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General Chat Thread, Interview questions for Head of IT. in General; I am the network manager of a school, been here for 11 years. I've been asked to interview with a ...
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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    Interview questions for Head of IT.

    I am the network manager of a school, been here for 11 years.

    I've been asked to interview with a member of our SMT some candidates coming in next week for the position of Head of IT.

    Any suggestions for decent questions?

    I have come up so far with :

    1. The school propose to jump from Microsoft Office 2003 to Microsoft Office 2010 what do you think the implications for all users of the network might be?

    2. The school has a constant battle to educate users on saving multimedia files at the appropriate level of compression, how would you educate the head of art who believes every photo on the network needs to be saved at the highest resolution and lowest jpeg compression.

    3. In terms of IT, Schools are often described as doing nothing more than teaching students how to open and close Word, from what you have seen at this school is that a fair comment? And what in your opinion is the difference between teaching skills to prepare young people for the real world where IT is so prevalent and actually doing a course in IT?

    4. What are the pros and cons of using open source software in education?


    I was thinking of adding a couple of questions also about "the cloud" and "tablet devices".

    Please only sensible suggestions - thanks
    J

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    head of IT as in teaching IT or head of IT infrastructure etc?

    if its a teaching post only, to be fair i dont think they would need to know the implications of office 03 to 07/10 as that is more a technical aspect not a teaching aspect.
    again something with pros and cons of open source are things that are more technical things to consider.

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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    Head of Teaching IT.

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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    head of IT as in teaching IT or head of IT infrastructure etc?

    if its a teaching post only, to be fair i dont think they would need to know the implications of office 03 to 07/10 as that is more a technical aspect not a teaching aspect.
    again something with pros and cons of open source are things that are more technical things to consider.
    With q1 I was trying to tease out what they thought the training implications might be for staff and whether resources might be out of date and how to address that.

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    Well let me just say this...

    I overheard our head of IT teaching kids what URL stood for... and he was telling them wrong

    So it seems to be less about technical knowledge and more about managing a department

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    I'd be more interested in whether they wanted to come in and change everything or demand admin rights etc

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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    I'd be more interested in whether they wanted to come in and change everything or demand admin rights etc
    So.
    Q5. Do you think it's a necessaty that Heads of IT require admin rights on school network?

    I've also added:

    6. What do you think “Cloud Computing” is and how could it benefit the education sector?
    7. Should IT departments support tablet devices?

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    Don't ask if they think they need admin rights, they shouldnt have them and you will never give them him why even make it seem like it was on offer?

    As for asking about Office 2010, we got a new Head of IT recently and we asked him about it, and he knew the differences, any decent Head of IT should know how different the versions are, especially as it effects their own teaching, if they haven't even considered it it implied to me that they were stuck in the past.

    We asked what plans they had for teaching and what resources do they think they will want to use in the furture to get a general understanding if they knew technology, one of our candidates suggested "errr cameras" which was a poor answer.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    An explanation of URL is not technical, it is subject knowledge ... the same way knowing what a synonym is or atomic number.
    People get confused over this ... a Head of IT will have a wide amount of subject knowledge and yes, there will be cross-over with technical knowledge.

    I take it that this person will have a strong (if not the leading) role in the education and training of staff for a variety of IT based tools? Who leads on the use of online learning at the school? is that a member of the SMT? If not you can always throw in some questions such as ...

    How would you use online learning tools, either as a single platform or a number of individual tools, to promote collaborative planning between subjects to make sure ICT skills are embedded?
    How can technology help with differentiation and personalised learning, and what tools are good examples of this?
    How do you think you will work with the IT staff at the school trying to obtain a healthy compromise between flexibility of tools and resources, and the need for security and stability in the school systems?

    And a good catch all ....
    How have you used social media / online networks to collaborate with other professionals, which has resulted in the sharing of new ideas about using technology, both within the wider community and in your own schools?

  10. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    kennysarmy (10th March 2011)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Question 8 - How good are you at making tea and coffee?


    Serious though something i would ask is about eSafety.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    If you type google into google can you break the internet?

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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achandler View Post
    Don't ask if they think they need admin rights, they shouldnt have them and you will never give them him why even make it seem like it was on offer?
    Good point !

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Ask them how they would develop the curriculum especially now that it looks like schools will have more freedom in what they teach.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Be wary of asking questions that have been given for you on a forum as if you dont actually know everything about the question you are asking and the HOD comes back with some counter question or asks you to elaborate on a point you'll look like a right wally.

    Make sure you stick to asking questions where you know the subject matter inside out.

    Butuz

  16. Thanks to Butuz from:

    kennysarmy (10th March 2011)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    And be careful if you ask a question from a forum from a relatively unknown member as you might find that you get a text book answer from one of the candidates (A friend put forward a Q to use in interviews only to find he was asked it 4 weeks later at a job interview! He was a happy chappy ... but did cough up in the end, which the school was even more happy to have someone who contributed to collaborative groups)

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