that I may alert them out of courtesy - but as you say this rule has not been adhered to by some of my recent applications, e.g. by the oval-shaped ball school in Thailand - which lack of etiquette surprised me.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  4. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I worry about this too. Another option is to put 'references available on request' but then I worry about them looking at your application form and not bothering because you haven't included them.
  5. claytie

    claytie New commenter

    I think if they like your CV then they'll request references from you; that's been my experience.
  6. bead

    bead New commenter

    Some schools refuse references unless the teacher has handed in their notice. Understandable since heads must spend a lot of time doing them.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Solution for you: work with an agency, so your referees just write it once.
    Solution for your referees: they should be saving these as soft copies and trotting them out whenever needed.
    Mr_Frosty and Teachallover like this.
  8. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    But if a job is only advertised on TES and nowhere else (as many are) then an agency won't help.

    As for the soft-copy, many of the reference requests are specific forms with different questions and tick-boxes etc. It's not like the old days of calling someone up or getting them to send a non-descript reference (in many cases anyway)
  9. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Nothing new here. In the “old” days some, maybe most potential employers of teachers in the UK asked for references before interviews. Across the pond in the good ol’ USA some employers asked for “letters of reference” that had been read by the very same person that they referred to. Both ways of going about things are a little suspect, or at least not too efficient........

    In more recent times references (or at least reference checks) tend to come after all interviews. No rocket science involved.

    If it’s going back the other way then I dunno, I’d like to despair but maybe shouldn’t.
  10. TheComputingTeacher

    TheComputingTeacher New commenter

    This business with a reference before interview is more of a problem then not. Having to keep asking for a reference from busy heads without even having an interview and then not receiving a job offer is very unfair.

    It puts teachers in an awkward situation. I've had this twice now and the third time I have decided its just not right.

    Advertising schools are limiting the scope of candidates. The best candidates will not want to keep bothering heads for references then not get a job. It's a difficult process as it is.
    claytie likes this.
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    A lot more references are asked for with the use of online applications, as it makes it an automatic process to ask for a reference. In many cases its also an online process for the reference. This allows software to scan the text to pick the "best" candidates to interview.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    It would be great if they'd still accept CVs, many places won't. One of my heads used to say refererences were (almost) a waste of time anyway. Don't like the refs befre offer thing-if someone is considering leaving a school they hate, SMT might be spiteful if they know they are trying to get out (too many people have posted on here about such things).
    claytie likes this.
  13. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    There was a time when taking up references before interview was the norm in UK schools. My sons (neither in the UK) now work in industry/ commerce and both have spent enough years with their companies to know that they are well thought of but if they were job-hunting they would be aghast at the suggestion that references should be supplied before the interview.
    claytie likes this.
  14. simplyme2

    simplyme2 New commenter

    You don't need references to hire somebody. References are there just to help recruiters after they have interviewed people based on their CV. All the TES Fast apply references automatically get sent immediately to the respective employers anyway so TES are doing everyone a disservice by allowing this. I would recommend anyone who uses the Fast Apply button not to have their references emails on the form but just the telephone number if you don't want an automatic reference request sent.
  15. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    Are you saying that if you use Quick Apply on Tes that references are automatically requested???
  16. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Thanks for the heads up. I would never, every want reference requests sending the second I apply!
  17. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    Well I've just gone on my tes and changed it to not permitting schools to ask for refs before interview as well as removing the emails.
  18. TheComputingTeacher

    TheComputingTeacher New commenter

    Are you sure this is happening? every time an application is made on TES it automatically generates a reference request for our referees. That should be made clear if that is the case. I thought maybe its only shown to the schools and they decide if they actually want to take up a reference.
  19. ed717

    ed717 New commenter

    I was concerned about this too.
    The school I am at currently moves very slowly (which has its advantages and disadvantages of course!) and I am worried in case potential employers contact the references and are met with either a very delayed response or no response at all.
    Would this then mean I don't get an interview, for something that is beyond my control?
  20. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    The 4th interview I'm doing wants to obtain references before interview. Annoying, but my current school are aware of my desires to go abroad so it won't be a surprise.

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