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Very confusing interview feedback - should I reapply?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by onbekende, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. onbekende

    onbekende New commenter

    Interviewed for an HoD post starting Sept 19 in an independent school. Didn't get the job but when I requested feedback, after them stalling for ages, I finally got to talk to the head and he told me they had not in fact made an appointment. Apparently, I was the frontrunner candidate but the panel couldn't reach a unanimous decision, and the school plans to refine the job description and re-advertise in January. The only negative that came up in the feedback was that I came over as somewhat "serious" to the pupil panel, everything else seemed to be glowing. What has puzzled me is the next bit. I asked the head straight out had they concluded that for whatever reason I wasn't a good fit, so the new position would not be something for me, fully expecting him to say I'm afraid so, we wish you well in your future job search etc - so I could draw a line under it. However, to my surprise, he replied oh no, you certainly haven't made any big misstep which rules you out, we'd be happy to consider your application again - in fact, he offered to drop me a line as soon as the new advert comes out!

    I literally cannot work this one out. Should I bother reapplying, or does this sound like a waste of time and energy?
    Has anyone ever come across a situation like this before?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Sounds to me as though someone was vaguely promised the job, faltered on the day, the decision to appoint them couldn't be justified, resulting in a deadlock. What the HT is really saying is if you apply again, that person won't be there, you're in. I would find a school that doesn't mess people about and hedge their bets.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Independent schools - I've always avoided them
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Unless reapplying means sending your copy of the application form and covering letter (so 5 minutes work) then they don't deserve someone of your calibre.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It sounds more as if they didn't find what they thought would be the ideal candidate, but that you impressed those of the panel who were more open-minded to something different.

    Next time round, when they have had a chance to refine the job description and change the make up of the panel, you could well be perfect for them.

    If you want the post, then go for it again. HOD posts don't often come up as external appointments in independents, so you'd be daft to ignore a perfectly good one where the head clearly rates you.

    Best of luck.
    agathamorse and onbekende like this.
  6. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Did you like the job/school? If so, reapply. if not, don't. Simples!
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Perhaps the Head liked you but somebody else on the panel was being awkward. The Head could be giving you another chance to impress that person, or might be hoping to put together a different panel. In any case, if you still want the job you might as well apply - what have you got to lose? But I have always been in the "nothing ventured..." camp.
    onbekende and agathamorse like this.
  8. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    If the Head liked you and wanted you to work at the school, I cannot see what is preventing him from offering you the job. Appointments within the school are for the Head to make, not a panel who must all agree. It sounds to me as if the first choice candidate has either messed them around or, after accepting the post has changed their mind and let the school down. In that scenario, if there was a close second, I would have imagined the Head would have called them to see if they were still available and interested. The fact the Head didn’t get in touch with you is, perhaps, telling. I’m afraid I think they are hedging their bets - they are hoping the ideal candidate may apply following a re-advertisement, but if that doesn’t happen, they might reconsider you. If I were in your shoes, I’m not sure I would want to pursue this, unless you are happy with being second or third choice where the Head doesn’t seem sure about quite what he wants.
    travelwings and onbekende like this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Not always.
    My school only appoints with a unanimous decision and another I worked in did the same.
    No idea about any of the others.
    onbekende likes this.
  10. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Yes, first choice backed out and they were left with second and third choices, which, while not that bad, were certainly not as good as their first choice, so.... if they really can’t get a first choice again they’d be prepared to go with a second choice. Lovely eh? Depends how much you like the school I suppose.
    onbekende likes this.
  11. onbekende

    onbekende New commenter

    Thanks for all this feedback. Very interesting! As far as I know there were only three candidates on the day, and none of us were offered the job. That’s what I’ve heard on the grapevine at least. So some of the points about a first candidate not working out aren’t applicable here as far as I know.

    But as time has elapsed and reading your comments, even though I loved the school I don’t really want the job only if they don’t manage to find someone better. It just doesn’t feel nice to start a job as a last resort appointee. So I think I shall have to dry my tears and move on!

    Thanks for all the comments.
    ViolaClef likes this.

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