PT: Overlapping interview rounds

Jan 23, 2018

This article describes the effect of running synchronous or overlapping interview rounds.

Why would you schedule overlapping interview rounds?

There are potentially a number of reasons to do this, however for most schools there will normally only be one interview round happening at a time.  So let’s start by considering some reasons why you might want to run overlapping interview rounds:

  1. Some interviews are longer than others.  For example your Yr11 and Yr12 parents are allowed 15 minute interviews while Yr7-Yr10 are only allocated 5 minute interviews.
  2. Subject selection interviews are running on the same evening as your regular parent/teacher interviews.

Are there any special requirements?

There are none.  SOBS now supports (as of July 2013) multiple synchronous interview rounds and will ensure parents and staff will not generate any overlapping bookings.  Bookings from other interview rounds will automatically disable any overlapping time slots in the current interview round.  Create your interview rounds as normal and SOBS will take care of the available interview times for you.

You can still use the Consecutive and Synchronous booking options, however these will only apply to the interview round in which they are selected.

How it might work

As an example, let’s consider a school that wants to run regular parent/teacher interview rounds, and while the parents are at school they also want to take the opportunity for Yr10 parents engage in the subject selection interview.

The school sets up the regular parent/teacher interview round as normal, for years 7-12, and the staff can mark their unavailability as normal.

The school then sets up the subject selection interviews using ‘Parents meet pre-selected staff’ and checks the Yr10 option only.  They select 8 staff members for these interviews – they also make use of the option where parents will select the staff member for this interview.  Note, a number of these staff are also valid for regular parent/teacher interviews.

When the parent accesses SOBS they will see both interview rounds listed for their Yr10 child, and just the regular parent/teacher interviews for their Yr8 child.  They might begin with the Yr10 subject selection interview as this is most important to them and probably will have the higher demand.  The select a time from 7:00-7:30pm for this interview.  They then go to the regular parent/teacher interviews for their Yr10 child and the time slots from 7:00-7:30pm will be marked as already booked.  They can then make bookings around this time.  If they want to see the same teacher who is conducting the subject selection interviews they will need to select a time slot that is not already booked in either interview round for the teacher.

If the school wants to ensure that teacher is primarily available for the subject selection interviews they could uncheck the year levels for that teacher so that they now only appear available for the subject selection interview round.  At the same time a message should be added to the regular parent/teacher interview round in the ‘Teacher availability message’ indicating the staff member will not be available for regular interviews as they will be conducting subject selection interviews along with any alternative instructions for the parent.