How to Cope With All Difficult Assistant Principal Interview Questions?

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School where good assistant principals are workingAssistant Principal, one of the most important employees of every educational institution, is responsible for plenty of things that happen on a daily basis. It is not easy to recruit a good AP. Therefore, the job interview for this position is very complex and sophisticated.

What questions to expect? How to make a good impression on the people sitting in the hiring committee? What decides the winner at the end of the interview session?

And most importantly, how to prepare for this challenging experience and walk away with a coveted job contract? You will find answers to all these questions on our website, that specializes only in assistant principal interview. Written by Glen Hughins, Consultant at Educational Recruitment Agency Meridian & Interview Coach. Enjoy your reading!

What questions to expect in an interview?

First of all, they will test your communication skills, values and opinions with couple of typical interview questions. To such questions belong:



The answers to these questions are very important, because this is the moment when the first impression is created. If it is a good one, you can count on it for the rest of the interview and it can carry you towards the finish line – a coveted job contract. . . .

After this “introductory” part of an interview, behavioral questions typically follow. These questions are focused mostly on your past experience with teaching, or with managing the others. You can expect to hear the following questions:


  • How did you deal with upset parents whose child complained about you?
  • How did you deal with lazy students?
  • How did you cope with stress at school?
  • Did you supervise any school event in the past? What problems did you face? How did you handle the problems?
  • How did you motivate the students to do their homework, or to prepare for an exam?


As you can see, these questions are focused on your past experience. Employers believe that once you took certain action in situation A, you will most likely act in a similar way in a similar situation in the future. What more, asking you these interview questions, they can also verify if you really have some practical experience with doing a job, or not. Many people write nice things on a resume. However, you can hardly fool anyone, if you can not remember on some work related situations from the past.


Situational and personality questions

Schoolroom with many peopleNeedles to say, right personality is very important for a good assistant principal. Your values and opinions interest all the interviewers. They will give you different questions in order to assess if you have right personality for this job, or not. They will also outline some dilemmas to see your opinions and ideas of improvement.
Once answering the following questions, do not forget to have the interests of school at the first place, the interest of students at the second place and your own interests just at the third place.


So, that’s it. General questions, behavioral and situational questions. Is not easy, is it? However, that’s not all!

Personal preferences matter a lot

To be objective, many principals, members of internal HR committees and Departments of Education, or whoever is going to interview you, are not real HR professionals. They are not going to use any scientific methods to analyze your answers to interview questions.
They are just human beings with good interest to help the youngsters to find their way in life and want to do a good job themselves. And as everyone else, they are looking for good colleagues, for colleagues they feel good with, for nice people they can co-operate with when achieving these goals.
Can it be you?

Personal preferences are really important. That’s why you should do your very best to create a good relationship with the interviewers. I know it’s not common in many other interviews. But in this case, it is a must if you want to succeed. Smile, be friendly and easygoing. Try to tune yourself on the same wavelength as the interviewers are tuned on.


Do not forget to ask questions. Be active!

People shaking hands in an interviewGood applicant for assistant principal position should be creative, responsible and active man. You should present your ideas in an interview. Tell them what you would like to improve, what actions you would like to take, what you would like to do with students.
It is also strongly advisable to inquire the interviewers about the activities of school and the overall situation there. You can inquire also about the challenges they face, etc.
More questions you give, the better your chances of getting a job are.


Listen more, talk less

However, a good employee in education field should be a good listener at first place. That’s why it is more than important to present this ability in an interview. Listen carefully, do not interrupt the interviewers and speak to the point. Use rather short, but to the point answers. Do not forget to be positive. Schools are full of negative people. . . .

As you can see, it’s not easy at all to ace this interview. However, we believe that with help of our website, you can end up being the best one in the eyes of the interviewers. But it’s up to you. We can give you a helping hand, but it is you who must do the first step, who must study the information.

What to say at the end?

To get a job of an assistant principal is not a question of luck. The candidate who devotes lot of time to his preparation is typically the successful one. If you want to do more than your competitors, have a look at my Assistant Principal Interview Guide. You will find there detailed analysis of all twenty most common interview questions, coupled with brilliant multiple answers to each question. And some surprises too. . . . Thank you, I wish you good luck!

Glen Hughins, Your Personal Interview Coach

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