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Being Interviewed by a Board of Education
Over the last several years boards of education have become more actively involved in interviewing and selecting candidates for leadership positions. State law dictates that only the Board can make personnel appointments. Of course, board members are elected officials and as such they have their own priorities and can be influenced by their constituents. Consequently, if a candidate is going to be interviewed by the Board, you need to find out who they are and what their priorities might be.
Find out the occupation of board members. The kind of questions that a professional educator might ask are different from those of an accountant, or a techie, or a real estate agent. Does the trustee have a child in the special education program, or is he or she involved in youth athletics, the music boosters, or the performing arts? Board Members for the most part are parents and will ask the kind of questions that parents ask. Be prepared to answer questions like these:
Beware that some Board Members can be aggressive and/or argumentative in how they ask questions and may challenge you. Do not fight back. Keep your cool, remain professional, and if you don't agree, just say: "That's an interesting point. I would have to think about that".
A final reminder. Remember that the two most important factors in getting a job is being likeable and being a good fit for the school-community. Be pleasant, smile, and try to resonate with the cultural norms and values of the Board.
Dr. Aronstein coaches school leaders and aspiring leaders in preparation for interviews and their development of resumes. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org