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Can someone explain about teacher interviews and job offers?

(25 Posts)
VantaBlack Wed 03-Jun-15 21:01:52

DD is getting to the end of her PGCE year and is applying for jobs. I'm not from the educational field and can't understand how the appointment system works. In my field of work, we see all the candidates, mull over the interviews, offer the job and then wait for the acceptance. And if they don't accept then you go back to No2 choice, who you have kept hanging on.
DD seems to think that teaching appointments are instantaneous - you have the interview, the offer and the acceptance within hours. She said that there was a position at her placement school the other day with two applicants. Applicant 2 couldn't make the day so they agreed to interview him the next day. They went ahead with the other interview on the original date and appointed Applicant 1 before they had even seen App2. This must illegal under discrimination rules but DD seems to think that this is the way it is in education.

Anyway, DD has two interviews on two successive next week. Sods Law says that the place she wants is the second one. If she gets offered the first place is there a teachery way to stall them for 24 hours until she knows whether she has/not got the second place?

sunnybobs Wed 03-Jun-15 21:08:06

It's very very odd and what she's described sounds pretty accurate for teaching! Often they ask you if you're still a serious candidate before they interview you & you can pull out at that point obviously.but yes it's all a bit crazily fast / lesson, interview & told oh the day if you have it or not. It's the only world I've worked in but am always fascinated by how much calmer other industries seem.

mmmminx Wed 03-Jun-15 21:08:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sunnybobs Wed 03-Jun-15 21:11:50

Only way to stall it I would think would be to be totally honest about the fact that she's got a second interview the next day. I have known one person accept & then later pull out to take another job but it wasn't seen as the "done thing" (whether that's right or not!)

VantaBlack Wed 03-Jun-15 21:18:59

I asked about saying yes but then retracting but DD is too scared. She seems to think that headteachers have some super-communicating system between themselves and once word got round she would be black balled for life!

Rosieposy4 Wed 03-Jun-15 21:21:18

I would be very wary of her doing that (stalling for a reply), the educational world is small and schools talk to each other. It would be seen as a lack of commitment to the job before you have even started. I moved to education after a career elsewhere and agree the system is mad, and unique to teaching but if they ring to offer her the job she would be expected to say yes or no immediately ( that is if they had not asked her to wait and tell her in person)

Pointlessfan Wed 03-Jun-15 21:24:43

Yes it is a bit strange but it saves the agony of waiting! I think it's because we have to resign by a certain date each term so appointments often have to be made quickly so people can hand in their notice.

bamboostalks Wed 03-Jun-15 21:25:05

There's no real way to do this I'm afraid, other than to come clean at interview when they ask her whether she'd take the job if offered it. She could explain the circumstances but really it's a sticky wicket either way.
It is very bad form to accept and then withdraw and heads who are close geographically do speak.

Rosieposy4 Wed 03-Jun-15 21:32:34

Yes heads do talk, and also the heads might complain to the university if she accepts and retracts, she must not do that, it really could damage her chances of ever getting a job.

MrsUltracrepidarian Wed 03-Jun-15 21:32:41

It is completely bonkers and needs reforming!
I came to teaching late, after a long career in industry and couldn't believe how it was managed in teaching.
I think it will change, as it really is out of kilter with the rest of the economy.
At the moment, yes it is offered and you have to accept or reject on the day.
But the times, they-are-a-changing...

BrianButterfield Wed 03-Jun-15 21:35:39

I've had people flat-out refuse to believe it's the case but that's exactly how it works. They were all "but what if you..." and DH and I just said "then you won't get another job!"

No room for negotiation or game-playing.

Tommy Wed 03-Jun-15 21:37:01

I think they ask if you would accept the job if offered after you have been in the school for a day, had a look round, taught a class etc. If you don't like it, there is no point hanging around wasting people's time if you are going to refuse a job.
I think a head teacher would respect an applicant who said "I really like the school but not sure it's the place for me". Certainly better than taking the job and then leaving after half a term or soemthing

BrianButterfield Wed 03-Jun-15 21:38:53

It's really not uncommon to leave at lunchtime on interview day if you don't like the look of the place. I've known it to happen a few times.

JacobWrestling Wed 03-Jun-15 21:39:07

It's pretty late in the year for schools to be recruiting and they realistically won't have time to re-advertise if they don't appoint from this round of interviews. I suggest that your DD use this knowledge; if they really like her, they'll hold on for 24 hours. They will expect PGCE students to have applied for multiple jobs.

Equally, if your DD really likes school A then she can always accept an offer from them and withdraw from school B. See if she can arrange a visit to each in advance; this will help her to make such a decision.

MrsUltracrepidarian Wed 03-Jun-15 21:42:10

People outside teaching have no idea.
Saw a job I was interested in, but interviews were at a time I could not do.
DH (not a teacher) <helpfully> hmm said 'Tell 'em you can't do that day, can do another day that week'
Derrrrr - no! grin

profpoopsnagle Wed 03-Jun-15 21:47:24

It is different in teaching. If you say 'yes' to school A, then it is considered a verbal binding contract (both ways). If you were to get another job at school B, school A could make you work your notice, which is a term. There are only 3 resignation points in a year in (permanent) teaching, 31st October to leave 31st December, 28th Feb to leave end after Easter and 31st May to leave 31st August. It's that way so that teachers see the term out for the children.

You are generally asked if you are still a serious candidate for the job at some point in the interview which means 'if we offer you will you accept' and you have to give an answer- it does affect their decision process. Schools generally know which candidate/s they want, if candidate X wants to dither for any reason but candidate Y would also be pretty much perfect, they are not going to take any chances on another school snapping up candidate Y- recruitment is super crazy at this point in the year.

All schools are different but it does happen a lot faster than other workplaces. In 2 schools, I have had offers at the end of the interview process, an 1 other that evening and in another the offer came the next day. (I have also been unsuccessful and in each case heard after the interview or before the evening).

And yes... schools talk to each other, so really think carefully- the TES job-seeking forum has other, but similar advice.

profpoopsnagle Wed 03-Jun-15 21:51:21

But, as Brian has said, it's ok to go to the interview and then withdraw at the question of serious candidate (i.e. say no)- give the reasons they have suggested.

ItMustBeBunnies Wed 03-Jun-15 22:21:36

I had this quandary when I was applying for jobs at the end of my PGCE. I had an interview for the Friday at my dream school I was desperate to work at. On the Wednesday, I had a call to interview the next day at my second choice of school.

I went to the interview on the Thursday, and when asked if I would accept the post if offered, said that I had another interview the next day and would they grant 24hrs consideration. They said no, as it wouldn't be fair to keep the other candidates waiting that long, but were super nice about it.

Waiting for the call that afternoon, I was hoping that they wouldn't offer me the job, and luckily they didn't! They gave me really useful feedback and tips for the next day.

At the Friday interview they asked the question about accepting the post if it was offered, I said yes and they offered it to me on the spot.

So, yes, teacher interviews/appointments are a whirlwind! Good luck to your daughter.

slkk Wed 03-Jun-15 22:23:06

Usually at interviews ask would you take th job if offered. I once told them I had another interview the next day and that I wasn't sure. They offered me the job that evening but gave me a day to make up my mind.

peacoat Wed 03-Jun-15 22:28:33

I have once asked for several hours to decide, and another had an interview the next day which I wanted to wait for. In both cases this was fine (I was offered the job both occasions).

It is absolutely bonkers in teaching though.

BellaBearisWideAwake Tue 09-Jun-15 18:01:16

I asked for ten minutes (so I could call dh and discuss as they offered me .6 instead of the .8 I had applied for) which they granted and I called back and accepted. Anyway, over 6 years later, my HoD STILL refers to that ten minutes.

MrsUltracrepidarian Tue 09-Jun-15 19:35:25

my HoD STILL refers to that ten minutes grin
well lucky for them they got their first choice candidate and she is still there after 10 years... if they hadn't they might have had three underperforming ones during that period instead grin

MrsUltracrepidarian Tue 09-Jun-15 19:35:51

6 years blush

BellaBearisWideAwake Tue 16-Jun-15 18:01:23


Biscuitsneeded Thu 18-Jun-15 14:50:44

I went for a full-time job, didn't get it as they gave to the internal candidate, but as I was packing up to leave they stuck their heads round the door and asked if I'd consider doing 2 days a week. I had to decide then and there! Didn't even have the presence of mind to ask for 10 mins to discuss with partner!! I accepted...

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