As you can see, interviewers do not want to hear your philosophy about handling stressful situations. They want to hear about real stressful situations from your past.
Let’s face it. School is a stressful environment. To work with people is stressful in general and to work with children is sometimes even nerve racking… However, as a good applicant for assistant principal position, you should be able to cope with stress.
Do not hesitate to admit it
We are human beings. While some of us might be able to avoid stressful situations (at least most of the time), it’s impossible to avoid it completely, especially in places like schools. That’s why you should tell that you experienced stressful situations in the past. What more, you can talk not only about your own stress, but also about the stress children felt, and how you helped them to cope with it… To the most stressful situations belongs:
- First day at school, or other special days (stressful for all)
- Introducing new teacher to students (stressful for teacher)
- Giving a test or an important exam (stressful for students)
- Solving a conflict, or a difficult situation between students and teachers (stressful for assistant principal)
- Giving a speech in front of other people (stressful for assistant principal)
Ability to handle the stress
A leading figure at school, you should set an example for the others. You should be the one who stays calm and copes with stress quickly, the one who can help the others to cope with their own difficult situations. Therefore you should mention situations in which you successfully coped with stress you faced, or a stressful situation someone else had to face. Let me help you with some answers:
I often had to speak in front of a big group of people and I did not feel good about doing that. However, I always put a lot of time into preparation and practice of my speech, what helped me to get rid of my stress and deliver a good talk at the end.
As a teacher I had to cope with the stress of students, especially before the important exam. I always tried to motivate and encourage them. I also tried to ease the situation a little bit with a joke, or something similar. Most of the time it worked.
To work with children from different social groups was stressful. However, I found a way how to understand each group and how to talk to them, which helped everyone of us.
Try to describe a realistic situation and present yourself as someone who is able to solve problems, someone able to cope with their own pressure and help the others to cope with theirs. That’s the best way to impress the interviewers and get a job.
- Have you ever thought of becoming a school principal?
- What do you think are the main duties of an assistant principal?