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Interview (HOD) question help

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by webb-jack, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. webb-jack

    webb-jack New commenter

    Hi guys,

    I faced this questions and I was unsure what they were expecting to hear. Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated as I am struggling with interviews.

    How did you do the data task? What did you learn about the trends of the school?

    How do you deal with a child who refuses to work in RE as he doesn’t see the point in studying it?

    How would you deal with a college who was not meeting your expectations?

    Give us one example of how you dealt with a dispute in your department?

    You and a college both applied for the Head role. You could it. How do you manage the other college who may be slightly disgruntled?

    What would be your priorities in as a head of RE when you start?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Most of these questions are about your own style of leadership and management. So it's very hard to help as we don't know you (and we don't know the data task, nor the dispute you dealt with). Indeed this is where they are trying to find out about you as a person.
    Q2 refers to your reasons for teaching RE, and this again is to a great extent individual. I might start by saying something about that as a foundation, and then addressing the issue of sulky Sally from Year 10.
    (By the way I hope that you proof-read your application - college/colleague!)
  3. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    Q2 is, in my opinion, seeing how passionate you are about your subject and how you can make it relevant and motivate unmotivated students. This is likely to be a real life issue for any compulsory subject, and I expect you sometimes face it now. What do you do as a big picture response and with individuals who are less keen on your subject?

    Q3,4&5 are about managing staff. Q5 may be a real scenario that you would be managing. This did happen to me, though the internal candidate was not that upset. I did involve him a lot in dept changes I was making, and gave him areas of responsibility. As for disputes and colleagues not meeting expectations, a lot depends on your style. But I think you'd usually go in with gentle reminders at the start, perhaps to the whole dept. Then a further discussion, trying to motivate staff, work out issues, etc. Involve your line manager as appropriate. The fact that these questions are being raised suggests the dept has some issues with staff! So you may have dodged a bullet if you didn't get it. Staff in constant disputes with each other is a massive waste of time and rarely easy to resolve!
    webb-jack likes this.
  4. muso2

    muso2 Occasional commenter Community helper

    To prepare for the last question, I'd be looking at what's currently happening in the curriculum, and how your subject ties in to the whole school improvement plan. What are the school's priorities? If you know there have been lots of different hods over the past few years, and there's a new GCSE spec, you may need to start by overhauling everything. If it's all running pretty smoothly, it may be more appropriate to spend the first term evaluating what's currently happening and getting to know the dept team before making major changes.

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