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What’s Past is Prologue

March 1, 2018


This article is about interviewing candidates for Head of School/Superintendent positions effectively.

In Act II of The Tempest, Shakespeare wrote that “what’s past is prologue.”  This means that a person’s past actions inform his or her future behaviors.  In the school world, Boards of Trustees must vet and interview effectively in order to predict whether a candidate will be successful in a new school environment.  In other words, a Head of School’s success at one school does not guarantee success at another. 

Predicting a candidate’s success at your institution, however, is easier said than done.  Although no one can assure a Board that it will hire the perfect candidate by following a research-based methodology, doing so minimizes the risks inherent in selecting your next school leader.

My first suggestion would be to craft interview questions that force candidates to provide beginning-to-end narratives about accomplishments in which the hiring school or district are especially interested.  What role did he or she play in a project?  Did he come up with the idea and turn it over to subordinates?  Did she act as part of a team that implemented someone else’s idea?  The responses to these questions paint a much clearer picture of the candidate’s abilities to plan, organize, delegate, manage, and complete any given initiative.

If Shakespeare was right, well-planned interviews are steps in the vetting process that your Board must take seriously.

Academy Educational Consulting helps School Boards prepare for executive searches so that they can recruit and ultimately hire candidates who are truly compatible with the jobs they’re being hired to do.  To learn more about how to make your next Head of School/Superintendent search a success, contact Academy today at 501-230-0881.

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