Applications and Interviews – Your Questions Answered

I’ve received lots of questions about applications and interviews in the past few days. If you have any further questions – please message or email me and I’ll add them to this list.

What jobs can I apply for?

All substitute, temporary and permanent positions (not including positions that are required for the supplementary or main panels) that are advertised on Education Posts or Staff Room.

Is there any chance of getting a permanent position?

Yes – once the main and supplementary panel clear all remaining permanent positions will be advertised and all teachers can apply for these positions. (Unfortunately, there is usually only a small number of permanent positions left once the main and supplementary panel clears in most areas.)

How long should my letter of application be?

1 page approximately. Some tips on letter of applications here.

How long should my CV be?

2 pages is long enough for a CV.

For email applications, what is the latest I should send my application (on the deadline day)?

Usually it states the deadline time on the advertisement but I would think that 5pm would be the latest you should send your email application on the day. (Some schools might have a cut off point of 12pm.)

The school only asks for a CV. Should I send the standard application form too?

No – you only need to send what the school has asked for.

Why do schools ask for passport photos?

The only reason I can think of is that this is a way for the secretary/principal to easily identify candidates that have worked/subbed in the school in the past. It can sometimes be easier to remember a face than a name.

Will I hear back from every school I apply to?

No. Unfortunately you won’t hear back from a lot of the schools you apply to. Usually only candidates that are selected for interview will hear back from the school. Sometimes you may receive an email or letter which states that the positions have now been filled but you have been placed on a panel should any other positions become available in the next few months.

When are interviews usually held?

Interviews can be held at any time once the main panel clears (some temporary positions may be required for the main panel.) They are usually held in late June and the beginning of July and again in late August. (However, it is up to each principal to decide when to hold interviews.)

Who is on the interview panel?

Usually the principal, chairperson of the board of management and an external interviewer – usually a principal from another school.

When will I find out if I have been shortlisted for interview?

In general within a few days of the deadline. The interviews are then held a week later. However a few years ago, I applied for a position in May and wasn’t called for interview. In late August (about a week before school started), I received a phone call inviting me to attend for interview.

How soon after an interview should you hear if you have been successful?

If you have been successful, you usually hear within 24- 48 hours of the interview. (However, it is usually after a BOM meeting so it could be up to a week later.) If you are unsuccessful, you should receive a letter/email within a week or two. Just to note however, I have attended interviews in the past and never heard back from the school.

Should I attend a course/seminar on interview skills and application writing?

Often these courses/seminars are expensive and don’t offer anything extraordinary. The best person to talk to about your application is a principal. It is also a good idea to ask a friend to proofread your application.

I’ve applied for lots of jobs but I haven’t heard back from any of them. I’m feeling very disheartened – what can I do?

Unfortunately this is something that many teachers feel when they first start looking for jobs. It is still the case that there are more teachers than jobs. However, you should keep applying and hopefully you’ll find something soon!

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