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General Chat Thread, Interview questions for a bursar??? in General; Later next week i'm part of a panel that will have to have a general chat/discussion/ask questions to a potential ...
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    Question Interview questions for a bursar???

    Later next week i'm part of a panel that will have to have a general chat/discussion/ask questions to a potential new bursar who will be responsible for the IT Manager and myself (i'm the Senior IT Tech).

    For whatever reason the IT Manager is not involved with the interview and I have no idea what to ask? The general idea is to find out what this person is like, if I could work with then and their attitude towards IT in the school and where they see it going.

    Has any body had to do this before and do they have any possible suggestions as to questions?

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    HMCTech's Avatar
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    Dont want to offend you in any way, but what are your SMT thinking? The bursars I have met have all been well established people, and if they are being quiestioned by a technician wont it put some of them off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexPilot View Post
    Dont want to offend you in any way, but what are your SMT thinking? The bursars I have met have all been well established people, and if they are being quiestioned by a technician wont it put some of them off?
    I don't think it's that uncommon. For certain posts we have several panels of staff for candidates to be quizzed by. I (as IT Manager) have been involved in recruiting Deputy/Assistant Head posts (even though none of the posts are my line manager). Our Head seems to like getting several viewpoints.

    I am a little suprised that the ITM isn't also involved if the senior tech is though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexPilot View Post
    Dont want to offend you in any way, but what are your SMT thinking? The bursars I have met have all been well established people, and if they are being quiestioned by a technician wont it put some of them off?
    No offence taken! It's not final interviews or anytning like that - involved are myself, the senior finance person, the senior caretaker and the senior admin assistant (who is also the principles secretary). The basic idea is because this person would be directly responsible for us (although the IT Manager is my line manager) they want to get our view on the person and if we could work with them.


    Quote Originally Posted by jcollings View Post
    I am a little suprised that the ITM isn't also involved if the senior tech is though.
    You and me both!

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    A first point is making sure they understand the job!! Our last Bursar left (and hasn't been replaced) as he didn't realise there would be so much finance work involved in the job

    We did a similar thing with the first Bursar we employed. Remember interviews are a two way process, you could start by explaining how things are now, a basic overview of the physical setup (no of servers, PCs, what they do - mail, file, website, etc), maybe even show them the server room and an IT suite, then go over the replacement and ordering strategy. Then s/he has the opportunity to ask questions. A walk around (even a short one) gives the opportunity to speak to them in a less formal situation, and should help you get a feel for what they'd be like to work with.

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    Consider the things a bursar would get involved in or need to have a management understanding of for you roles.

    Information / Data Management
    3-5 year plan for IT facilities
    IT Service Management (point them at FITS from Becta as a version of ITIL for industry standards)
    HR and Man Management (performance reviews, CPD, etc)
    R&D (as this requires funding, time and people)

    A key thing would be to see whether they consider IT to just be an extension of the ICT Curriculum or a school wide resource similar to buildings / site staff.

    HTH

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    You could ask "How much did you 'save' from your last school's ICT budget?" And for more BOFH points, ask "How?"

    Of course, that would probably mean that you became the first "saving".

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    1. I suddenly need to get hold of a new server. Do you:
    A) Ask lots of questions
    B) Wait for a brown envelope to be attached to the purchase request
    C) Wave it through as you have a new shiny machine on your desk.

    2. The server was gotten hold of at a very, very reasonable price. Do you:
    A) Ask lots of questions
    B) Wait for your cut
    C) Wave it through in the knowledge shiny kit will be heading to you soon.

    3. I am disposing of some kit. Do you:
    A) Ask lots of questions
    B) Wait for your cut
    C) wave it through knowing it is for the betterment of the school & we do know where you live.

    Mainly A's - Avoid
    Mainly B's - Possible but be wary
    Mainly C's - Hire on the spot.

  9. 2 Thanks to TechMonkey:

    DanW (20th April 2010), powdarrmonkey (20th April 2010)

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    Ask a slightly serious / slightly tongue-in-cheek question about training for non-teaching staff!
    Something like "How highly would you rate the need for ALL staff to have access to quality training and CPD?" and then ask something like "Would you be more keen to sustain a long-term IT investment, or to make regular investment in a rolling replacement programme". Both should give you an insight in to what the future will be like!

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