SLT interviews - possible questions

21st March 2014 at 00:00

Here are some possible SLT interview questions.


Do NOT prepare by writing out your answers to these and learning them off by heart.  See instead the advice on mind maps.  


Using mind-mapping for interviews  


A recent Headship selection gave candidates this list of areas that would be discussed in interview:


  • Raising attainment and promoting inclusion
  • Staff development, management and finance
  • Pupils, parents and community
  • Your values in education
  • What is your vision for our School?


This list says it all – this is your basic set of Mind Maps


Other areas to consider:

How would you monitor the standards throughout the curriculum?

Where would you start with a new curriculum initiative?

How would you raise attainment?

How can governors support the school?

What values can you bring to the role of the HeaD?

How could you involve the whole community in a school initiative?

Define/how do you see the role of a Head being different from that of a Deputy?

Describe your style of leadership.

Give an example of effective leadership.

How would you contribute to school improvement? How have you done this at your current school?

How do you ensure that pupils have high expectations of themselves and their work?

How do you keep teachers happy and motivated at your present school? 

How would you lead change in a school?

What role does assessment play in raising achievement?

What strengths could you bring to this school?

How have you/could you contribute to the School Development Plan?

How do you ensure that all teachers receive the support they need to meet their individual needs?

How would you address a curriculum that does not fully meet the needs of all pupils?

What are the benefits of a topic based as opposed subject based curriculum?

Describe your recent experience of leading a whole school initiative?

How have you set about implementing the Teaching and Learning Policy? What were the outcomes of this?

How do you monitor the assessment policy? 

How are targets set and how are they monitored?

What strategies would you use to support a member of staff not achieving a satisfactory level of performance?

Give some key points of successful behaviour management

How would you achieve successful parental partnership?

How do we know children make progress with their learning from one year to the next?

How would you go about raising staff, pupils' and parents' expectations?

What is the most important thing you have learned while a member of the SLT at your current school?

Give examples of two recent legislations, one you feel positive about and the other negative. Give reasons.

How would you manage the school budget?

How would you ensure consistent curriculum coverage?

What is your understanding of the term Inclusion?

Give an example of how you manage your time effectively.

From your experience, what steps are needed to turn a policy on paper into effective practice? 

Tell us about an initiative you have developed through the school that was successful

 Tell us about an initiative that was less successful and what you learned from it 

What makes a good teacher? 

What makes a good Head?

Do you think supporting a struggling member of staff who was an NQT would be the same as supporting experienced teacher?

What are the characteristics of an effective school?

How would you ensure that this school is effective? 

How would you motivate staff and encourage them to feel excited about their work when the burden of responsibility often appears overwhelming? Give an example

How will you ensure that the role of deputy is more than just that of ‘dogsbody’?

You feel uncomfortable with a decision that has been made by the Governing Body. How would you raise & discuss the matter? 

Good > Outstanding?

How to consolidate Outstanding?
Where to move on from Outstanding?
Vocational curriculum for Secondary?
For or against League tables?
What structure of SLT will most improve achievement?
Should we become an Academy?
What makes the best curriculum offer for our students?  (You’ll have done your homework on the current success rates)
What is the role of Governors in raising standards?
Should we change our overall curriculum offer?

And the best question of all to be asked:

Should we appoint you?  

I trust you'll have a good answer ready for that!  Look at this article for hints.
N.B.  if they ask you at the end if you have any question that you want to ask,  don't bother inventing a question to ask to impress.  The panel would much rather that you said Thank you, no, I don't need to ask anything as I have all the information that I need.
We absolutely HATE being asked questions just to impress us.   Especially if it's a question totally TRITE  such as: What did you do in your Inset days last year?  I'm thinking of having a photocopied sheet ready to hand out  -  the number of times we get asked that!
Ask if there's something that you absolutely MUST know (although really you should have found that out before).  Otherwise, don't ask anything.  That allows us to get on with interviewing the next candidate.  
People have been known to talk themselves out of a job by the stupid question at the end . . .

Best wishes