Top 21 School Superintendent Interview Questions in 2021 [with Answers]

A school superintendent is the highest position in the school district, is hired, reports to, and maybe fired by the school board. His roles include hiring principals, dismissing teachers, disciplining employees, developing and maintaining the district budget, and managing students.

School Superintendent Interview Questions with Answers

1. Give a short introduction of yourself.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and a Master’s degree in education. I have a Bachelors’s degree in Arts and a Master’s degree in education. I have worked at different levels in the school hierarchy; starting from the humble position of an assistant teacher, I made my way up to the role of a principal. Education is something close to my heart. I believe in giving my best for the better future of children and thereby to society at large.

2. Why do you want to work with us?

As I have discussed before, I have a lot of experience in education, and I would like to take it further and be of better use to this school district. I am fully aware of the visions and values that this school district holds. I can metaphorically say that I have seen the upbringing of this child as it grew from a child to an adult and developed its branches from being one school to growing into a school district.

3. Why do you think you are right for this role?

As I have been through every level of the educational hierarchy, I understand the ins and outs of every position. I am well versed in student as well as teacher handling, curriculum development, budget planning, and overall supervision of the management and working of the school administration.

4. Do you prefer working in a challenging environment?

Absolutely! Challenges help me to break my boundaries and to stay out of my comfort zone. A person can grow and reach new heights only if one is outside one’s comfort zone.

5. What keeps you up and going at times when you wish to give up?

My passion is to empower people and help them grow keeps me motivated. I love to work for the better future of society at large, and I believe that being in the educational field lets me do just that. This is the driving force for me and whenever I feel down, I just look at why I started in the first place.

6. What changes do you envision bringing in this school if you are selected?

Though my vision is to see the school rise to the heights of being the top school in the country, I believe it is a long-term goal. I envision seeing this school district amongst the top 10 in the state in the coming five years by bringing new pedagogies into the curriculum like HOTS, STEM, and other emerging trends.

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7. What kind of an organization is best suited for you, centralized or decentralized?

I believe that we cannot handle all the tasks, let alone handling a school district. I think that carefully delegating work to the right people will bring about overall development, but giving authority to the wrong people can disrupt the working of the entire organization, so I need to keep a check on the workings at timely intervals. So I would say that I like to work in a decentralized organization.

8. How do you delegate the duties effectively?

I look at the person’s values and visions first, and then at their abilities, talents, past achievements, and responsibilities handled. I believe that even one person not aligned with the organization’s motives can disrupt its smooth functioning.

9. What measures will you take to improve the workings of schools in this district?

I would have detailed scrutiny of the current performance levels of every school in the district. After the scrutiny, I will award the high-performing schools setting a standard for the others to meet. I would also motivate the low-performing schools by enquiring about the real cause behind the lack of performance. I would then give them incentives to improve on the weak points.

10. What are the performance standards that you will take into consideration?

Through careful assessments, examinations, competitions, and other techniques, we can assess the students. The students’ performance can indirectly tell a lot about the teaching staff. The non-teaching staff is equally important. Different assessments like balanced scorecard, 360-degree appraisal, management by objectives, and key performance indicators depending on the school.

11. Are you comfortable working with people?

Yes, in the education field, one needs to deal with people regularly. As I have been in this field for so long, I love to interact with people, be it with students, teachers or, non-teaching staff. I also love to work in teams.

12. How was your experience in dealing with parents?

Parents play a crucial role in the overall upbringing and development of a child. I have always encouraged parents to bring their issues to me, no matter which position in the hierarchy I held. I love to interact with parents who are concerned about their child’s progress. Sometimes it so happens that a parent may not be wanting to get involved with the child’s activities, and at such times, I call them for a meeting and discuss the issues the child is facing due to that. In most cases, the parents are responsive.

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13. What has been your experience in curriculum development?

I was involved in all the stages of curriculum development, building lesson plans, choosing the curriculum and teaching styles best suited for the students, and last but not least, tracking the progress children are making with the new changes implemented.

14. How will you handle a situation where a group of parents come to you with a grievance?

I would patiently listen to their point of view, try to decipher the reason behind the same, and ask the people involved eg: teachers, and students. I would then try to resolve the issue by giving authority for it to the right person.

15. Can you handle a highly responsible job?

As I said, I love to work with challenges. Similarly, I take pride in working in an environment that puts responsibilities on my shoulders. I work best in a competitive and highly responsible work environment.

16. What are your strengths?

I can describe my strengths in three words: leadership, clear vision, and strategic thinking.

17. What are your weaknesses?

Here again, I would describe my weaknesses in two words: emotional, and sensitive.

18. What are the major achievements you had during your career?

I have quite a few to share with you. Firstly, I started with a gold medal in graduation. That was probably also the easiest to achieve. Then, I bagged the ‘The Most Loved Teacher of the Year Award’ in 2015. After being promoted to the position of principal, I was honored with ‘The Most Dynamic Principal Award’ in 2019.

19. Can you share any setbacks you had in your career?

Well, it is rightly said, ‘Failures are the stepping stones to success.’ Everyone has to go through them to reach the position they desire. I failed during the first year as a teacher. I felt so disappointed in myself that I decided to quit, but the principal back then called me and gave this valuable lesson that I never forgot, ‘Failure is an inescapable part of life and a critically important part of any successful life.’

20. How would you encourage someone facing a setback?

Just like my principal did! I would very patiently listen to that person, I then would share a failure story with him, encourage him to see why he started in the first place, and ask him to look back at the journey he has completed so far.

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21. Would you like to ask any questions?

I believe that everyone needs feedback once in a while to know s/he is performing. How will it be provided to me? I would also like to know about the current curriculum and teaching styles used.

Conclusion

Best of luck! A superintendent’s position is a highly challenging and responsible one, so remember to make an impression in your interview with creative and confident answers. If you wish to ask or share something, feel free to comment below, and remember the more you share, the more people we have an opportunity to help.

References

  1. https://ecommons.udayton.edu/eda_fac_pub/43/
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131911.2020.1837740