Three horror stories about teaching interviews

Stories I have heard about how mean school HR staff and headteachers go about recruiting. I have no way of knowing whether or not they are true.

1)

The school had a preferred style for referring to its charges. They were students, not pupils or children. They were referred to consistently on the school’s website as students. Applicants who used the wrong word in their application letter were summarily rejected, regardless of their other suitability.

2)

The school preferred neat, organised candidates. Whilst the applicants were busy with interview day procedures, the school sent someone out to look at their cars in the car park. If they were untidy or messy or showed other signs of a less than organised personality, including not being regularly washed, then it was a black mark for that candidate.

3)

Horror of horrors – the school made all sorts of IT available to the candidates for their interview lesson… but planned to hit the trip switch half way through the lesson. How well could the candidate continue teaching when they didn’t have their planned electronic resources available to them?

(This last one happened, not during an interview, but during an Ofsted observed lesson, to a colleague at school. The homework sheet became the rest of the lesson.)

I don’t think most schools would do anything like the three above horrors, and I have not been subject to anything like it on interview myself. Most of my interview days have actually been quite nice affairs, with headteachers keen to show their schools in the best possible light and all the candidates being super collegiate in the inevitable long pauses as we wait for the next activity.

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