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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 too was told i was too bubbly and enthusiastic (to teach in a well know train museum in York!!),then about a month later when the person they'd chosen changed their mind i was offered the job because they loved how bubbly and enthusiastic i was!!!!!!!!!! - needless to say i turned them down!
  2. In a previous job... my head chose who he wanted for my TA before interviewing them, and he'd not even met them!

    But on the other side as an NQT I narrowly missed the job on my 1st ineterview... a few months later the head rang me and asked me to interview for another job.. I did... and it was heavily hinted that the job was mine..... BUT this time the interview format (it changed from a small room with 2 friendly people, to a Hall and 5/6 poker faced govs) was completely different and as an NQT I was completely thrown, and completely messed it up cos I got VERY nervous. So I didn't get the job
  3. Does anyone suspect that Headteachers are trained to give certain answers that avoid claims of illegal discrimination? I now know of several people (including myself) who have been told:
    "In all my years of teaching I have never seen such a well-qualified selection of candidates. On another day you would have got the job...."
    "Your answers were too long."
    "You weren't quite what we were looking for."
    None of these "lines" provides a good reason for not employing someone. They are suitably vague and allow those doing the recruiting to employ whoever they like, irrespective of the specification or performance at interview. However, they don't give the luckless interviewee anything to work on for the next interview.
    A friend of mine recently applied for a job. The school took up his references but then did not call him for interview. When he asked for feedback he was told that his academic qualifications weren't up to the required standard. Go figure.
  4. Hilariously, I went for a job in a Girl's Catholic School and was informed that whilst I had interviewed excellently, and that I had had an excellent lesson, that I had been unsuccessful. The deputy head as she escorted me back to the reception area told me that perhaps I should apply to a boys school or a mixed school as the main issue for the panel was that the girls would be unsettled and giddy by my looks, as they ladies on the panel certainly were! Whilst hugely complemented, I was still shocked and a bit amazed that it would even be something which might arise in the interview. :)

    Since then got a head of department position so cannot complain!
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're missing the point - they can only choose one person and they preferred someone else.
    And no - heads are not 'trained' to give certain answers. They have to pick someone. It's not a science, often several candidates are very good, but they can only pick one.
    So, in terms of giving you something to work on, it can be down to 'You were very good, if you interivewed as well as that in another school you might well get the job but today we could only pick one and we picked one of the others'.

  6. I was actually told this once in an interview. Bizarrely, it was actually really helpful, because I knew it wasn't me - it was to do with the other candiate.

    I agree, nothing to work on, but far more helpful than some platitudes about long answers. I'm all for honesty and frankness in these things.
  7. "It's not not your destiny"!
  8. hmmmm - maybe......!
  9. You realise you now have a DUTY to post a pic of yourself as your avatar. [​IMG]
  10. Hi folks - how about this? Many moons ago, when still a Bright Young Thing, I requested feedback and was told that my CV looked as if I was someone with alias's - I have been married twice! I now know that this is discrimination on grounds of marital status.
    The Head also said that there were gaps in my CV - where (as I had actually explained on said CV in great detail), I had been raising my family, then at later dates , doing my degree, and teacher training. I was amazed, when she said - "for all we know, you could have been doing a prison sentence, to which I replied: 'It certainly felt like one, at times....'
    Hmmm. Dodgy feed back should tell you that you had a lucky escape!!!

  11. I agree!
  12. dunkiep

    dunkiep New commenter

    Unbelievable!!!!! I had the same!
    Everytime my interviewers asked me a really awkward question, I asked for a moment to consider, then made some notes and gave a full answer. I was told that was a strength and I had the job until someone on the panel said, "are we absolutely sure about this?" then they talked it round again and gave it to someone else.
    At the next interview, the ******* thought my 'making notes before answering' was annoying, so didn't give it me. They also tried to tell me my 20 min numeracy starter lesson lacked a plenary. Whatever...
  13. So, for some, it's an excuse to launch an attack just for laughs....Schools are such dysfunctional places, sometimes.....
  14. It certainly can feel that way at times and you wonder why some schools think it is OK to say the things they do.
  15. Let me guess...did you take too long to answer the questions?
  16. well i have been lucky enough to be invited to help do some interviewing recently. it was nice to be asked as i am passionate about my subject, and the school who invited me were really serious about getting a good candidate. which they did, and the person we appointed commented that i was a hard interviewer! that was kind of useful to me and a suprise as well. so that is one other side of it. i am shocked at some of the stories here tho - when i interview, the only things i am interested in are can they teach this subject well, and do they know enough about the subject - which might seem strange, but we are talking about PSHE!
  17. I was told recently that I referred to my past experiences too much!!!! ....I was putting my ideas into context and giving evidence that I have done whatever...... What a load of c**p! I have always been told to refer to what I have done/experinced in the past... its a damn site better than second guessing what I may or may not do in the future - and relying on that alone. (I did talk about the future too in my interview)
  18. I know this is an old post but I've just been through three interviews (before securing the job I really wanted - yay!) and this thread came to mind.

    Worst feedback?:

    "Your passion for your subject was evident, which is a strength, but you should be careful not to appear too enthusiastic."

    "You had all the right answers - sounded like you had prepared too well. How do we know you can think on your feet?" -- umm, from my lesson? From the eight and a half hours (no joke!) I've been in the school?

    Best feedback:
    "You were great, but there were three of you and one post. Ultimately although it was close we had to make a decision; it was difficult and I'm genuinely sorry to let you go. We'd like to invite you back for interview when another position becomes available."

    (Same school, in response to my question, 'does the internal candidate always get it?' - there were only the 2 of us at the interview) "Usually, although not always. In our case, she has had two years to impress us whereas you had twenty minutes. We've invested heavily in her in terms of giving her a form, responsibility for planning SOWs, we've sent her on courses... Yes, things weren't really in your favour. Email me when you have another interview as I'd love to help you prepare for that."

    Yes, disheartening - esp. with the internal, to be told that really, I was there to make up numbers - but at least they were honest. And the offer of future help and subsequent email exchange of sample questions/tips was really beneficial - I got the next job I went for.
  19. I don't know what happened to my careful paragraphs there... Sorry!
  20. inq


    Worst feedback was applying for a PGCE - I got a rejection letter - phoned up for feedback to be told - Just accept you'll never ever make a teacher. I've now been teaching for 10 years!

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