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Should I ask about internal candidates?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by stupid fool, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. stupid fool

    stupid fool New commenter

    Hi
    I am due to look around a school later this week for a DH job. Currently the school has an acting DH who has been in place for the past academic year. Could someone offer me any advice about the best way to gage if it is a waste of time applying for this position when speaking to the head? My current head has told me to just ask about the internal candidate. What do you think?
     
  2. stupid fool

    stupid fool New commenter

    Hi
    I am due to look around a school later this week for a DH job. Currently the school has an acting DH who has been in place for the past academic year. Could someone offer me any advice about the best way to gage if it is a waste of time applying for this position when speaking to the head? My current head has told me to just ask about the internal candidate. What do you think?
     
  3. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    yes you should ask. TBH it looks like the job is theirs unless they're totally incompetent. Still it could be useful interview experience.


     
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    What on earth do you think the head is going to say if you ask? 'Yes, you've seen through our advertisement - the job's his, so you might as well go home now'?
    Internal candidate does not automatically mean the job is theirs. Most heads actually hope for a better external candidate, to bring in 'new blood' to their SLT.
     
  5. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Yup. Every job I've gone for there's been an internal. Beaten them to the job every time. There's no such thing as a "sure thing" remember heads know all the internal candidates faults as well.
     
  6. Absolutely! I've never lost out to an internal candidate. The panel know their strengths but also their weaknesses so BS will not wash.
    Also for senior posts I need the best people, not just a "good chap" who has been loyal, otherwise my own work is compromised.
    I would advise not asking about the internal cadidate for two reasons. Firstly it could suggest that you do not recognise professional boundaries, but also because you should not be thinking about the other candidates. Focus on your own application and performance.
    I must admit to being curious as to what you think the head would say....[​IMG]
     
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    As governor I've been on lots of DH and HT selection panels and where there is an internal candidate more often than not they haven't been appointed. We've always been as objective as possible in evaluating the candidates to make sure internal candidate doesn't get any advantage from their knowledge. The myth that internal candidates have the advantage still goes around but being the internal candidate is as likely to work against you as for you. Occasionally you can come up against a governors panel convinced in advance that their internal candidate is god's gift to education and no amount of evidence will shake that conviction. It'd be bad luck if that happened to you but fortunately it's not that common nowadays.
    Don't ask the head anything at all about any of the other candidates. It's unprofessional and could well count against you. Keep focussed on demonstrating that measured against the selection criteria you are the best person for the job.
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    No, you shouldn't ask.
    Surely the answer wouldn't affect your decision whether to apply?
    Doesn't look like that to me.
    It's not a case of shoving him in unless he is incompetent, it's getting the very best possible person for the job.
    Almost the worst possible reason for applying.
    Sorry to be so negative here, Greta, but I really disagree with everything that you say!
    Best wishes
    _______________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  9. My last interview (for a senior management role) was against an internal candidate who was already working in that year group. When I arrived, I thought she seemed a bit familiar with the surroundings as we were waiting in the reception area. Then a class filed past for assembly and she greeted them all by name.
    I ALMOST went home.
    So glad I didn't! I thought "well, I'm here now. I've spent a long time on my application, even longer on the 2 presentations, and I fit every part of the essential and most of the desirable on the job spec - I'm as good as her, if not better!"
    We had to spend a lot of the morning together and we chatted and got to know each other. I'm now her line manager. We have a great relationship and she is brilliant to work with. Partly because the whole interview process showed her that she wasn't quite ready for the role. The head and governors were glad to get some fresh blood with experience into the school.
    So my advice would be to never, ever ask if there's an internal candidate, and if you come up against an internal candidate at interview, go in fighting!
     
  10. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass New commenter

    Closing date for my application is 2mora! No internal - retirement - but if shortlisted, I'm going in fighting anyway - I WANT THAT JOB! The gloves are on ....
     
  11. I went for a job (HT) where there was an acting who'd been in place for more than a term - in this case it really did appear to be a bit of a shoo-in - she knew so much more about the school's priorities and could speak to them in presentation and interview
    However, the CoG gave me a great compliment when he said that they had been pre-disposed to the acting but that I had split them and they couldn't put a pin between us and I really gave them pause and created quite a sustained debate!
    So they went with the person they knew
    I would in the same position
    Nothing to split us except that they knew what, how and why she'd do what she'd do

    You go for it - you are very likely to have lots more to offer than the internal (if there is one)
    AND by the way...
    acting deputies don't always apply - I know of two for sure..

    AND I know of two or three local cases where an acting deputy has applied and not got it!
    SO...
    good luck

    Go get 'em!!

     

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