1. Overview

1. Overview

  • Introduction Welcome. This presentation has been designed to inform principals as to the strategic importance of appointments. It also outlines the steps and procedures required in appointing teaching staff. It is divided into 5 tabs, Overview, Pre-interview, Interview, Post interview and a Resource section. We hope you find this presentation useful and engaging.


    Introduction-Click on picture above
    Teacher Appointment Overview

    1. Appointments are the legal responsibility of the Board of Management

    2. Contact the Patron's office before advertising any post

    3. Strategic role of the principal as leader of learning

    4. Integrity is important during the interview process.

    5. Presentation layout.

    Teacher Appointment Overview
    Overview-Click on picture above
    There is more to advertising a new position than you may think. There are a number of tasks that should be carried out before the interviews take place and even before the position is advertised, in particular it is important to keep the DES, BOM and Patron's office informed and published guidelines from DES should be followed. The following tasks should be carried out in the Pre-Interview stages:
    Check DES sanction for post   Ensure that the post is warranted by checking with the relevant section of the Department of Education.  Telephone List for Primary Payroll (These numbers are listed for each county with appropriate contact person) 

2. Pre-Interview

2. Pre-Interview
  • There is more to advertising a new position than you may think. There are a number of tasks that should be carried out before the interviews take place and even before the position is advertised, in particular it is important to keep the DES, BOM and Patron's office informed and published guidelines from DES should be followed.

    The following tasks should be carried out in the Pre-Interview stages:

    1. Check DES sanction for post

    Ensure that the post is warranted by checking with the relevant section of the Department of Education.

     Telephone numbers Primary (These numbers are listed for each county with appropriate contact person)
    2. Inform Chair/BOM of vacancy The chairperson, Board of Management and staff to be informed that a vacancy has become available. Consultation with the board of management to recommend possible desirable criteria for the vacant position.  
    3. Consult the Patron's Office Due to some minor variations in practice at local levels it is essential that the patron's office is contacted prior to commencing the appointment procedure. Checklists for patrons vary. The checklist included here is particular to CPMSA and is provided as a guideline. Resource: CPSMA Checklist CPSMA Checklist
    4. Advertise the Position

    Please refer to Circular 0062/2008 for advertisment guidelines.

    Advertise the position in a National Newspaper or on the web. Examples of websites you can advertise on are:,, and The position should be advertised for a minimum of two weeks.

    Sample Advertisement

    5. Selection Board This page contains a number of notes on the creation of the selection board and how it should be involved in the interview process.  
      Overview Meeting for Selection
    The Selection Board consists of the principal, chairperson and an independent assessor. The Chairperson of the BOM has overall responsibility for the appointment process. Resource: Role of the Chairperson Interview Strategies Role of the Chairperson

    Interview Strategies
    The independent assessor is sourced by the chairperson from your patron body. Ensure there is gender balance on the selection board.  
    Shortlisting Criteria: The selection board shall meet as soon as is practical to establish the shortlisting criteria. This is done before the applications are opened. All completed, date-stamped applications are assessed in accordance with the pre-established shortlisting criteria. You will find some sample shortlisting criteria here. Resource: Shortlisting Criteria Form & Shortlisting Matrix

    Shortlisting Criteria Form

    Shortlisting Matrix

    Interview Criteria: The selection board identifies the competencies required for the position and agree on the specific interview criteria. The specific interview criteria should link with the position. Decide on weighting to apply to the criteria. Resource: Sample Marking Sheet Sample Marking Sheet
    Interview Questions: The selection board agree on the questions for interview and the interview format. The questions asked must relate to the interview criteria. Resource: Sample Questions Types of Questions

    Sample Questions 

    Types of Questions 

    Marking System: The selection board should agree on how marks will be allocated under each criteria. Click here for interview criteria here.  
    Logistics: Establish date, venue and times for the interviews.  
    Payment: Only independent assessors may receive a fee from BOM (to be paid from Capitation Grant, record as interview/recruitment expenses)  
    Minutes should be retained of the meeting.  
    6. Applicants Called for Interview
    • At least three eligible shortlisted candidates should be called for interview. If there are three or less eligible candidates then all are called for interview. There should be no family relationship between any selection board member and a prospective candidate.
    • Applicants called for interview shall be given at least seven days notice in writing.
    • Interviews should be done outside school hours. When allocating times for each candidate, remember to allow time for personal reflection, discussion and evaluation between interviews.
    • Included in the call for interview is the letter of invitation, criteria for the interview, directions to the interview location and the relevant patron requirements, such as ethos. Resource: Criteria of Interview

3. Interview

3. Interview
  • Preparation

    Setup the interview venue. 

    On the interview day, each selection board member should have:

    • Teacher Advertisment (see link on right), criteria for the post, applicants’ letter of application, CVs, inspectors reports, references
    • Agreed questions
    • Marking sheets
    • Timetable.
    Video Tutorials    

    The Interview- This video clip contains an outline interview with commentary. (Click on picture for video)


    The Interview
    Leading Question - This question prompts the interviewee in a particular direction.The answer may not be a fair reflection of what they really think.(Click on picture for video)
    Leading Question
    Unfair Question - An example of questions that should not be asked at interview under any circumstances.(Click on picture for video)
    Unfair Question
    Clarify Question - A useful question to gain better understanding. It can be asked as a follow up question by any member of the interview board.(Click on picture for video)
    Clarify Question
    Excessive Interrupting - An example of poor interview technique which should be avoided.(Click on picture for video)
    Excessive Interrupting
     A list of the different types of questions mentioned above. eg. Leading, unfair etc. Types of Interview Questions
     A list of questions that may be suitable to use at interview. Examples of Interview Questions
    Recording and Collating
    • Following reflection and discussion each of the selection board members marks and totals his/her own marking sheet in accordance with the agreed marking scheme. Interview marking sheet (see link on right)
    • At the end of the interview process, the chairperson collates the marks of the assessors for each candidate leading to a rank order of suitable candidates. (Interview order sheet) If stated in the advertisment, then future appointments within a four month period can be made from this rank order.
    • The selection board should make a written report to the Board of Management recommending the appointment of the successful candidate. The names of the candidates in rank order (if applicable) should also be presented to the board for sanction.
    • Chairperson retains all documents, notes, marking sheets for a 12 month period. Resource: Report to the BOM

    Interview marking sheet

    Report to the BOM

4. Post-Interview

4. Post-Interview
  • 1. Board of Management
    1. The chairperson convenes a meeting of the Board of Management. The Board of Management accept the selection board’s recommendation unless something serious is known about the candidate by a Board member.
    2. The Board of Management seek approval from the Patron.
    3. It is only when written approval is got from the Patron that the position can be offered to the successful candidate.
    4. Upon written acceptance from the  successful candidate, all unsuccessful candidates including those not shortlisted can be contacted and thanked for their interest in the position.
    2. Department of Education
    1. Successful candidate and the chairperson must complete the Notification of Primary Teacher Appointment Form. This form includes the requirements for occupational health screening and Garda vetting. It is applicable to both Permanent and fixed term (temporary) appointments.
    2. The contract (Green form) is sent from the Department to be signed by the candidate for a permanent position and the chairperson. Individual patron bodies will have sample contracts for fixed term employees. CONTRACT FIXED TERM SAMPLE

    Notification of Primary
    Teacher Appointment Form

    Fixed Term Contract Sample


    Advice on  post-interview "challenging"situations.

    Experienced principals - Susan Frawley, Betty O'Riordan and Ray McInerney talk about how they handle difficult post-interview situations.
    Advice from three school principals
    Click above for video.



    Useful Links
       The materials below may assist the BOM , Interview Board and the principal in going about the interview and selection process. LDS thanks all those who contributed to these resources.
    Appointment Form for DES (PTAF1)    DES form to be filled for all newly appointed teachers.

    Assessors Questions & marking sheets

       Suitable questions and a possible marking scheme. Very useful document.
    Circular 10/2004 Pension Arrangements    This circular outline new pension arrangements for those commencing serevice after 2004 and related matters.
    Circular 65/2008 Occupational Health Service
        The Minister for Education and Science wishes to inform management authorities of the commencement with immediate effect of an Occupational Health Service for teachers to be provided by Medmark Occupational Healthcare.
    Circular 02-2009    This circular outlines staffing arrangements and schedules for 2009-10.
    Circular 140/2006 Probationary Teachers
      The purpose of this circular is to set down probationary requirements for primary teachers, whether qualified in the State or in other jurisdictions
    Checklist for Appointment of Teachers    This checklist outlines the main requirments and procedures to be followed during the interview & selection process.
    Contract for Temporary Teachers    Sample contract that can be used for Temporary Teachers (old)
    CPSMA Handbook    A downloadable version of the CPSMA handbook.
    Interviews Advice    A short document giving general advice as to how boards should approach the interview process.
    Sample Interview Questions    Sample questions from a typical school.
    Interview Strategies    A short document outlining a number of strategies that could be useful.
    Interview Summary 2008    A sample sheet for accessing candidates at interview.
    Organisations and Acronyms    A comprehensive list og organisations and acronyms in Irish Education.
    Sample Fix Term Contract    A sample contract that can be used for Temporary teachers. (old)
    Sources of Information    A list of organisations and service providers within the broad education sector who may be of assistance to boards and principals. Contact details included.
    Report Template for BOM     A sample of a suitable report from interview board to BOM.
    Sample Teacher Advertisment    Sample wording of a typical newspaper advertisment for a teacher.
    Short-Listing Criteria Form    A sample form which can be used to shortlist candidates following decisions on suitable criteria.                            
    SHORTLISTING CRITERIA 2   This is a blank sample which may assist boards in compiling a list of shortlisted candidates.
    Types of Questions   This is a very useful document which outlines the different types of questions that a Board might use in an interview.
    Reference Check    Some suitable questions that may be used to check references.
    Role of the Chairman    A brief description of the role of the Chairman of the BOM in the interview process.