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Honeyguide School Leader Support

Head of Department Interview Pack

Head of Department Interview Pack

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Looking to recruit a new head of department, head of faculty or subject team leader? If you’re wondering what interview questions to ask when recruiting a HoD, or what interview tasks would allow prospective department leads to demonstrate their leadership and subject knowledge skills, this Head of Department Interview Pack can support in planning an interview day to choose the best-fit candidate for your school or college.
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What's included in this bundle?

A pack with accompanying templates to help your school or college plan and prepare the interview day, including interview questions and tasks, when recruiting a head of department or another middle leader in a similar role. This pack contains concise guidance that allows you to consider the setup of the interview day itself, but if you're new to recruitment or want to ensure the entire recruitment process is smooth, you may find it help to purchase the Recruitment, Interview and Employment Compliance Guidance Pack alongside this interview pack.

When you make your purchase, you'll receive a ZIP file containing the whole pack, including:

  • Concise 8-page Guidance PDF in full colour containing all the guidance, research and information you need.
  • 7 fully editable and easy-to-use templates that can be adapted for your setting. These include:
  1. Head of Department Job Role Description
  2. Head of Department Person Specification
  3. Head of Department Interview Questions
  4. Interview Task - Audit of Provision
  5. Interview Task - Curriculum Planning
  6. Interview Task - In-Tray Exercise
  7. Interview Task - Staff Development and Training

Included in this head of department interview pack are four different editable interview tasks plus a wide variety of example interview questions so you can find a brilliant head of faculty or curriculum subject team leader for your school. The job description and person specification for will also support you in advertising for a new department head so you attract the right candidates. Use these, alongside the interview tasks and HoD interview questions to create a recruitment package that's tailored to exactly what your school is looking for in a new head of department, faculty or similar curriculum leader role. 

While the pack is tailored towards appointing a new head of department, it can be used to support the recruitment process for any similar middle leadership roles, including head of faculty, secondary subject lead or curriculum area team leader. It's also suitable to interview for a second in department as a 2ic will need to demonstrate some of the skills necessary to support the department leader, including heading the department in their absence.

This pack is tailored towards secondary schools and colleges where a department leader will have leadership responsibilities and possibly a reduced classroom commitment. However, we also have both subject leader interview packs (for a class teacher who also holds subject leadership responsibility) as well as an interview pack for head of year, phase leaders and key stage leaders:

Who will find this resource useful?

Headteachers, trust leaders, senior leaders, members of the governing body and trustees who lead recruitment processes will find this time-saving pack useful. This pack is also helpful for aspiring heads of department, such as a second in department, wishing to develop their understanding of the interview process, or for current faculty and department leads looking for a change in setting.

What questions does this pack have the answers to?

Planning and leading an effective recruitment process ensures you've put your school in the best position possible to recruit a new HoD who's going to develop the curriculum, teaching and learning in their area of subject specialism, as well as lead a team of teachers.  Thinking carefully about the recruitment process with specific selected interview questions and tasks will help to ensure this is a positive experience for both those on the panel and those applying for the role, meaning your new department head has the best possible start in your setting.

Key questions answered:

  • How could an interview day for a head of department be structured?
  • What interview tasks could be used when recruiting a new HoD, head of faculty or curriculum area lead?
  • What interview questions could a new department head be asked during the interview process?
  • Where can I access more support on the recruitment and post-recruitment process?

What else can help me?

If you're new to the recruitment process or are looking to build your understanding of how to tackle recruitment through each stage of the process, including advertising, shortlisting, interviewing, pre-employment and employment compliance, then you'll find the following pack useful.


>>> Recruitment, Interview and Employment Compliance Guidance Pack


If you're looking to recruit for multiple school roles, you may find the following packs supportive to help you plan interview days for those roles too:


>>> Headteacher Interview Pack

>>> Assistant and Deputy Headteacher Interview Pack

>>> School Business Manager Interview Pack

>>> Head of Year, Phase or Key Stage Interview Pack

>>> SENDCo Interview Pack

>>> DSL and Safeguarding Role Interview Pack

>>> Class Teachers with Subject Leadership Interview Pack

>>> ECTs and Class Teachers Interview Pack

>>> Teaching Assistant Interview Pack

>>> Midday and Wrap-Around Care Role Interview Pack

>>> EYFS Practitioner Interview Pack

>>> Attendance Co-ordinator Interview Pack

>>> Pastoral and Mental Health Role Interview Pack

>>> Outdoor Learning Role Interview Pack

>>> School Administrator Interview Pack

>>> Premises Caretaker and Site Manger Interview Pack


To support your new staff member with induction into your setting, why not have a look at the following help guidance pack:


>>> Staff Induction Pack


To provide meaningful professional development from the beginning of your new staff member's employment, skills audits are a valuable way to amplify the induction process, identify CPD opportunities and support the appraisal process.


>>> Skills Audits