One of the trickiest questions you can get, especially if a principal is leading the interview. Just imagine that–a person who works as a school principal asks if you ever thought about taking their position over. What to do in this case?
First of all, you should analyze the situation. Is the principal old? In such a case, they may look for someone to train and educate, for someone who can actually replace them once they retire. In this case it’s absolutely right, and even advisable, to talk about your intentions to become a school principal one day. After all, it goes about a common career path.
Do not destroy the bridges
However, if a current principal is young, the question becomes difficult. You can not see into their head, you can not know their motives and goals. The principal may plan to leave the school, but the opposite can also be true. Maybe they like their job and want to hire (or recommend) for an assistant principal role someone who’s not interested in promotion, or even someone not that good, so they can easily protect their own position at school.
It’s tricky, indeed. I suggest you to choose some sort of a neutral answer, to take a swim without getting wet. Let’s have a look at the examples:
I know that a role of an assistant principal prepares one for a role of a principal. However, I do not think that far at the moment. I want to focus on my job, and see what happens in the future. If there is an option to become a principal, if my results speak for my credibility, I may consider applying.
Role of a principal differs to a role of an assistant principal. Principal is more a decision maker and a school representative in terms of PR, the leader. I honestly do not know if I am ready to take such a responsibility. My goal for the moment is to work closely with students, and learn more about the way the school operates. Therefore I prefer the role of an assistant principal. I did not think about becoming a principal, but I do not exclude this option for the future.
Choose a neutral answer, keep the doors open. That’s the best strategy in this case.
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