Friday, May 23, 2008

Deputy Head interview questions

These are a bunch of questions I've been asked at interviews for Deputy Head jobs at village primary schools.
I'm publishing these from my black book of inset and professional development notes as a sort of public service. I hope that anyone else in my position will get some use out of them.
As for the normal readers, normal service will be resumed shortly.

"How has your teaching been affected by the renewed frameworks for Literacy and numeracy?"

"Describe a situation when you have raised standards, How did you do this?"

"Describe a situation where you have introduced and led an initiative to staff. How did you do this?"

"Tell us about your strengths."

"Tell us about your weaknesses."

"Describe a whole school situation you have helped to lead."

"What do you do when a teacher disagrees with your leadership?"

"Why did you apply for this post?"

"You spent five years in New York (this could easily translate to any large chunk of time in your CV), What did you learn from that time?"

"Why do you want to be a Deputy Head?"

"What will you bring to this post?"

"Tell us about an achievement that you are most proud of."

"How do you feel about parents?"

"Why do we assess children's learning?"

"What are your views regarding the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)?

"Which part of the 'Every Child Matters' agenda do you think is most important?"

"Can you explain how you have used ICT in lessons?"

"What are the strengths of the topic approach?"

"How would you assess learning in a topic based environment?"

"What do you do if a parent starts shouting at you?"

"What do you do if you profoundly disagree with the Head?"

"How do you use assessment?"

"In your opinion, what is the point of the KS2 SATs in their present form?"

"Give an example of how you have made a difference to a child with special educational needs and how did this impact on the human rights of the other children in the class?"

"How would you support well being for support staff?"

"What do you see as the role of the Deputy Head in a small school?"

"How would you facilitate communications between the Head and staff?"

I spent some time online seeking out such questions and trying to formulate some answers. I found very little that was useful.

If you get an interview for a DH position be prepared to do a lot of homework and preperation, a great presentation, dress right up, play it like it's your own FA Cup Final and hit on the Governors, they will play a large role in your fate. 

I hope this will help somebody. The questions in italics were the ones that I have actually been asked, the rest are ones that I created based on advice and experience.

I've left out my responses because, well, I wasn't that successful, and I don't have all night!


msdee said...

Those are tough questions. Totally answerable if you are given a weeks head start on your replies.
What sucks is , I bet that on your way home you suddenly knew the right words to say and did the whole I shoulda said this or that and wanted to kick yourself.
If you approach and interview like an audition or a reading you would rock it, playthe part and take on the role and you'll get the gig. You gotta believe you already hold the position you are seeking and go with it

I know because....Actually I don't but I'm trying to help.LOL

Mondale said...

Hey Darlin Lady!
They are tough questions and they should be because its a damn tough job and the interview should be tough and wierd!
I love the idea of the candidates meeting and discussing a topic and being observed by the panel.

john said...

That is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you :-) I am preparing for DH position at the moment. One position that I recently went for asked us to do a 10 min presentation on what the school stake holders would say following your first year in post.

Mondale said...

Thanks John, Glad I could be useful. Thanks also for your presentation topic, hopefully somebody googling this can find it helpful.

hel said...

hi....thanks u sooo much for these possible questions!!! brilliant!!! will def help me prep for possible interiews...thanks :)i

Anonymous said...

hi thanks for them.. I think... i feel sick now with nerves!!!! tricky questions

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what i am looking for with an up
coming DH interview thanks so much

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the time you have taken to write down these questions! I have an interview for DH on Tues and Wed and have been revising these for the past few days...

Shalini said...

Thanks for this. I'm at the other end from most responses - preparing to interview a Deputy Head for my school and thinking through the kind of questions which would be both open-ended enough to get someone to hold forth and specific enough to ensure that the responses are not feel-good waffle. Your list was most helpful.

Shalini said...

Thanks for this. I'm at the other end from most responses - preparing to interview a Deputy Head for my school and thinking through the kind of questions which would be both open-ended enough to get someone to hold forth and specific enough to ensure that the responses are not feel-good waffle. Your list was most helpful.

rene said...


I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

Pls try to keep posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Teacher interview questions

Best regards

emmylou said...

I have a deputy headship interview on Monday, and have been practising questions and answers, and reading up on particular areas. I shall be revising answers to these tomorrow - I think they're good, solid questions, and I hope I can give succinct, unwaffable (I doubt that's a word, but it's what I mean) to them. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great resource, having just received the call to say no appointment has been made from the two of us that made it through to the second day and having undergone the gruelling process... I now come across this. " Why did I not search in this way before?" , I ask myself but that's fine, your post will be really helpful for the next time and here are some examples of additional or slightly different questions, hope you don't mind.

What does it mean to you to be the deputy head?
How will you address issues with attendance, punctuality and behaviour?
How would you deal with an allegation from a student towards a member of staff?
What whole strategy/ strategies have you led and what has been the impact of them/it?
What skills, aptitudes and experiences will you bring?
How will you manage the changes across the school?
What will you need to consider regarding financial management of the school for the future?
Who will you need to liaise with as key players for this?
What would you do in response to the low attendance to the recent yr 7 parents evening?

Mondale said...

Sorry to hear about the non appointment. I really don't mind being beaten to the post by a better candidate but there is something galling about nobody getting the job!
Big thanks for adding some questions.

Good luck in the future.

Anonymous said...

Tks very much for your post.

Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

Source: Top 10 interview questions and answers

Best rgs