Interview Questions to Ask of the Dean of a School

by Erin Schreiner; Updated September 26, 2017

The dean of a school plays an important part in leading a school to success. If this individual doesn't have a clear picture of where the school should go, the institution may suffer. If you are interviewing a candidate for a potential dean position, or simply trying to get a better picture of a school by speaking to this administrator, asking the right questions is crucial.

How Do You Define Student Success?

Because the dean is instrumental in creating a school that promotes student success, it is important to know what this individual feels makes a successful student. For some, the measure of success may be standardized test performance, whereas for others it may be later-in-life success. By inquiring as to the dean’s view of success, you can ensure that his opinion aligns with yours.

How Do You Deal with Difficult Students?

Regardless of how good a student body you have, some students will always present a problem. By handling these difficult pupils effectively, deans can not only encourage them to mend their ways, but also prevent others from following in their rule-breaking footsteps. Because the dean is often the final voice in discipline, it is important that he has a clear method for dealing with these difficult students.

How Do You Ensure No Student is Left Behind?

All students should be able to succeed, regardless of ability. Part of a dean's job is to create plans for dealing with students who are struggling academically so that they too can see success. Deans that allow this heavy duty to rest squarely on the shoulders of teaching staff will likely find that some students receive help while others don’t. To ensure all students are given the maximum educational opportunities, deans should have a school- wide plan to deal with struggling pupils.

How Do You Endear Yourself to Staff?

While some deans rule with an iron fist, most feel it is more effective to have a cordial relationship with staff. Deans who work to create camaraderie are often capable of producing a better overall school environment, one in which all members of the school community work together to produce successful students. For deans to build this positive relationship, they must have a plan of attack.

Why Are You a Better Dean Than Others?

Particularly when hiring a new dean, it is important to know why one candidate is better than others. Although some individuals loathe engaging in self-promotion, those who are truly better than the rest will likely be willing to state what they have that others lack.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.