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Teacher job interview soft skill: Leadership.

I posted recently on a Facebook group and someone responded with a comment that leadership is impossible to demonstrate in a school where the management has an authoritarian style of management.

Personally, I don't believe this is the case.

As teachers, most of us display leadership skills every single day.

We lead our students.

We lead our team.

And we lead ourselves towards the goals we've set.

LinkedIn (2020) states "50% of employees have left a job to get away from a bad boss".

I would absolutely say this is true.

I would even go as far as to suggest that almost every one of us has left a job at some stage in our lives because we couldn't stand our boss.

It's nothing personal.

Except when it is.

When someone makes you feel small.

And stupid.

And berates you for minor mistakes.

That's not a leader.

Leaders lift up their team.

Leaders inspire.

Leaders help those that need help - and help them to be better.

Those bosses who throw you under the bus are not leaders.

They are small, and scared.

Scared of their own (lack of) ability.

Scared they will be outperformed.

Scared they can't adapt to the new, changing world of work.

They figure, if they hang around for long enough, they will be promoted.

They figure, if they make your life difficult you will leave.

Good teachers leave schools because of a lack of leadership.

And they find better ones to go to.

"It’s not just the leader’s own skills and vision that drive that success— it’s their ability to inspire, motivate, and unleash the potential in others. On the flip side, poor leaders can make their teams less motivated and efficient and more likely to quit." (LinkedIn, 2020).


Five questions you might be asked in an interview to demonstrate your leadership:

  1. Tell me about the last time something significant didn’t go according to plan at school. What was your role? What was the outcome?

  2. Describe a situation where you needed to persuade someone to see things your way. What steps did you take? What were the results?

  3. Tell me about a time when you led by example. What did you do and how did others react?

  4. Tell me about the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months.

  5. Have you ever had to “sell” an idea to your coworkers or group? How did you do it? What were the results?


How to answer Q1 → Thoughtful reflection and a strong sense of ownership. True leaders don’t try to shift the blame to others, but consider what they could have done differently.

How to answer Q2→ Strong leaders establish credibility and use compelling evidence to reinforce their viewpoint, rather than acting like they know best.

How to answer Q3 → Understanding of how their behaviour impacts those around them. That
they hold themselves to a high standard, and are an inspiration to their team.

How to answer Q4→ Careful consideration of outcomes. Great leaders seek advice when they need it—but they don’t shy away from making the final decision.

How to answer Q5 → Assertiveness without being pushy; the ability to create a dialogue and listen to concerns, with the ultimate goal of making everyone happy with the plan.


Even when you’re not interviewing for a leadership role, schools want teachers who can inspire!


Hope this information is valuable to you.

Tetap sehat! (stay healthy in Bahasa Indonesia)!




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