One of the trickiest questions you can get, especially if a principal is interviewing you. Just imagine it. A man who works as a school principal asks you if you ever thought about taking his 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 when 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 soon, but the opposite can be also truth. Maybe he likes his job and wants to hire (or recommend) for an assistant principal role someone not interested in promotion, or even someone not that good, so he can easily protect his own position at school.
It’s tricky, indeed. I suggest you to choose some sort of a neutral answer, 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 right now. My goal for the moment is to work close to students and learn more about how the school operates, so 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.
Special Tip: Do you want to see brilliant answers to all assistant principal interview questions presented on this website, and learn how to impress the interviewers? Have a look at Assistant Principal Interview Guide from Glen Hughins.