Prepare for your school administrator job search with these school principal job interview questions and answers to ensure you are in the zone during the meeting.
Ace your next administrator job interview and land a job offer by being fully prepared to communicate the value you can bring to the school community.
How you answer school principal interview questions will determine if you are short-listed for the educational leadership position.
Apart from hiring a candidate that can effectively administer the school community, the interviewers also want to see someone who has excellent communication skills and can relate well to other staff members.
The interviewers gain this information from your educational leadership resume or curriculum vitae CV and your verbal responses to interview questions.
If you haven’t written your CV or resume yet, you may wish to review this in-depth post. Choosing the correct curriculum vitae CV or resume format is a critical step to landing interviews.
You must prepare adequately. Don’t you agree?
A school principal interview is a different ball game compared to interviews for other school positions. Besides showing that you have an exceptional teaching record, you also have to prove that you would be an effective school leader and have the capacity to control and manage every situation that may arise under your supervision.
During the interview, there may be inquiries you’ve seen before in past meetings; however, there will be many others you will find more challenging and will require extra preparation to ensure your answers hit the mark.
6 School Principal Job Interview Questions and Answers
What do you consider a school principal’s most significant pressure?
Answer: I think the most significant pressure that a school administrator facing these days is figuring out how to do more with less. Decreased and a lack of funding is a critical issue facing most principals. Funding is falling at the state, federal, and local levels. Schools need to be innovated and do more with less. The lack of funding translates into having less certified staff, non-certified staff, and less educational resources.
Schools are still expected to perform at the same level, if not higher, than before. School administrators are under pressure to stretch their budgets, come up with creative ways to obtain and improve resources, and keep their limited staff from burnout.
Part of the role of a school administrator is to be an example for students and employees. How do you feel about this role?
Answer: The school principal serves as the educational leader, responsible for managing the policies, regulations, and procedures to ensure all students are supervised in a safe learning environment that meets the approved curriculum and mission of the school.
As the educational leader of the school, it’s my job to demonstrate and embody the ideals of a learning institution and uphold the highest integrity and leadership skills. People in the school community are always turning to the principal for answers. They also look to them as a model for behavior, leadership, and academics. I am excited at the prospect of taking on this role and feel that my excellent communication skills, dedication, work ethic, and education leadership skills will help me to excel in this environment.
What type(s) of people do you find it most challenging to work with daily or in a one-time project? How do you handle these kinds of individuals?
Answer: I find it most difficult to get along with people who get angry over a situation and then refuse to accept reasonable solutions to a problem. I would refer to them as unreasonable people.
For example, sometimes, parents get angry when a child is held responsible for misbehavior. Nothing will make them happy except for their child to be “let off the hook.” I handle this by remaining calm and polite and pointing out that the school has specific rules and consequences that the student is aware of and that I cannot show favoritism to one student over another. I sometimes commiserate with the parents stating that he or she is justifiably angry, but that they are not mad at me, but with their child for misbehaving and getting into trouble.
What are the educational leadership skills you most need to develop to advance your education career?
Answer: I’ve had considerable experience in managing and developing students in their academic careers, but I’ve been more limited in managing and emerging adults.
I believe this job of serving as an Assistant Principal will allow me to work under a master people manager with your school administrator, and further develop my employee management skills necessary to lead the school team to success.
How do you involve students in the decision-making process?
Answer: As a high school principal, I would include the students in the decision-making process by holding school elections, working with the student council, allowing students to vote on various issues. Other methods of involving students would be promoting a student-written school newspaper that addresses school decisions, and by encouraging students to attend PTA meetings and school governing board meetings.
Educational Leadership Job Interview Question
6: How would you help teachers and staff improve student achievement?
An example response to interview question #43 from the A+ Principal’s Interview Edge eBook.
Tailor your response by grabbing some ideas from the statements below. Choose ideas the would be productive in the school to which you are applying.
- Establish a school-wide discipline policy and back the teachers on discipline.
- Incorporate a school-wide homework policy that includes required reading and math practice at home for all students daily.
- Monitor test data to determine which areas of the curriculum need to be improved.
- Plan teacher training (in-service) and evaluate its effectiveness.
- Determine which instructional techniques are most active, train the teachers, and implement them in all classrooms.
- Increase time on each task.
- Watch students in classrooms weekly.
- Observe teachers and make specific recommendations for improvement as part of their evaluations.
- Make sure students who need Special Education services receive them.
- Establish a test preparation program.
- Implement high-quality English as a Second Language program.
- Create an after-school tutoring program.
- Reward students for academic success and improved effort.
- Train parents on how to help their children at home and provide the training in the native languages of the parents.
- Provide translators for parents who do not speak English at conferences and meetings. Provide report cards in the language students speak at home.
Other Interviewing Resources for Educational Leaders to Prepare for the Interview
These ten school administrator job interview questions and answers will help you to prepare further to ace the interview.
For more help preparing for administrator, specific interview questions take a look at A+ Principals’ Interview Edge, which includes 152 school administrator specific job questions and answers in today’s competitive marketplace.
It’s paramount to be fully prepared, and nothing will have you primed to ace an interview than knowing the questions and potential responses in advance!