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Leadership Interview Questions

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by tyla, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. tyla

    tyla New commenter

    Hi All,

    I am currently seeking to make a jump from SLT post in the UK to an equivalent one abroad. I appreciate it is not easily done but can be done. I am in the process of sending of applications but I like to plan ahead. What kind of questions can I expect at an interview? I can imagine it's different process to the one in the UK. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
  2. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    My advice would be to apply for regular teacher jobs. At a good place you will get a similar salary to UK SLT anyway and a lot better lifestyle.

    1, A good school will want international experience
    2. A school which employs SLT direct from the UK will also be importing lots of the admin/initiative **** direct from the UK

    Generalisations, I know, but those are my observations.
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    It depends to some extent on your aspirations. For some, career progression is as important, or more so, than lifestyle. Taking a drop from SLT to regular teacher can raise questions to anyone reading your application.

    When first applying for overseas posts. I was offered an obscene amount of moolah to reprise a HoD role I had left four years previously, having already done it for seven years. Peter Gumboil, then the doyen of Latin America recruiters (who had no axe to grind) confirmed that what was on offer would have funded an extravagant lifestyle in B.A. with stacks of spons left over. I turned it down in favour of less loot and a job I really wanted. The first school was second tier. The one that appointed me was HMC Overseas Division (and frankly not very good, though the kids were fabulous).

    The OP may actually be thirsting to share all the admin/initiative 'b0l0x' he has acquired in the UK, though i'd counsel a certain degree of caution. I found it best to select the bits I thought would work in my context.

    Any school recruiting from UK will want to be thoroughly convinced that you and your family can survive and thrive in a very different milieu.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  4. tyla

    tyla New commenter

    Thank you both. I grew up as an expat child and went to an international school myself so I don't think I'll have much difficulty proving that I can hack it in a foreign country.

    I am considering a regular teaching job too but I have spent the last decade teacher training and absolutely love my side of teaching and leaning job so would hate to miss out on it. I appreciate that I might need to work for second tier school.

    Thanks for that. I find that true of people changing schools here in the UK too.

    Any suggestions on the questions front though?

    Thank you!
  5. le2012

    le2012 New commenter

    Bumping up the thread. I have my first leadership interview. Any ideas about possible questions?
  6. Morena123

    Morena123 New commenter

    I've recently interviewed for (and got!) a middle leadership post at my school, in SE Asia. I'd only just arrived here but it's a growing school undergoing a bit of a restructure, and they were happy for newcomers to apply.

    I was asked the same sort of things I would expect in the UK, really, just tweaked for the context.

    So questions about my experience, and about how said experience might translate into the school and local culture. Obviously that might be a bit trickier to answer when applying externally, but lots of research should allow you to have a fair go.

    There was lots of discussion of data and tracking pupil progress because that's a big focus for my school, so I expected that.

    They were also keen to gauge how I would lead people... they wanted to know I was a personality fit but also that I would shake things up if necessary. They definitely wanted to know that my standards are high and I would expect staff to be aspirational in themselves and for their students.

    Not sure how helpful this is, as it's a bit generic! To be honest I would prepare the same way as I would for a UK post, but with LOADS more research about local culture and the international school system there. Lots to be found online.

    Best of luck!
    le2012 likes this.
  7. le2012

    le2012 New commenter

    Thank you, Morena123. That was really helpful. I got asked similar questions such as my leadership style, how to have difficult conversations, make staff accountable, UK state vs international - what I think will be different.
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    The best headteacher I ever worked for told me at interview 'I delegate responsibility, not jobs'. Do you agree? If yes, how would you achieve it? If not, why not?

    How would you ensure that members of your team 'own' their responsibilities?

    Please comment on the sentence 'Leave it with me'.

    I asked you to study my school's timetable. What have you learned from it about my educational priorities?

    Are you an ideas person or a doer?

    What differences are there between 'managing down' and managing up'?

    In what ways do/would you treat local staff differently from overseas staff?

    What differences do you find in your relationships with a) colleagues and b) students?

    Is it necessary to be culturally sensitive? Give an example of culture clash you have witnessed. How did you/ would you handle it?

    Tell me about the 'homework' you did before this interview. What have you learned about the International School of Ruritania? What have you learned about Ruritania?

    You are in a confrontation with a parent. The parent is in the wrong. how do you ensure that you make your point while ensuring that future relations will be better?

    I deduce from your CV that you did O Level Maths with David C. What was that like?

    (My Director of Studies back in nineteen-hundred-and-frozen-to-death claimed I could find a personal connection with any candidate. David C was my son's godfather).

    I could go on and on (You do, Mainwaring, you do)...
    le2012 and tb9605 like this.
  9. le2012

    le2012 New commenter

    Wow. Lots of food for thought. Thank you for that! You've been incredibly helpful!

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