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Odd experience at an interview

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by cally0720, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I wonder if this happened to any other job hunters?
    I recently decided I wanted to go for HOD positions and saw one advertised at an academy. I applied for it, electronically, and was shortlisted. It was quite odd the way it was dealt with as it went through a supply teaching agency - they dealt with all recruitment for this academy, I was told. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend first time round as it coincided with OFSTED at my current school but then I saw it readvertised, so I applied again.
    I was invited for interview on a Tuesday and spent the weekend preparing a 30 minute lesson, laminating, cutting out, organising the worksheets into the correct order, putting them together with a paperclip then in a plastic wallet, driving to the school first to ensure I knew where I was going and researching their OFSTED report and results.
    On the day there was quite a herd at the door and it seemed they were interviewing for a mainscale Maths teacher, as well as an English HOD. There were four of us for the HOD position and in the morning we were given a tour of the school, then one at a time a student panel interview (alone with two students which was unusual) then taught the lesson. At lunch, we were told that myself and one other candidate would be invited to stay for the formal interviews: the other two were sent home. I was first, and had my interview which I thought went fine, and I was told that unfortunately they wouldn't be able to get back to me today as they were interviewing someone else tomorrow but they would be in touch then. We said thank you and I went home.
    I didn't hear back from them at all on Wednesday and eventually had to ring the agency on the Thursday in order to ask what was going on and was told by the person who had dealt with the recruitment, "Oh, yeah, sorry, that went to an internal." To be honest, I was really upset. Not because I didn't get the job - but to not even be told, not be thanked for my time or given any feedback felt really hurtful.
    Anyway, I did soon get over it as I had a HOD interview the next day and was offered that one!
    However, my friend has been invited for an interview by the same agency (though a different area of the country) and there is an internal. I am wondering, given mine was advertised twice and given the strange nature of the day (why was the internal interviewed on Wednesday!) if it was something of a set-up by the academy and agency to try and get teachers to sign up? They did ask to tick a box if we'd be interested in signing up - I ticked NO!
    Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation?
    Thanks x
     
  2. Hi
    I wonder if this happened to any other job hunters?
    I recently decided I wanted to go for HOD positions and saw one advertised at an academy. I applied for it, electronically, and was shortlisted. It was quite odd the way it was dealt with as it went through a supply teaching agency - they dealt with all recruitment for this academy, I was told. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend first time round as it coincided with OFSTED at my current school but then I saw it readvertised, so I applied again.
    I was invited for interview on a Tuesday and spent the weekend preparing a 30 minute lesson, laminating, cutting out, organising the worksheets into the correct order, putting them together with a paperclip then in a plastic wallet, driving to the school first to ensure I knew where I was going and researching their OFSTED report and results.
    On the day there was quite a herd at the door and it seemed they were interviewing for a mainscale Maths teacher, as well as an English HOD. There were four of us for the HOD position and in the morning we were given a tour of the school, then one at a time a student panel interview (alone with two students which was unusual) then taught the lesson. At lunch, we were told that myself and one other candidate would be invited to stay for the formal interviews: the other two were sent home. I was first, and had my interview which I thought went fine, and I was told that unfortunately they wouldn't be able to get back to me today as they were interviewing someone else tomorrow but they would be in touch then. We said thank you and I went home.
    I didn't hear back from them at all on Wednesday and eventually had to ring the agency on the Thursday in order to ask what was going on and was told by the person who had dealt with the recruitment, "Oh, yeah, sorry, that went to an internal." To be honest, I was really upset. Not because I didn't get the job - but to not even be told, not be thanked for my time or given any feedback felt really hurtful.
    Anyway, I did soon get over it as I had a HOD interview the next day and was offered that one!
    However, my friend has been invited for an interview by the same agency (though a different area of the country) and there is an internal. I am wondering, given mine was advertised twice and given the strange nature of the day (why was the internal interviewed on Wednesday!) if it was something of a set-up by the academy and agency to try and get teachers to sign up? They did ask to tick a box if we'd be interested in signing up - I ticked NO!
    Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation?
    Thanks x
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Firstly - well done for getting that other HoD job! I won't give you a star, however, unless you start a proper thread called Dear Theo - I got that job!
    I very much doubt it!
    Interviewing people is hard work. Setting up the lesson, student panel, even getting the appointment panel together is also a bit of a bind.
    Why on earth would they do that if they didn't have to?
    So I think that it is highly unlikely that they were just touting for people for the supply agency.
    And if you think about it - people applying for a HoD post are unlikely to be unemployed and available for supply anyway!
    Good luck for the new job.
    _____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I 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 appreciate.
     
  4. Thanks, Theo [​IMG]
    I know - I really find it very strange that the school would take the time and trouble if they had no intention of appointing any of us. I suppose what confuses me though is that the internal candidate was kept "away" from the rest of us and that this also happened with the Maths post that they were interviewing for on the same day (I forgot to say that in my first post - sorry!)
    There are so many odd things about it that I do feel there was something not quite "right" about it - it doesn't bother me, but I suppose through idle curiosity I wondered if perhaps many others had been told there was a job, got everything ready only for the "job" to go to an invisible internal?
    This did occur to me as well but strangely, I was the only one at the interview in a full time permanent position.
    The others were: a HOD who had lost their positions when the school restructured to academies, an LEA consultants whose role had vanished under the new government, and someone whose school shut whilst she was on maternity leave - so I suppose it isn't a given.
    Odd!
    Thanks for your reply and for the congratulations and in advance for my star [*]
     
  5. I have noticed that, sometimes, when I have applied online for what I thought was a school or academy advertising for a post, an agency would call me, saying that they were handling the vacancy, meaning that if one wished to pursue the application, one had to register with the agency, with the attendant costs of doing so. Having joined the agency, nothing else happened. Some agencies, when handling vacancies for schools insist on an new CRB for each application, claiming that it is the school stipulating this.
     
  6. You say the internal candidate was 'kept away'.

    They are hardly likely to be on the tour of the Academy are they lol!!!
     
  7. Yes. It is usual practice for internals to have tours of the school and to have to teach a lesson to ensure the interview process is absolutely fair - I have never seen otherwise, either when attending interviews myself or when I have been on the interview panel.
    There tend to be some jokey comments acknowledging the strangeness of the situation for the persons concerned but that's it.
    I don't believe there was an internal at the post I applied for: I don't think there was a post at all - why advertise twice if you have a strong internal who would (presumably) have been interviewed (and not appointed) first time round. It was really very peculiar indeed and I suspect something not strictly above board was happening, but really, who knows what!
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not necessarily odd at all. My school advertised for an AH to start at easter and I didn't apply due to other roles I have this year it wouldn't have worked for me. They didn't appoint and readvertised, due to timing the post then had to be for September and I did apply. One or two of the original applicants reapplied and other new applicants applied.

    I didn't get the post, although a strong (so I'm told) candidate there was a stronger one (and I totally agree that she was). So she got the post and three others (besides me) didn't. Two of those three were applicants from the first round, so goodness knows what they think.

    And yes I did have to do the tour of the school, which I'd not expected (not having been an internal applicant before) and found hugely tricky as there were some colleagues I'd have warned in advance had I known.
     
  9. It could well all have been above board and not odd at all, but I do find it a touch coincidental that two posts on the same day were both given to an internal who was interviewed and appointed the following day.
    Strangely, since posting this I have had emails from the teaching agency about "other posts I may be interested in" - these are supply teaching posts but fixed for one term or a set number of weeks; I have asked to be removed from their mailing list but I imagine the other unsuccessful candidates (who were not working) may have shown an interest - I hope these posts actually do exist and are not put there to entice people to sign up to the agency.
     
  10. Whatever the reasons for 'phantom jobs', it is frustrating and dishearting experience for the applicants. I can understand agencies stringing people along with promises 'just the vacany for you, coming up next week', but not schools. Perhaps it is a way of long-listing, so they meet possible candidates face-to-face. I have been in this situation twice, where applicants were invited to a school, only to be told that there was no specific vacancy, only that here were plans for possible new posts and they wanted to see what sort a field they could attract.
     

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