The Alice Smith School

The Alice Smith School was established in 1946 by Mrs Alice Fairfield-Smith to provide expatriate children with a high quality education in Kuala Lumpur, and is the oldest British school in Malaysia and one of the oldest in South East Asia.

The Alice Smith School offers an enriched English National Curriculum through to (I)GCSE and A Levels including the AQA Baccalaureate and employs 154 teaching staff, with a teacher to student ratio of 1:10.


Before implementing Sonru, the team used Skype to interview over 100 candidates for academic roles each year. With candidates based all over the world, interviewing across time zones was a challenge, and arranging panel interviews to include all stakeholders was not possible.  The hiring managers were therefore reliant on notes taken by the interviewer, giving a very limited impression of the candidates. In addition, the team found that Skype was wasting time and money.

All academic positions are advertised on TES. Shortlisted candidates are then reference checked before being invited to interview. Once Sonru was implemented, candidates were made aware of the process in the job ad.  The Principal, Vice Principal and relevant Head of Department are involved in reviewing the Sonru video interviews, and only those that all stakeholders agree are suitable are invited to a face-to-face interview.

Key Findings

  • Better quality candidates
  • Collaborative decision-making
  • Tailored face-to-face interviews

Some of the Highlights

Stakeholders love the new process. Sonru enables them to decide which candidates they want to invest time in meeting face-to-face, and based on what they have already seen, allows them to decide on specific questions to ask the candidates.

After completing the video interview, feedback from candidates to the school was that it was a good experience. The candidates also mentioned the flexibility of being able to complete the video in their own time, with no need to take time off work to accommodate time zone differences. The following is derived from the responses of those candidates who volunteered to complete a survey made available to all candidates interviewing for The Alice Smith School:

“This was my first video interview experience and, though challenging, is a great learning experience.”

“It is very efficient and to the point. I like that the times are limited so that answers are focussed towards the point.“

“Fantastic initiative and makes the scheduling of interview very appealing to both employer and employee.”

“Very positive, from the personalisation at the start to the ease of use. The experience made me feel valued as a user.”

– The Alice Smith School Candidates


The team found using Sonru very convenient as they could invite candidates whenever it suited and could re-watch the videos as needed.  Sonru enabled the team to engage more stakeholders in the decision-making which has resulted in a higher quality of candidate chosen for a face-to-face interview.
They love it. Now the team get to comment on the candidate videos and are able to have specific questions to ask the candidates.”

Jaime Thistelton, Vice Principal – Our Staff, Primary Campus