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The Art of the Interview

September 16, 2019

In this article, Dr. Blane Covert advises Board members on the interview process.


Because selecting a Head of School or Superintendent is so important to a school’s or district’s future, candidate interviews deserve special attention. Consider these suggestions (based on Boring’s 2003 article “Superintendent Search”) as you prepare for these important discussions:


  1. Have a set list of questions that the Board has discussed at length, including “model answers.”

  2. Word questions so that they are open ended.

  3. Encourage candidates to ask questions based on the Board’s questions; this should be a conversation, not an interrogation.

  4. Ask follow-up questions if a candidate’s response is incomplete or if the Board needs clarification.

  5. Ask candidates to elaborate on their answers and to describe experiences that are relevant to the questions.

  6. Decide who will ask each question during the interviews and maintain the same format throughout the process.

  7. Listen carefully and take notes during each interview.

  8. Discuss each interview at its conclusion if possible.


Depending on the finalists, this could be either an easy or a difficult decision. Some Boards have found it beneficial to wait a few days after the interviews before making a final selection. The search consultant may also be able to provide additional insight as the Board members conclude the search and prepare an offer.


Academy Educational Consulting solves the Head of School/Superintendent turnover problem with high-impact online courses that empower Independent School Boards of Trustees and Public School Boards of Education to take control of the leadership succession process. To learn more about how to make your next Head of School/Superintendent search a success, visit Academy Educational Consulting here or here.

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