The academic sector is much more than just academics, for sure. It demands exceptional management skills to thrive. For an educational institution to provide quality education and make revenues, it is crucial to have an efficient business manager.
Who is a school business manager? Well, he’s the one who would skillfully handle the school management and financial roles and wouldn’t give up in the face of troubles. However, finding the one fit for the position is no cakewalk. The candidates must undergo multiple trials, tests, and tricky interview sessions before making it.
Here we picked some of the most popular questions that you might face during the interview session for a school business manager job. We have attached possible answers to help you articulate your answers. Read on.
1. Why are You Interested in This Role?
Financial management is the language I speak since I started my professional career five years back. I played the role of the financial analyst at my previous company and performed with sheer responsibility. As a passionate finance student, I always dreamt of working closely with the governing body of your esteemed institution.
I love taking up new challenges, and success drives my motivations. Besides, the role will help me progress in this field further. Therefore, I took no time to apply once I came across your job advertisement.
2. What are the Roles of a School Business Manager?
A school business manager works intensely with the school governing body to frame the school’s financial policies. They work as part of the advisory bench to determine how to spend the financial resources most cost-effectively. The job role also requires maintaining the school infrastructure through regular inspections.
A school business manager also takes care of hygiene, safety, and security. He/she recruits and manages the staff, handles the IT support team, tenders, and contracts.
3. What are the Qualities That a School Business Manager Needs to Be Successful?
Primarily, a school business manager must have a great deal of management skills to excel in the field. Since he/she has to manage the staff, IT teams, suppliers, contractors, etc., a good management skill is a prerequisite.
Sound knowledge in finance and financial policymaking is another essential quality to use financial resources in the best way possible. And it would add an extra feather if he/she has compassion and a friendly attitude.
4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Manage Them?
During my first job at Angel and Genie, I had zero ideas about how difficult it can be to manage a team. I was this naïve newbie, fresh out of college and with the zeal to conquer the world. But all my confidence fell flat on my face when I had to manage a team of 5 people. I didn’t know how to work in a team and to assemble five different ideas in one room.
I understood that patience is a virtue indeed. I acquired the talent to listen to others’ opinions and utilize different ideas to enhance the quality of the output.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine as a School Business Manager?
As a school business manager, my daily routine would start with checking on the “to-do” list and scheduling the daily tasks. The daily jobs include budget planning, visiting suppliers, negotiating prices, inspections of school premises, and making reports on things that need an immediate solution.
Moreover, supervising the tasks of the non-teaching staff, looking after the salaries, and accounting, are in my daily routine.
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
I started my career as a junior financial analyst at Angel and Genie five years back. It was my first exposure to the wide world of financing right college. I did an internship in management during my college days, but the real world was far from that.
I gathered most of my management skills from Angel and Genie. I understood the importance of technology in the field of financing and management. After Angel and Genie, I switched to my next endeavor and joined as a business manager in Calcutta International School. I worked there for two years and learned how school financing works.
7. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Required for This Role?
As a business manager, the role demands multitasking as one has to manage multiple aspects simultaneously. Hence, the first strategy would be mastering the art of multitasking.
The next most important strategy is to focus and schedule the regular tasks as a financial analyst and manager. Finally, a great deal of patience and an analytical mind are other required pillars.
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
I have done thorough research about your esteemed institution before hitting the corridor. Fortunately, I’m yet to come across a point that I can spot as an unattainable challenge. Considering that, I like facing new challenges. So, I’m looking forward to it with confidence.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in Your Work?
I consider myself a focused and hardworking person. These two traits I’ve built through years of dedication and experience. I love pushing my boundaries to achieve something which I haven’t done before. I love reading about established personalities and their work ethics; it also helps me stay motivated.
10. Describe a Time When You Failed in This Role and The Lesson You Learnt?
I made a mistake in salary allocation in my previous job, and the school had to pay for my miscalculation. It almost cost me my job, but the organization was generous enough to give me a second chance. With that mistake, I also learned the importance of keeping an updated knowledge in the subject.
11. Why Do You Feel You are The Most Suited for This Role?
With my previous job experience, I am capable enough to handle the workload and deliver the desired results in time. With a sound knowledge of financing and management, I feel that I will fit your requirements perfectly. Besides, I have a particular interest in academic sectors. I wish to contribute to the educational systems by providing proper infrastructure and financial policies. My combination of skills and knowledge will help your school achieve great success.
12. Share with Us Your Greatest Achievement.
In my previous job, I solved a critical financial problem that I consider my most outstanding achievement in my professional career. My last company was facing a crisis in fund allocation but couldn’t figure out the underlying issue.
But I solved it with my financial skills, knowledge, and critical analysis. I also learned the importance of analyzing previous data while dealing with this issue.
13. What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
Just like every human, I also have my fair share of weaknesses. I often tend to focus on every minute detail, which can take a toll on my head. Sometimes, I even go restless and impatient when my pending work surpasses the deadline. That’s why I constantly try to finish my work in the mentioned time frame. Also, being focused on every detail has helped me identify the underlying reason behind any problem.
14. How Would You Handle Pressure?
I have been in this field for a long time, so I understand the importance of handling pressure responsibly. There were times when I had a severe workload, and I had to complete it in a few hours. But, in such situations, I try to keep myself calm and composed. I have also learned to multitask; it helped me to handle intense situations very well. I also practice yoga and meditation regularly to unwind. It worked for me.
15. How Do You Stay on Top of Your Game?
Well, financing is my passion, so I constantly keep myself updated on this subject. I have subscribed to various financial magazines and journals, which helps me to stay updated. I try to keep track of multiple studies surfaces in the market to learn or adapt to changes accordingly. Whenever I get free time, I attend various finance-related seminars.
16. How Do You Correlate the two Diverse Departments Like Business and Education?
An educational institution doesn’t run based on academics only. There is the other part of it that covers all the non-academic aspects that in turn helps the academic process run seamlessly. The business part looks after the financial needs behind organizing laboratories, study equipment, seminar halls, building infrastructure, health and hygiene of students, etc. All these are to ensure the proper academic progress of the respective institution. Hence, they are correlated already!
17. As the School Business Manager How Would You Structure the Budget?
As a school business manager, structuring the budget comes as one of the primary job roles. My first aim would be to distribute the financial resources adequately to every field of the academic institution. I would focus on finding cost-effective deals and tenders and spend more on academic infrastructure, health, and hygiene. I would look for quality goods and services while keeping the budget controlled.
18. How Do You Feel About Financial Management?
The fundamental rule in financial management is to ensure the proper utilization of financial resources. I stick to this ethical ground while working as a financial management associate. I look at the bigger picture and focus on the holistic development of an institution.
19. What Do You Understand About Financial Policy in School?
School financial policy is way more complicated than it seems. It focuses on building a healthy accounting system, timely distributing salaries, keeping the accounts of monthly and yearly expenditure in school infrastructure, and preparing management modules.
Financial policy is the sole responsibility of the governing bodies of an institution that includes the school business manager.
20. How Would You Manage the Support Staff in School?
Managing support staff, i.e., the non-teaching staff, is one crucial role for a school business manager. I would work with them as a team and inspire them to excel in their respective jobs.
Instead of pushing the workload towards them, I would keep the window open for discussions and debates. I would listen to their opinions and value them as much as I can. I understand from my last job that your support staff is your strength.
21. What Would Be Your Strategy to Manage the Administrative System of the School?
A proper administrative system reflects upon the very progress of the respective institution. My strategy to manage the administrative system in school would be to work in synergy with the governing body. I would lead the support staff by determining their respective responsibilities. I would design the administrative functions based on the overall improvement of the school.
22. How Do You Feel About Leadership?
Leadership is an essential aspect of any organization. A good leader guides himself as well as the team to make the correct decision. Leadership is all about managing a team and inspiring them even in the most challenging situations.
23. As the School Business Manager How Would You Ensure Health and Safety at School?
Health and hygiene in school are a burning concern these days. As the school business manager, I would focus on keeping the school premises clean and invest in proper sanitization procedures.
I would appoint appropriate support staff to ensure the safety and security of students and co-workers. I would also focus on keeping the institution free from bullying and discrimination.
24. How Would You Manage the Information System in School?
As the school business manager, I would focus on bringing new technologies to strengthen the information system. I would also work on data protection schemes and empower the use of digital spaces to communicate and control information.
I would further use the resources on training and introducing my staff teams to work seamlessly with new technologies.
25. What Would Be Your Discipline At Human Resource Management?
I would ensure fair recruitment policies in human resource management and encourage skills, perseverance, and dedication. Besides that, I would construct transparent and timely payroll and pension schemes. I would focus on appraisals and equality policies.
In short, I would encourage my teams to work hard, motivate them with timely rewards, and pay them as much as they deserve.
These are the top 25 questions that would help you frame your answers for the school business manager interview.