Have you ever thought of becoming a school principal?

 

One of the trickiest questions you can get, especially if a principal is leading the interview. Just imagine the situation–a school principal asks if you ever thought about getting their job, about replacing them in the future. What to do if it happens in your interview?

A school bulding in the US, Abraham Lincoln School, building and grass in front of a building

First of all, you should analyze the situation. Are they old? They may actually look for someone they can train and educate, for someone who will eventually replace them once they retire. In such a case you can talk about your goal of becoming a school principal one day. This career path is not uncommon.

Do not destroy the bridges

If they are young, however, the question becomes difficult. You can not see into their mind, you can not know their motives and goals. They may plan to leave the school, but the opposite can also be true. Maybe they like their job a lot, and they want to hire (or recommend) for an assistant principal position someone who has no interest in promotion, or perhaps even someone who is not that good. Some principals may act in this way to protect their own position at the school.

It is tricky, indeed. I suggest you to choose a neutral answer, to take a swim without getting wet. Let’s have a look at some answers:

I know that a role of an assistant principal prepares one for the role of a principal. At least somehow. 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 abilities, I may consider applying for the job.

Principal is more a decision maker and a school representative in terms of PR. They are the leader. I honestly do not know if I am ready to take such a responsibility. My goal is to work close to the students, and learn more about the way the school functions. Therefore I prefer the role of an assistant principal. While at the moment I do not think about becoming a principal one day, I do exclude this option for the future.

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