how to answer assistant principal interview questions

One of the most important steps of pursuing an education career as an assistant principal is the job interview. To be as prepared as possible for this interview, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the questions you will be asked. If you’re interviewing for an assistant principal position, there are some common questions you will want to answer well.In this article, we look at some typical interview questions and examples of good answers.

What does an assistant principal do?

The questions an interview will ask during an assistant principal interview will differ depending on the school, the duties involved in the position and the experience of the interviewee. Here are some common assistant principal questions with example answers:

What advice would you give to first-year teachers?

If you have experience as a teacher, you know that the first year of any teacher’s career is the most difficult. There is so much to learn and getting used to classroom management takes practice. Also, most new teachers do not have lesson plans they can recycle from previous years, so many first-year teachers spend nights and weekends working on their curriculum, besides grading their student’s tests and assignments.

Since the assistant principal also serves as a support person for teachers, you might be asked what advice you would give to a first-year teacher. When preparing for this question, reach back to your own experiences as a first-year teacher and ask yourself what advice might have been helpful to you.

Example answer: “I think the most important quality in a teacher is a genuine interest in the students and their progress. I would advise new teachers to try to see things from their students’ perspectives. If you are empathetic and willing to listen, students will often surprise you and remind you why you originally decided to teach. I would also encourage them to find someone they can confide in. Talking to other teachers who have had similar experiences can remind you that you are not alone.”

What kind of teaching experience do you have?

This question allows you to share your practical experience interacting with students, parents and other teachers. List your previous teaching positions and any unique responsibilities that you had. Mention all the different grade levels and subjects you taught. Consider sharing your experience in chronological order, highlighting any significant promotions you have received during your career.

If you do not have a lot of practical teaching experience, share details about any other leadership positions you may have held. Discuss any organizational experience you have had managing teams, planning events or working in administration. Mention any experience you may have had interacting with kids in another role. Experience as a camp counselor, school nurse or school librarian would be relevant.

Example answer: “I have been teaching for the last fourteen years. My first job was teaching third grade at New Point Elementary school. I taught there for six years before I was offered the opportunity to teach science at Griffith High School. I have worked there for the last eight years. I served as the sponsor for the school STEM club and volunteered as a part of the school SBGA committee. I became close friends with the school’s assistant principal and realized it was time for me to pursue serving the school district in a different capacity.”


What should I say at an assistant principal interview?

You should talk positively about your previous experience. Tell the interviewers about the things you achieved while working at some other school (in terms of tangible results). Explain the lessons you learned at your last place, and how they helped you to become a better assistant principal.

What are good questions to ask at the end of an assistant principal interview?

You may ask how the faculty interacts with each other and with the students. Ask about the goals of the school and the challenges it faces. You may also prompt the interviewer to describe a typical day in the school or some special events that are held throughout the year.

Why should we hire you as our assistant principal?

Example answer: “I would like to have a positive impact on the lives of every student I am responsible for. I would always make their safety and success my utmost priority. Specifically, I would like to do everything I could to inspire the students to invest in their own education.

What qualities make a good assistant principal?

Common Characteristics of Assistant Principals
  • Strong organizational skills. …
  • Attention to detail. …
  • A desire to help students succeed. …
  • Trustworthiness. …
  • Diplomacy. …
  • Effective communicator. …
  • Familiar with technology. …
  • ​The desire to be active and visible.

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