Why don't schools write back when you apply, nor ring after an interview?

2013-10-28 00:00

Why don’t schools ever write back to you?  I must have sent in 100 applications, and the letters have all vanished into a black hole.  And they don’t ring after interviews sometimes, my friends tell me.  I don’t know myself, because I haven’t had any interviews yet.  



There used to be a time – when I was a bright-faced young teacher – when schools used to be writing to you all the time.


You applied for a job (by snail mail; there was no other way), and they wrote back to acknowledge receipt.  They then wrote to tell you that your application was – or was not -  being taken forward to interview.  They didn’t write to tell you the result of the interview, because there was a different system then.


The candidates all stayed after the interviews, until someone came into the room and said: “Miss Smith, the panel would like to speak to you”.  Miss Smith then left, and the remainder waited until the door opened again with either the announcement: “Miss Smith has accepted the post”, or “Mr Brown, the panel would like to speak to you”.  That meant that Miss Smith had turned it down.  A horrid experience, sitting waiting in the company of the other candidates.


But nowadays, I doubt if any school ever acknowledges receipt of your application.  Most do not even tell you if you haven’t been shortlisted; they often include in the advert “If you have not heard from us by the date of the interview, you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful”. 


I know that you feel that this is rude and I tend to agree. 


But on the other hand, a school receiving 100 or even more applications just cannot afford the time for the secretary to look up all the e-mail addresses and inform the unsuccessful candidates, so I also tend to agree with them that it is not practical.


How about not ringing after an interview?


Not to let you know the result when you have been interviewed is a terrible sin, in my eyes.  Extremely discourteous.  


If they interview you and say that they will ring that evening, then they jolly well should.  They may have to ring to say that there is no decision yet, so they will ring tomorrow.  But ring you that evening they jolly well should!


 Sometimes they haven’t yet decided, for one reason or another.  They are unsure, two equal candidates.  Perhaps even there has been an emergency – the Head’s husband is in an accident, they cannot even begin discussing the decision – these things can happen.  


Sometimes they cannot actually tell you if you have the job or not, because the first choice candidate is inconveniently unavailable, or has asked for 24 hours to think about it. They won’t want to tell you that you were unsuccessful  in case they have to turn to you as Plan B.  They will say, therefore, that the panel hasn’t yet finished its deliberations, because they would rather that you didn’t know that you were second choice, when they finally get round to offering you. 


But ring you they jolly well should, and it’s the height of discourtesy not to, when you are sitting there chewing your nails.


But to get back to the first question about not getting a letter back from a school after applying.  If you are not getting any interviews from a hundred applications, then you need some help.  So come and ask me any questions on the Jobseekers forum, where I can point to a whole load more advice articles that could help you get an interview, and a job!  My advice has worked for loads of other posters, it could for you too.


Best wishes 


Meet Theo on line on the Jobseekers,  Careers Clinic and Independent Forums, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.