Headteachers who fret over the time pressures of interviewing new staff, take note

Headteachers who fret over the time pressures of interviewing new staff, take note.

Dr Anthony Seldon (right) is a very busy man, with little time left between his duties as master of Wellington college and biographer of Tony Blair. As a result, he has learnt how to streamline.

Full days given over to selecting staff are not for him. In fact, so acute are his powers of observation that the merest glimpse is all he needs to find the right man or woman for the job.

When writers of the latest edition of The Good Schools Guide went to visit him, Dr Seldon's diary demanded that he also interview for a new head of dance. What to do?

"Five minutes is sufficient, I can tell just by looking at them; I'll see them all together," he is reported to have said. That left him time to have lunch at home with a group of Year 13 girls and Toby, his T-shirt-wearing dog.

But what gives the guru of "happiness lessons" his special insights? Years spent running top private schools probably helps. But the guide also points to his new healthy lifestyle: "He has given up coffee, tea, meat and booze - all of which gives him 'more energy... to become a better person'", it says.

Whether the tireless organiser of conferences will be using some of that energy for a session on interview techniques remains to be seen.

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