Leadership Interview



I help ambitious teachers become school leaders, interested?


  • You are a primary or post primary teacher wanting a new career challenge.
  • You are focused on building up confidence for upcoming leadership interviews because it’s been many years since you last did an interview.
  • You want to create a bank of solid interview answers and rehearse questions you could be asked in an interview with a professional.
  • You lack time and confidence to put into words what your are trying to say.
  • Sometimes you fear that you are too honest and it goes against you.

What if you felt prepared and assured that you knew what the panel were really looking for?

Hi, I’m Orla

I’m here to reassure you that I see your discomfort. I know that you dislike filling in the application form for leadership posts. I know that you doubt what you’re saying and that it’s off-putting even to put pen to paper to begin that process.

And when you secure an interview - well, then you will have to face another uphill battle.

When it comes to the 4 domains - I know that it’s easy to overlook experiences and it is hard to say positive things like how effective you are as a teacher.

As a primary school teacher moving outside of teaching, I struggled for 3 years to find the words that showed what I was capable of doing in interview situations.

This resistance - I’ve been there too.

Orla Dempsey-050-Edit

Leadership interview coaching is perfect for you if:

  • You feel ready to apply for AP1&2 positions, deputy principalships or principal positions.

  • You know that it’s what you need to do in interviews, but you hate ‘bigging yourself up’!

  • You’re familiar with LAOS but you’re unsure how to answer questions based on the four domains.

  • You feel that you can’t word things correctly and that past interview experiences make you feel that you stumble your way through interviews.

  • You’ve always gotten interviews based on your job application but you never seem to actually secure the role and you’re wondering what you need to do better.

  • The position you’d hoped for in a few years time has suddenly been advertised and you feel panicked.

  • You feel ready to do this, but if you’re honest with yourself - you’re afraid of rejection.

  • You have a list of questions, but you’re unsure if you’re answering each question effectively.

  • You know that your staff would help you prepare but everyone has so much on their plate already.

  • Your interview nerves make you waffle and you never know when to stop or you’re afraid that you’re saying too little.


                                                  Client Testimonials

“Having secured a deputy role recently -  I would recommend Orla’s interview services. The 90-minute session with her got me thinking about how best to structure my interview answers and I learned a lot from her about the different ways to conduct yourself in a professional interview. Also, Orla showed me how to wrap up my interview answers in a timely manner which helped me know when to stop. I felt confident in my interview answers – and I didn’t learn off my interview answers by heart because Orla guided me to see the difference between a 'learned off' answer vs a knowledgeable answer. It was a worthwhile session. Thanks, Orla!”

- Joanne, Primary School Teacher, March 2022


"Just to let you know that I got the DP job!! Thanks so much for all your help! I found the video really useful because I went through the video multiple times after our session. It gave me confidence and I felt that you believed in me. The best part was you showed me how to make my answers short and snappy and they had great impact. After our session, I felt that I couldn't have done any more. I'm looking forward to the new challenge. Thanks, Orla!”

- Lisa, Post Primary Teacher, March 2022

“Thanks a million, Orla, I got the job! I was so afraid of waffling before our mock interview but after working with you, my answers had a clear structure and crucially you had a strategy to get back on track when I did start to waffle.

The interview panel were seriously impressed with my interview. They said I blew their socks off!

I hate putting myself out there and always felt before our session that I was always acting in interviews but you showed me how I could be authentic in my interview. I'm thrilled with how I performed and that I secured my job! Thank you!”

- Sarah Jane, Primary School Teacher, July 2020


Imagine if….

  •  You knew that when attended your interview you had pulled out all the stops. You’d done the mock interview, prepared your answers solo and felt confident and reassured in your answers.

  • You could pinpoint exactly what had let you down in interviews in the past and that you now had a new strategy -increasing your chances of success.

  • You knew that you had tools to follow which would keep you grounded, stop any waffling and impress the panel.

  • You knew that your wealth of experience, your drive, ambition and determination will mean that you are taken seriously as a candidate.

  • You were relaxed and calmer in interviews.

  • You finally felt confident to sell yourself effectively.

Leadership Interview Coaching is my unique way of blending coaching with my passion for helping teachers secure great jobs.

            Why I’m confident that I can help you

 I use a blend of mentoring and coaching with my clients to help them increase their confidence, gather a greater awareness of what was holding them back from success in the past and equip them with tools and techniques to communicate their effectiveness and value as a school leader.

As a teacher myself, I have a unique insight into the vocabulary, challenges and rewards of our education system. This insider view means that all current terminology and changes in education are included in your interview preparation and we can get straight into preparing a top-class interview.

I know that the results we get correlate with what we think about ourselves. If we think we can’t do it, then we won’t succeed. If we think we are useless at interviews, then we will find them a very difficult process.


So, it’s important to change the narrative. Let leadership mock interviews be part of that change.


                                                                          Practice questions such as:

  • Describe how you would work with the BOM, department and other stakeholders involved in the school?
  • If there was a serious behaviour incident- how would you deal with it as the principal?
  • What would you do to involve parents?
  • Please explain your vision for this school.
  • How would you manage an underperforming teacher?
  • How would you involve a reluctant teacher in a new initiative or a change?

                                                              Management Position Interviews (90 mins) - €339

What People Are Saying about Leadership Interview Coaching

“I placed first in the panel and got the job! Thanks, Orla. I feel that our mock interview was informative and I got great pointers to counteract the fact that I was rusty after years of not doing interviews. It was great to brainstorm and improve sample answers so that I honed my answers for my post-primary interview. Though we worked together for just a short time, it made a huge difference to my interview performance. I found your service very helpful. I would definitely recommend Interview Preparation Coaching with you to my fellow teachers”.

                                                                           - Eoin, 3.7.21 Post-primary teacher.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

What’s included?

  • Resources: Access to a Google Drive of Leadership Focused templates and tips to work on your interview skills and more importantly, your mind-set.

  • Practice: A 1-1 coaching session (90 mins) where I get to know you, find out what you’re really passionate about, teach you interview skills and practise your interview questions.

  • Sample Interview: A pre-recorded sample interview, where I role-play a short job interview for you to analyse before your interview confidence coaching session with me.

  • Feedback: Feedback about what your body language is saying about your confidence levels and message e.g. tone of voice and non-verbal communication.

  • Recording: A recording of our Leadership Interview Coaching session together for you to go back over to capture key vocabulary and objectively observe what you did well and make small tweaks to improve your performance.

Is it too soon for me to practise my interview skills, I’ve no interviews coming up right now?

Whether you know that the post will arise this month, this term or this year - practising your interview skills will be a massive boost to your confidence when it comes to preparing yourself for the role. Many of my clients tell me that they hate filling in application forms because if they do well - they know that they will have to do an interview. So, nipping that resistance for interviews in an interview session will mean that you feel far more prepared to fill in application forms and be your best self in interviews. It’s never too early!

You’re not a principal, can I trust that you know what you’re at?

You’re right, I’m not. I have been there as a teacher though and I’ve been the person feeling the sense of rejection and fear that you have about attending interviews. I collaborate with a team of principals throughout Ireland who share with me their in-depth experiences of receiving job applications and hosting interviews.

This variety gives me a broad knowledge of the general things they note about successful and unsuccessful interviews and their insights are very beneficial for my 1-1 clients.

Lastly, my approach to interviews is that I focus on your confidence – not just knowing the correct interview answers, but knowing that you feel confident doing so.

Is one session enough?

Generally, in the leadership interview sessions, yes. For teachers with many years of experience behind them, they are confident in their teaching capacity and they have many experiences from which to reference - it is reassurance and tips for interviews that is required mostly.

There is one exception however. For those who suffer from extreme nerves and have generally low self-confidence in life, they may need 2+ sessions to build their internal self-confidence. It’s best to address self-confidence issues throughout the year – because improving internal self-talk, giving yourself credit and creating reasons to feel proud can take some time.

Coaching can really help with this and you can avail of a series of coaching sessions aimed at increasing your self-confidence in advance of interview season.

Do you coach second-level teachers too?

Yes, I do! Approximately half of my clients are second-level teachers. If you’re applying for AP1/2, Deputy Principalships or Principalships I have recommendations, feedback and tools to help you too.

You seem very young.

Sometimes I get this (and I’m not sure what to say!) from those applying for managerial positions. I am…. and I’m not….. Without telling you my age, Bosco was my favourite TV program when I came home from Baby Infants. For me, the most important thing is that my content resonates with my potential clients. Does it seem like I can get you the results that you need? Does it seem that I could help you build your confidence with interview skills? Are you committed to building your own confidence outside of our session together? If you are, then we are a good match.

What if I’m still not sure it’s right for me?

If you’re still unsure if Leadership Interview Coaching is for you I’m happy to answer your questions at hello@orladempseycoaching.ie

                                                         Management Position Interviews (90 mins) - €339