27 Interview Questions That Will Help You Find Effective Higher Education Administrators

During my time in higher education, I served as a department chair and a university dean. Believe you me, I understand how challenging leadership positions can be. The world of a higher education administrator is fast paced and filled with long hours and tons of work. This goes for the lower level director, the middle manager or C-suite executive.

Higher education administrators must produce in adverse conditions, generate revenue for their areas, and manage teams of employees with differing personalities and objectives. Because of this, they must be transformational leaders, capable of getting the job or task done, come whatever may. It is a lonely road, filled with stress, anxiety, and backstabbers. Finding a quality higher education administrator is like finding a needle in a haystack.

If you are a professor, director, department chair, or dean in charge of leading the search for a new higher education administrator, how can you be sure that you are hiring an effective leader, every time, without fail? The key is asking the right questions during the interview process. Let’s look at 27 interview questions that will help you find quality higher education administrators.

  1. What type of institution of higher education would be a good fit for you?
  2. What attracted you to apply for this position at our university?
  3. If you had the power to change one thing in education, what would it be, and how would you go about implementing that change?
  4. Professionally, where do you see yourself in ten years?
  5. What role should learning analytics play in higher education?
  6. How do you incorporate technology into your day to day work?
  7. What is your experience with online learning platforms?
  8. What is your experience with developing partnerships with the private sector?
  9. What is your experience in working with adult learners?
  10. What are your thoughts on competency-based education?
  11. Do you have any higher education teaching experience?
  12. What is your process for working with other departments within the university, many of which don’t know much about how your area operates?
  13. How can social media be beneficial to higher education institutions?
  14. Have you ever authored or co-authored a strategic plan?
  15. What strategies do you use to integrate career preparation into the higher education learning environment?
  16. Describe your experience in developing a strategic plan.
  17. What are some strategies to integrate career preparation into academic learning?
  18. Do you have any experience developing and managing a budget at a university? If so, describe your process for developing and managing a budget?
  19. We are a tuition driving university. What do you see as some alternative ways for us to generate revenue?
  20. Talk about any community partnerships that you have led?
  21. We are attempting to increase our student retention rate. Do you have any experience in this area?
  22. Tell us about a time when you had to make an unpopular decision that impacted several campus departments.
  23. How do you ensure that your efforts have a positive impact on the students who attend this university?
  24. Do you have any experience with public relations or engaging with the community?
  25. What experience do you have in the employee hiring process?
  26. What inspires you to do your best?
  27. Tell us about an encouraging educational innovation that you are aware of. Why is it innovative, what value will it bring to our university, and what have you done to incorporate it into your administrative process?

Well, that’s it for my list. Let me know how it goes.

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