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How to Prepare for a School Principal Job Interview to Reduce Stress

how to prepare for a school principal job interview to reduce stress

You may already know that preparing for a teacher or principal job interview reduces stress and, of course, increases your odds of landing a job offer. Going to a teacher job interview can be a highly stressful situation for many people. The best way to help relieve this stress is to maintain a positive attitude and be prepared. Preparation cannot be stressed enough.

Think of it as if your school principal job interview officially starts from the moment you receive a phone call. You need to use the time leading up to your interview to become as prepared as possible to ACE your educational leadership interview.

This preparation will include learning about the job and the school, as well as preparing yourself to answer interview questions and effectively explain your assets as they apply to the teaching position.

How to Prepare for a School Principal Job Interview

You will impress your interviewer if you have done your homework and taken the time to learn about the school district and the position. It shows that you are interested in working within their environment and care about getting the job. Doing your “homework” can mean the difference between you landing the job, and it going to someone else.

It is also important to spend time on your appearance. The way you look can be just as important as what you say. You want to give the best first impression possible, and there is no better way to accomplish this than by what you wear. Make sure to dress clean and tidy, and always shoot for professional dress. Even if you’ve been to the school before and know that the teachers typically wear jeans, do not expect that level of comfort/familiarity during the interview. A suit is usually best unless you’re specifically told otherwise.

Also, don’t go to an interview empty handed. On the flip side, don’t go with your hands full of things. It’s a good idea to bring a copy of your resume, cover letter, and philosophy of education statement, as well as a portfolio. They may or may not want to review your portfolio…but bring yours just in case.

Performing these preparations will not only improve your overall interview performance, but it will also alleviate much of the stress.

Here are ten things you can do to make your teaching job interview as stress-free as possible:

1.    Be positive.

2.    Be ready for the questions you will likely be asked. Think of the answers you want to give. If you need assistance with this, reach out to us for help.

3.    Know why you want to work for the particular school or district. Do your best to obtain information about the school ahead of time.

4.    Research the teaching position. What unique duties and responsibilities will go with the position?

5.    Know what you have to offer. What training you have had and what you have done that makes you ideal for this position?

6.    Be prepared to give names, addresses and phone numbers for references, however, don’t give them out until you’re asked at the interview. Throwing contact information around haphazardly will only serve to annoy your references.

7.    Have your resume and portfolio up to date and bring them with you.

8.    Make sure you can get there on time. Know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. Go there once beforehand if possible so you are sure of the route.

9.    Allow at least one hour for the interview. Don’t make any appointments or plans for right after the interview.

10.   Get enough sleep the night before. Be clean and neat. Prepare your clothes the night before.

If you follow these tips, you will likely be less stressed and more prepared to face the interview panel. If you would like to further prepare yourself, then check out our interview coaching service with Candace Alstad – Davies. She has 16+ years experience preparing teachers and school administrator for job interviews.