How Did You Cope With Stress at School?


Man sitting at the computer is stressed from school

Interviewers do not want to hear your philosophy about stressful situations. They want to hear about real stressful situations that you experienced in the 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 nerve racking…. However, as a good applicant for assistant principal role, you should be able to cope with stress.

Do not hesitate to admit it

We are humans. While some of us might be able to avoid stressful situations (at least most of the time), it’s impossible to avoid them completely, especially in schools. That’s why you should admit that you experienced stressful situations in the past. What’s more, you can talk not only about your own stress, but also about the stress children felt, and how you helped them to deal 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 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, 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 the pressure, or a stressful situation someone else had to face and you helped them to overcome it. 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 I practiced my speech many times, what helped me to get rid of stress and deliver a good speech.

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 a short story. Most of the time it worked.

To work with children from different social groups was stressful. However, I found a way to understand each group and to talk to them in their own language, which helped everyone.

Try to describe a realistic situation, and present yourself as someone who can solve problems, someone who copes with their own pressure and helps the others to cope with theirs.

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