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What's the worst feedback you've ever been given in an Interview?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Kat Harwood, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. I would have reported them to the LA for unfair recruitment procedures.
    I think something needs to be done about the shoddy way so many schools go about recruitment.
  2. I must say that although I find this thread intriguing I am also getting rather worried because of it. I have my first interview as a potential Deputy Head on Friday and until now had been quite calm but now the old panic is returning. I interview ok but never feel as if I have sold myself completely. I have been told that I am too quiet, too informative, too considered, too expereinced, too helpful and too impulsive at different interviews in the past. I'm just going to do my best and realise that if I don't get it, then I still have a job in a school I love, with smashing kids and that the interviwers are fools.
  3. The school askd for a Teacher of ICT. On the day just two of us turned up because everyone else they asked had phoned to say they were'nt going to attend. The job was given to the other girl. I was told y"our too technical because we didn't want a specialist ICT teacher anyway. We just wanted a Teacher of ICT to teach in our Secondary School". Aren't Secondary Teacher called specialist in what ever subject they do? I asked what they meant by this and basically they didn't want an ICT Teacher who could use a smartboard, only a projector, not to bring any interactive resources into the classroom etc... Was I hearing correctly in today's day and age? I understand if the school is being refurnished or wanted to update their technology or even lack of finance but not in this case.
    Another school I went to gave feedback and said to me the interview went really well and they enjoyed my lesson. Nothing wrong with it. They knew I was an NQT well before they interviewed me. I was told "we didn't want an NQT we wanted an experinced teacher instead". Well fine, no problem but why did they falsely advertise online that this ICT position would be suitable for "NQT's and Experienced Teachers" in the first place?
    At other interviews I've even being ignored by the staff who are actually going to interview me either on the panel or in the lesson due to not being over 5ft in height like the other candidates at the time. Although I was prepared like any other candidate and did what was expected. In my case, I think schools do look down upon you if your not tall. They seem to think your incapable and can't do the job.
    Other feedback is your over qualified which I am but I could still do the job like anybody else if you gave me the chance.
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    No pun intended? Ha ha, I know what you mean though!
    Perhaps they spotted YOUR spelling issues on your application. Sorry, I wouldn't normally do this but you did make the same spelling mistake twice. Many apologies, the pedant inside me just couldn't be contained! I'm a cow I know! xxx
    I agree completely with the "We didn't want an NQT" pathetic excuse. If they didn't want an NQT, why did they advertise for one? Perhaps they meant: "We advertised to NQTs and experienced teachers because we were afraid no-one would want to apply to our hell-hole of a school. However, since we got a few different applicants, we decided to go with the experienced one since an NQT costs more in terms of training and support".
    Honesty really is the best policy. The "You're an NQT" excuse really doesn't give you anything to work on for next time.
  5. I agree, Eva. I think that you were a bit harsh to point out the previous poster's spelling mistakes, as they were probably typing errors which everyone's prone to! :)
    I agree with the rest of your post though! The 'you're an NQT excuse' is sneaky and unhelpful.
  6. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Whether it's harsh or not is another issue - but it wasn't a typing mistake, was it? Typing errors are when someone types a letter instead of the one they intended. Spelling mistakes tend to be more consistent and are intended by the poster (who in this case doesn't realise that "you're" is a contraction of "you are" and is not the same as "your").
  7. I agree that it's important to use good grammar and I'm not saying that Eva was incorrect. All I'm saying is that the TES forums/fora (read whichever word is grammatically correct) are supposed to be an informal place for people who work in education to chat with others. Thus, the way we write on here is going to be completely different to the way we write reports, for example. I'm not saying that we shouldn't point out to people when we can't read their posts because they contain major errors which make them difficult to read. What I am saying is that I think it's a bit mean to pounce on people when they make a few mistakes because they've typed so quickly because we've then lost sight of why the TES forums/fora (see earlier comment) were set up in the first place.
    However, I don't want to get into a needless debate with you and other users over this, Lila. So, I shall leave you and other like minded TES users to point out and correct the infinite number of SPG errors made on the TES forums/fora (see earlier comment) everyday (including my own, no doubt), if you are so minded, and thank you for doing so.
    In the meantime, can we get back to the orignal topic of this thread please?
  8. JennyReyn

    JennyReyn New commenter

    I remember my first interview (still looking...) when I got the feedback after being told that I'd not got the job. They told me that I'd contradicted myself in my interview; on my CV it states that I'd done a Masters in PR, plus a fair bit of travelling (gap year & two months last year), plus had a few jobs between finishing Uni and starting my PGCE and when I said I'd always wanted to teach...
    I stopped her at that point and pointed out that at no time would I have said that because it's not true! I'd actually made a point about talking about how my Masters wasn't for me, and I'd taken a gap year to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I'd also explained the whole job thing (coming back from travel, broke and needed money to survive between then and the course starting) when they'd asked me about it.
    It was almost funny that they were making up stuff about me and getting it wrong.
  9. I've had some classics over the last few years:
    - One school didn't ring me - lost the part of the application form with personal information on and had written down my number wrong. When I rang them up on the Monday (interview had been on a Friday) was told about the form mix up and told "We didn't think it really mattered as you didn't get the job anyway."
    - One school I went to had been interviewing all day and asked me to teach my lesson at 3.00. The class had had interviewees in all day from 9.00. In my feedback I was told "your lesson wasn't good enough as the class seemed tired and agitated."
    - My absolute favourite: "Your lesson was really good, you answered all the questions well but we felt that the way you spoke didn't fit our school and what our parents expect." I pressed them on this and they repeated what they had originally said. Again I asked them what they actually meant and they said I used too many contractions in my speech, had said "kind of" at some point during the day and then repeated again "and of course THE WAY you speak." I then said "my accent?" and they said yes and said their goodbyes! Just to give context, the school was in the local authority in which I have lived all my life.
    Lucky escapes I feel!

  10. I'd been led to believe that I would get a post in reward for a vast amount of unpaid and uncredited work. In addition, I was told I was far better on paper than the person to whom they gave the job. They said that only the interview mattered and I wasn't too good at that. It wouldn't be a problem for me because it wasn't really about status or money at all... I'd be glad to see someone younger do well in a career, wouldn't I! What the heck did they think it was about then? Still mad after all these years!
  11. "You interviewed too well".
    Now, someone tell me what on earth that is supposed to mean!!
  12. I'm a parent governor at my village pimary and we've just appointed a Head. Now we're in the process of appointing a KS2 teacher. From the other side, I would say there's no real logic from the outside as to why you don't get a job. I know it's meant to be the best qualified person for the role and all that, but there are all sorts of factors at play. In the situation I witnessed, all NQTs were thrown out at first reading - because the new Head doesn't have time to mentor them and they work out too expensive for the school because off the time they need for preparation. Likewise, anyone with 10 years experience was passed over as too costly. Not without some regret I hasten to add, but finances are extrememly tight here...
    It certainly made me think that I won't be too downhearted when I'm passed over for a job. Much of it is luck - hitting the things they are looking for (which you can't possibly know).
  13. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    welcome to TES, hilary
  14. missrieen

    missrieen New commenter

    This thread has made me slightly nervous about eventually applying for jobs...
    However, I think it's good to know that people do get knocked back and rejected and so when it invariably happens to me I might not feel quite so bad, so thanks for sharing everyone
  15. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    I've experieced:
    1) No call at all to let me know I didn't get the job, only to meet the head a year later when I supplied at his new school, when he told me I was fantastic, and had the children well under control
    2) "You taught and interviewed well, and could easily have done the job, but we appointed someone else." (Final nail in the coffin for private schools as far as I'm concerned)
    3) "We wanted somebody with KS1 experience." I'm glad I didn't end up working for a head who can't read application forms.
    Middlemarch, yes, I'd far rather they were honest. The best feedback I've had in recent years after not being appointed was that I was good, but they felt the other candidate would fit in better with the school. At least there's nothing I could have done better in the interview. It may well have been a lie ("You're too expensive"), but I took it at face value and was happy with it.
  16. brookey1970

    brookey1970 New commenter

    Apparently, swearing in an interview is a definite no-no. I was told this during feedback many years ago, and I would love to know what it was I'd said in there.
    On another occasion, I was told on the phone: "... And you still had the stitching in the single vent of your jacket. So although you were unsuccessful in getting the job, at least you can take the suit back to the shop." Funny git. I bet the rest of the comedians on the panel were listening on speakerphone as well.
  17. Bloody hell - that's breathtaking.
    I am not too sure about this "too expensive" lark, that a lot of people are quoting. If they didn't want expensive people, they wouldn't get called to interview, surely.
    I have lost out at two interviews. I knew from the start that they just didn't like me - you just get bad vibes, but it's always a kick in the teeth when you don't get a job.
  18. good luck to all of you (us) who are on the interview trail...and each time there is a failed interview I say to myself 'there is no way that i'm putting myself through this ridiculous, barbaric, unreasonable, inhumane process again...yet I always do.
    half apologising for lessons that you have spent 100 years planning and preparing for.... only teachers would put up with it. The whole process makes The Apprentice look like Andy Pandy.
    God bless the brave!
  19. Worst feedback I ever received was from a Head of Department, a man of my own age, who had wanted the young pretty girl in the interview rather than an experienced teacher. As soon as the Headmaster had offered me the job and left the HOD turned to me and said `Of course, you realise I don`t want you here`. And true to his word I was subjected to complete lack of support and the most vitriolic backstabbing campaign I have ever experienced. Even when my contribution to the department`s `generally good` at OFSTED was two `very goods` and one `excellent`, I had to reapply for my own job for the following academic year. I then walked into the staffroom one day to find a gaggle of young female students there for interview I had not been offered.

    My worst job interview was the last I subjected myself to, for an HoD position. My lesson was `assessed` by a 21 year old unqualified teacher who basically failed each and every candidate, all of us experienced and professionally qualified teachers, and was inexplicably listened to by the Headmaster. After that I gave up teaching in the UK. As a profession I consider that it has died

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