I’ve been receiving a huge amount of messages about the job application and interview process so I’ve put this blogpost together to give a brief overview of the process.


A vacancy arises in a school either because someone leaves or takes a career break, a new job is granted, someone is on maternity or sick leave etc. (All positions over 24 weeks must be advertised)


The school (board of management/principal) advertise the position – generally on Education Posts and specifies the different documents they require from candidates.

The advertisement must include;

  • name, address, roll number and patronage of the school
  • number of. teaching posts
  • nature of vacancy
  • status of vacancy
  • expected date of commencement
  • address where applications are to be sent (postal or email)
  • date and time for receipt of completed applications (cannot be earlier than 14 days after the first date of publication of the advertisement)
  • documents to include (e.g. cv/standard application form)
  • nature of duties (e.g. mainstream or support role * which may be subject to change)
  • documentary evidence required (teaching council, Garda vetting etc.)
  • other required documentation (certification to teach R.E.)

Selection Board

Teaching posts;

  • Chairperson of the BOM
  • Principal
  • Assessor (appointed by the Patron – independent of the Board – in general this is a principal from another school)

At least 1 member of the board must be a woman and at least one a man.

The selection board chooses criteria for the post

  • professional qualifications
  • registration with the Teaching Council
  • teaching experience
  • other relevant experience (working with children with additional needs/ multi class teaching etc.)

Schools can also have additional criteria such as extra curricular activities or areas of special interest that the school is passionate about. (I have heard of principals choosing criteria such as experience teaching in a different country so the criteria can be very specific to the particular school you are applying to.)

Once the application deadline passes the selection board goes through the applications and picks a number of candidates to interview.

Notification of interview

Calls for interview must be made within 3 weeks of the latest date for receipt of applications.

Applicants should be given

  • 7 days notice of interview (time should be outside school hours)
  • details of the established criteria for the post


Candidates should not meet one another prior to or after an interview (where possible).

All questions asked should relate to the requirements of the post and the Rules for National Schools (and be based on the criteria given).

Each member of the interview board will have their own individual marking sheet which will be given to the Chairperson on completion of interviews. (Copies of these marking sheets are available to candidates on request.)

Job Offer

The individual marks for each candidate are finalised and the Chairperson notifies the Board of Management with the final marks and ranking of the candidates. The Chairperson nominates the candidate whom it considers suitable for appointment. (candidate with highest marks)

References are checked by the Board – either verbal or written for the candidate who received the highest marks.

A copy of the agreed ranking list is kept by the Board of Management in the event that the successful candidate declines the position. (It then goes to the candidate in the second position and so on)

The successful candidate is offered the position. If the candidate accepts the position then they are appointed to the role (subject to confirmation of qualifications, registration with teaching council, Garda vetting requirements and medical screening).

Once the Board of Management has received written notification that the teacher has accepted the post – all unsuccessful interviewees should be notified. (This does not always happen)

The successful candidate and the Chairperson then fill in the appointment form and send it to Primary Payroll.

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.