Are multiple interview rounds for school leadership positions necessary? The traditional job interview process, often involving several stages, can be an arduous and inefficient journey. This complexity is exemplified by the experience of a mentee of mine, who went through three rigorous interviews for a head of sub-school role. Despite their commitment and engagement throughout the process, they were met with a lengthy period of uncertainty and a lack of feedback post-interviews.

This example underscores a significant issue within our current systems – the need for a more streamlined, respectful, and responsive approach to our hiring practices, especially in educational leadership. Lengthy and opaque processes can lead to frustration and disengagement among talented professionals, potentially resulting in missed opportunities for both schools and candidates.

Interviews have evolved from a one-sided assessment to a two-way dialogue, where the candidate and the organisation evaluate mutual fit. This shift means that interviews now focus more on cultural and purpose fit, rather than solely on hard skills. Companies must adapt by preparing for interviews and ensuring their interviewers are skilled and trained in modern techniques. Remote interviewing methods like video introductions can be used for initial assessments, but in-person interactions should complement them to gauge cultural fit.

A holistic, well-prepared approach to the interview process can enhance efficiency and effectiveness. It allows companies to make informed hiring decisions without unnecessarily prolonging the process. For school leadership positions, a streamlined approach is recommended. While principal recruitment may require two interviews, other senior roles in schools could be effectively filled with a single, well-conducted interview by a skilled panel. This approach respects both the candidates’ and the hiring team’s time, ensuring a swift and thorough evaluation process.


Reference: Kets de Vries, M. (2023). Are multiple job interview rounds really necessary? INSEAD Knowledge. Retrieved from: Are Multiple Job Interview Rounds Really Necessary? | INSEAD Knowledge