A job is advertised in a school that you are interesting in applying for and you ask around and find out that there are already candidates who have been working in the school for the last few years and will be competing for the job too – what do you do? APPLY ANYWAY!

The System

The system is annoying – from everyones point of view – personally I don’t think the principal should have to reinterview teachers for the same position each year (unless in the case where there are more teachers than jobs or certain jobs are for longer periods of time etc.) Principals are busy enough with the end of year paperwork, organisation etc. without having to hold interviews for teachers that have been working in the school successfully on temporary contracts.

From the teachers who are currently working in the school its tricky as this time of year is stressful – reinterviewing in a school where you have taught previously and ‘selling’ yourself to the principal and other board of management members is a bit cringey and awkward!

From the teachers who are applying, spending money on paper and envelopes, tailoring applications for each school and then hearing nothing or attending an interview where often it is extremely clear that the job is gone already.

The system is annoying for everyone involved, unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that but from my own experience and stories from colleagues and friends – insider jobs are not always guaranteed.

Personally, I applied for a job in a school where I knew the job was already gone. (I knew a number of teachers working in the school as I had gone to school there myself and done TP there but it was a school I really wanted to work in..) So, I applied for the job anyway, did a good interview, got a rejection email 2 days later and was devastated (even though I knew there was at least 3 teachers already working in the school.) I emailed back, thanked the principal for letting me know and a day later got a call for subbing for the first two weeks of the school year – this then ended up becoming a temporary contract for the year.

While teaching in Brighton, we were planning our move home so I started applying for jobs in Dublin schools. I applied for every job that required an email application from May onwards and I had no knowledge of any schools in Dublin. I had applied for a job in a number of schools and never heard anything, in late August I got a call for subbing for 6-8 weeks which I was delighted about and three days before the beginning of the school year I got a call to attend for interview for a job I had applied for in May – I’m still teaching there 4 years later. (I now know that the original jobs did go to ‘insiders’)

  • Moving away – some ‘insiders’ may have decided to move to a different area/ go home.
  • Supplementary Panel rights – they may be offered a permanent position elsewhere.
  • Year Out – they may decide to go travelling.
  • Didn’t work out – sometimes a teacher is not the perfect fit and a principal may decide not to rehire them.

So I think its important to note that jobs that may seem like ‘insider’ jobs aren’t always as they seem so if you are interested in the school – apply!


For further support, check out my job application and interview course. This course covers every aspect of applying for jobs and interviews including;

  • Building your confidence
  • Teaching applications overview
  • Researching the school
  • Looking at our schools
  • Buzz Words
  • The Standard Application Form (SAF)
  • Letter of application
  • CV
  • Other documents
  • Interview process
  • Tips for the interview
  • How to prepare for an interview
  • Interview questions
  • Re-interviewing
  • Covid 19
  • Believing in yourself

You’ll receive support through a private Facebook group and discussion forums throughout the module if you have any additional questions. Check it out here.