INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR LEGAL AND DEMOCRATIC SERVICES
What do you feel are the key challenges facing Doncaster and how would you tackle them if appointed to this role?
Awareness of vision, Borough Strategy, Corporate Plan, Team Doncaster Strategic Partnership
Supporting the key challenges around Children, Young People and Families; Economy and Enterprise; Health and Well Being; Adult
Services; Safer Stronger Communities.
Answer to demonstrate their approach, personal style, leadership – lead by example, extent of knowledge of Doncaster
Addressing the financial position, the cuts, DN17 programme and value for money, governance
Q1. What for you is the Monitoring Officer’s role in supporting Elected Members? Can you give us a specific example of a difficult or
sensitive issue you have had to manage, what was the outcome and what did you learn?
Examples to give confidence and trust this is someone Members can work with – relationships key
Personal style – formal / informal; ability to flex; interpersonal skills
Demonstrates good judgement; willingness to learn and grow to improve performance; calm and resilient
Clarity over Members boundaries, responsibilities and behaviour
Awareness of governance issues and tools (Governance Plan, Annual Governance Statement, Constitution etc)
Q2. What do you see as the key elements to running a successful elections / electoral registration function and how would you
support the Returning Officer in her role?
Planning, project management, collaboration, focus, reputation and effective execution
Understanding of difference in role to Returning Officer and Deputy
Political awareness – understand Doncaster’s context and issues
Understands legislation / rules relating to elections and electoral registration
Effective utilisation of Council wide resources
Q3. What has been the most challenging piece of legal work that you have led on in the last two years and what did you learn from it?
Would require innovation i.e. creation of trading vehicle / alternative service delivery model
Involves joint working, negotiation skills, conflict resolution, political sensitivity
Wider impact project i.e. regeneration project – not just building something, but about creation of jobs/skills
Technical ability, finding solutions, ‘can-do’ approach to problem solving
Q4. Here in Doncaster we take a one team approach – Team Doncaster – where working with partners and collaboration are key
attributes. How do these factors fit with your idea of what a great Legal Services team looks like and can you give us an example
from your current organisation of collaborative working that will give us confidence that you can effectively represent Doncaster
Example to cover range of partners
Skill set, leadership and competencies of Legal team – attitude / approach
More commercial focus rather than provide traditional legal advice; professional standards
Strong performance management, accountability, productivity, value for money, reputation
Proactive involvement / relationships – helping to shape rather than recover
Q5. What is the best example you can give us of where you have led a major organisational change initiative and what does this tell
us about your preferred style, values and impact?
Example to demonstrate breadth and depth of experience
Collaborative, establishes credibility, gains trust and support, well respected, clear focus and vision, ability to push through in difficult
times, people versus task
Values base, communication, negotiation, winning hearts and minds
Project management skills and experience
Q6. Where have you made the single largest impact on an organisation from a leadership perspective? What does this tell us about
what we can expect to see from you as a senior leader here?
Gives robust examples – launch of new service, restructure, an initiative to make savings
Personal impact versus team – self-awareness – how own style and behaviour impacts on performance of others
Attributes – communication skills (consult, negotiate, persuade and influence); articulate clear vision and direction; inspirational role
model; resilience; empower and motivate staff
Q7. Talk us through a particularly difficult staff issue that you have had to deal with? What did you learn and would you have done
Link to culture – creating an environment where staff are empowered, motivated, achieve objectives
Example may cover performance, relationships, conflict
Demonstrates self-awareness, emotional intelligence, willingness to learn and develop, able to adapt / flex; will give insight into their
Demonstrates ability to operate effectively within council HR policies / procedures
Q8. How do you envisage working with your fellow statutory officers (Section 151 Officer and Head of Paid Service)?
Relationship building, style of leadership, corporate behaviour, contribution to corporate leadership and impact
Give examples where they have supported on difficult legal matters i.e. closure of services, conflict resolution
Shared responsibility, safe but challenging pair of hands
Give examples of creativity, finding solutions when there was no obvious way forward