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Unfair interview process

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by wendythain, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. wendythain

    wendythain New commenter

    I'm incensed. Last Friday I went for the first round of an interview for a hod job at another school. There were two of us. The Dep head told me in an "informal" 1:1 that he thought there were 4 candidates but now there were 5 as the person whose job we were filling had left at Christmas but wanted to come back, so they were interviewing her. We both got through the lesson obs and were invited to the formal interview, today. The ex head of dept was there along with another external and an internal candidate. We could all smell a rat but thought "no, they must have more integrity than that." Moreover, she was not on the initial shortlist as the letter stated 4 candidates, not 5, and she didn't have to teach a lesson. Needless to say, only 40 mins after leaving the formal interview (I was the last one) the dep head rang to say the governors had offered it to the ex hod candidate and she had accepted. I know that fair processes take considerably longer than this. Does anyone else smell a rat?
  2. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Do I smell a rat? Possibly. Does it happen, yes. They may not have wanted them to go in the first place and we don't know their circumstances. They should have done a lesson for fairness- though arguably they've proba already seen them teach.
    But on TES people can jump to 'internal candidate so it must have been a deal' without thinking. I've known internals not get shortlisted and have also got jobs over internals. The head will make whichecer decision they feel is best for the school b
  3. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Maybe they'd already seen her teach. Maybe she was actually the best candidate and the one that the governors wanted.
    Pomza, Resolve, wanet and 1 other person like this.
  4. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Most likely but get used to it. Teaching interviews are almost unique in there procedural complexities and they often still choose the wrong person. I once attended a HOD interview with 5 external candidates and we told the existing HOD was retiring. It was 2 day event, short listing after the first day down to 3 and then we had to do a presentation. Anyway no one got the job because apparently the HOD decided not to retire and we (candidates) had effectively written their action plan for them.
    Just move on to the next application the experience of interviews is always useful.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Pomza, annascience2012 and Resolve like this.
  6. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Not really sure why people expect anything much different in this increasingly shambolic profession.

    I've only been for one job I didn't get. Was interviewed on M6, job given to an unqualified TA. Whole thing stunk, wanted to walk out halfway through as the people interviewing me were only half as qualified as I was and it was pretty ropey all round, but I thought no, be professional. Wish I had now.

    Live and learn. Never put myself in that position since.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I think this should be titled 'unfortunate' rather than 'unfair'. Galling, but unfair is a strong word. Legally I am afraid that it is a baseless assumption.
    Pomza, wanet and purplecarrot like this.
  8. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    That sounds awful. But very different from the OP 's position.
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Ok so not the result you wanted. Get something from the experience and ask for feedback / debrief in preparation for the next time.
    jlishman2158, wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Would you - now - want to have worked there?

    Maybe a lucky escape!
    jlishman2158 and pepper5 like this.
  11. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Not sure why you think fair processes necessarily take considerably longer. If the panel is in complete agreement then there is no need to string out the process. Short discussions are often all that are needed. Length of time doesn't make a fair selection unfair or an unfair one fair....
  12. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Having been on both sides of the fence (interviewed and interviewer- both inside of teaching and out) the interviewers will be making decisions at every step of the process and by the formal interview stage there is quite often one or two front runners. If a decision can be made quickly then it doesn't automatically mean it's unfair. I'm a big believer in gut instinct at interviews, both when I'm getting a feel for a place of work and when seeing candidates and this then quite often leads to a shorter discussion after all the process has been completed.

    I feel for you, but as other posters have said, nobody is in full possession of all of the elements in this situation. It sounds like the school were unhappy to lose her in the first place and so have jumped at the opportunity to get her back. Absolutely galling for you however but nothing you can do about it other than to use it as a learning opportunity, get some detailed feedback on pointers for your next opportunity.

    That perfect opportunity is out there, chin up and keep going!

    Best wishes
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Yes - remember on one interview panel there was one obvious candidate. There was no need for any discussion, but we did sit and chat for half an hour so they others didn't feel so bad!
  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes . . .

    I do not see any evidence that the procedure was unfair, by the way. How would you have felt if the ex-HoD had just been appointed like that? If you had arrived there, and were told Sorry, interviews are cancelled - we are giving the job back to the ex-HoD. Here's your travel expenses claim.

    But they didn't do that, although they were quite entitled to do so.

    They interviewed you, to give you all a chance to show that you were better than her. No-one showed that, so she got appointed.

    Best wishes

  15. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    It does happen in a few schools.
    As other posters have said, governors will appoint someone who they feel is best for the job at that time. The HOD who left but came back, in this case, obviously had the strongest experience.
    Take every interview as an experience. Learn something from it and develop. Don't dwell, just move on to your next application!
  16. Resolve

    Resolve New commenter

    Exactly. When I was on panels we had a good idea of who we wanted at the sifting CV/application letter and references stage, and it's not unusual to rank-order candidates. The lesson ops and interview often merely confirms what the paper-reviewing suggested. Unless you were present at all the other candidates' lessons and their interviews you will never be in a position to objectively assess the fairness or otherwise. Review the feedback carefully and put this down to experience. One day you will be ranked No. 1 on the short list.... :)
    sabrinakat and wanet like this.
  17. khorpe

    khorpe New commenter

  18. Pilchard1408

    Pilchard1408 New commenter

    Can you reapply to a school if you have been rejected. My interview observation was not trained in my subject so I feel I got unfair feedback. The interview was ok just the person who observed me didn’t like my lesson even though I totally disagree. Clear LO’s and and outcomes

    I’m fuming
  19. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    You're probably better starting your own thread and giving the relevant information so people can help rather than activating a thread from 3 years ago.

    In terms of your question, yes you can apply to a school again, but you might want to be a little less dismissive of the observing school's feedback.
  20. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    Why do you want to reapply?
    They didn’t like your lesson. You disagree. To me, that suggests that your teaching style doesn’t fit there. They are not going to admit they were wrong in their initial judgement.
    It’s not the school for you. Be glad you found out now rather than 4 months into a 6 month probation period (very common with academies now) when they are raising concerns which you don’t understand.

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