Principal Interview Guide – Fantastic answers to 40 difficult interview questions


Dear future Principal,

I will keep this page short, and to the point. Here is what I have for you:


In the eBook, you will find multiple brilliant answers to each of the following interview questions:

  • Describe your vision of an effective (elementary/secondary/high/other) school.
  • What are your expectations on teachers and assistant principals?
  • Please describe the role you feel parents should play in the operation of the school.
  • As a school principal, what message would you want your school to convey when visitors walk into the building?
  • As a new principal, how would you go about building relationship of trust and collaboration with staff, parents, and students?
  • What experiences have you had in working with low income and “at risk” students? How do you plan to work with them?
  • How will you market the school to the local community?
  • How would you lead an interview for a position of a teacher, with a candidate without experience? What questions would you ask them?
  • What classroom management strategies have been most effective for you? Do you think that principal should help teachers to improve their classroom management?
  • What do you consider most important when we speak about maintaining high staff morale?
  • What would you do if a group of students launched a complaint against a teacher, or an assistant principal?
  • How do you build a positive school culture or climate? Give examples of how you would do that here.
  • Can you give us an example of how you have successfully managed a difficult situation at school?
  • Would you allow students to give their opinion before you make an important decision that impacts their daily routine in school?
  • What do you consider your most outstanding contribution to your present school district?
  • …. and 25 other difficult questions you may face in your interview for a position of a Principal (Headmaster, School Director).

Check the sample to see how this book can help you:


Sample from the eBook

Question:  How will you market the school to the local community?

Hint: The best schools do not need any marketing efforts—their name and reputation speak for themselves, and they will attract the best students and the best teachers.

However, chances that you will lead one of such schools are rather slim. You will have a work to do, you will be the lead marketer (besides every other role you’ll have as a principal).

Nevertheless, you should start your answer saying that word of mouth is the best marketing, and you’d ensure the students and teachers are happy at your school, and will spread a good word.

Then you can refer to an excellent and up to date website of the school (this one is often overlooked by school leaders), and interesting social media profiles, promoting student activities and successes they will achieve under your leadership.

Parents born in the 80ties or 90ties are tech-savvy, and the first place they will go to gather information about your school is the World Wide Web.

Then you can mention other marketing efforts, such as promotional articles in local print media, collaboration with other schools, shadow days, and other.


Sample answers

– I will try to create a school environment where both students and teachers thrive, and enjoy going to (at least most of them). Word of mouth is still the best marketing, and any kind of paid advertisement can’t beat it in efficiency.

Beside that I will focus on a strong campaign on our social media channels, with a student and their daily life as the central point of the messages. I will also consider cooperating with other schools, and doing some promotion in local print media.


– Great website with up-to-date information is the first thing we should have in place, and I have to say that this school does not have such a website at the moment. I will ensure this issue is addressed as soon as I start my work, so future students and their parents can find everything they need on the website. Transparency is the key, and we should not hide anything.

I will also do my best to encourage the existing students and teachers to spread a good word about us, since word of mouth can still do wonders in 21st century. Once I see the marketing budget of the school, I will consider secondary activities, such as PR, print advertising, or PPC ads.

Last but not least, I will try to make a good impression whenever speaking in public, since I understand that I will be the one who represents the school in the eyes of the local community.


Question: How would you lead an interview for a position of a teacher, with a candidate without experience? What questions would you ask them?

Hint: Leading interviews with candidates for teaching jobs will be one of your duties. The quality of teachers (and whether you can motivate/lead them to try their very best in every lesson) will play a pivotal role in the experience the students will have—which is the most important thing.

Show the hiring committee that you are up for the challenge. You can narrate a situation from the past, when you recruited a new teacher, or belonged to an interviewing panel and came up with some great questions.

One way or another, I would advise you to put emphasis on personal traits of the job candidates. Whether they are a good person, whether they see the meaningful purpose in their job, whether they have what it takes to stand in front of a classroom and lead engaging and interesting lessons, whether they can accept responsibility, etc.

You can say that you will combine personal and situational questions, or anything else that works, according to your existing experience, to learn more about their personality and skills.

Do not hesitate to say that you will always invite one of the assistant principals (or other staff members) to participate in the interviews.


Sample answers

– I took part in many interviews while working as an assistant principal. First of all, I always tried to understand the personality of the job candidate, and their motivation. Why did they apply for a job with our school? What did they want to accomplish as teachers? What motivates them to try hard every day?

Such questions helped me to get a good grasp of their personality and communication skills. Then I’d progress to situational questions, asking them how they’d address certain situations in a classroom, such as conflicts with students, problems with discipline in the class, lack of motivation, chicane, and other.

This combination of questions helps, in my experience, to make a good picture of the job candidate.

But I will also always consider the options we have, and the situation on the employment market. If we need a new teacher and there is little interest from the side of the job seekers, I may focus more on presenting our school in a best possible light, and making a great impression on the job candidate, so they become interested in working for us.


– First of all, I will always invite one or two staff members to participate in the interviews, typically a senior teacher and an assistant principal. I will discuss the interview template with them and give them a chance to add questions. Hiring a new teacher is an important decision, and I won’t risk doing it on my own.

I will ask mostly personal and behavioral questions, trying to understand more about their motivation, goals, expectations, and attitude to various situations that happen in a classroom.

In my opinion, an equally important thing is to make a good impression on them, and explain what we expect from them in a job, and what challenges they will face while teaching at our school. Both parties should be able to make a right decision at the end of the interviews.

–End of the sample–


These were just two questions. You will find forty questions in the eBook, with an analysis and multiple great answers to each question.

All information from someone who has interviewed more than 500 applicants for the various positions in education, and who continues to help job seekers from all around the world to get jobs in teaching and educational administration. Can you imagine anything better to help you to get this job? I can’t.

What is more, to ensure that you will get the job, I added six key principles you need to understand before you can ace this interview.

Without talking too much about them, let me show you another sample from the book, this time one of the six principles:


Sample from the eBook nr. 2

Principle nr. 2: Interviewers are only people

They will follow a template in the interview, and they will try to ask each candidate the same questions.

But they won’t ask you questions with yes-no answers, and the answers of the candidates will vary a lot.

In most cases it won’t be possible to compare the answers, saying, for example, that answer of candidate A was better than answer of candidate B, and that the answer of candidate C was the worst one from the three.

The answers will be different. And all may be good (or bad)!

How will they choose the winner then?

Their decision will be from 90% emotional, and just from 10% rational. Sorry to say that, but it’s true. How they feel about your answers, and about YOU, matter the most.

Do they feel that you are genuinely interested in them (in each member of the committee and the group of people they represent)?

Do they feel good about you? Can they imagine sharing the same building with you? Can they imagine going for a lunch with you? Can they imagine discussing sensitive issues with you? Do they trust you?

We are people. We all have the same desires when it comes to other human beings. We want to feel respected; we want others to recognize our dreams, strengths and achievements. We want to cooperate with people who think on “the same wavelength”, people we feel good around, people who listen to us.

It is absolutely important to keep this on your mind when you interview for this job.

  • Keep an eye contact with the people in the committee.
  • Ask questions.
  • Listen to their answers, and elaborate on them with to-the-point questions, questions that show them that you really care.
  • Show enthusiasm; bring some positive energy to the room.
  • Show them that it is pleasure to be around you, that you have a lot to offer to the people who share the workplace with you.


And most importantly, have the right mindset when it comes to your opinion about the people in the committee.

I have experienced people doing this one wrong a countless times. They didn’t like me. Or they didn’t like someone else in the interviewing panel. Many times it happened. They considered me a guy who wanted to catch them off-guard, who wanted to put them under pressure, who wanted to uncover their weaknesses and mistakes, who wanted to break them.

They thought I was eager to find a reason to send them home, to say NO to their job application.

But was it really true? Is the interviewer a bad guy?

We want to hire people. That’s why we organize interviews at first place. It’s not easy to get five busy people to the same room on the same day to lead interviews, from morning to evening.

Believe it or not, we are as interested in you doing well as you are. Perhaps even more. We need a good new principal for the school. That’s why we organize the entire circus… But we have emotions. And we are only people, and we struggle to get over our emotions.

When we feel that someone doesn’t like us, it is not easy to get over it and consider their job application with a cool head.

We want you to do well, to pass the interviews. We may sometimes be hard on you—we have to play our roles after all, and put you under pressure in an interview with some tough questions. But that’s just the part of the game—it is nothing personal.

You should always consider each interviewer your friend. Think nicely about them. Are they too old, or too young to lead an interview? Do they look like they don’t know what they are doing?

Get these thoughts out of your head immediately. If you do not get them out of your mind, you can forget about succeeding in this interview.

Think nicely about your interviewers, and focus on what you do in an interview, not what they are doing, and whether they are qualified to consider your job application.

This way of thinking, this mindset, will reflect in your non-verbal communication. They will feel good with you. They will know that you like them.

Job candidates who fail to connect with the interviewers will be screened out first. The reasons won’t often be clarified. People in the committee will simply agree that they “didn’t feel right” about the candidate.

Ensure that it won’t happen to you. Come in with the right mindset!

–End of the sample–


Glen Hughins

Glen, author of the eBook

So that’s it. I do not want to waste your time with lengthy sales pages, fake (purchased) reviews, or imaginary discounts, just like other people do on their websites, while selling various digital products.

You have read the samples, you know what the eBook is about, and surely you can tell whether it will help you or not.

I sincerely believe it will help you in your interview. It will help you a lot. And you can read it easily in three or four hours, it’s 20,000 words. Only things that truly matter, no secondary content.

What is more, like with everything else we sell online, you have a risk free sixty days money back guarantee. If you don’t like this eBook for any reason, or no reason at all, just let me know (email me at glen[at]assistantprincipalinterviewquestions[dot]com) within 60 days, and I will give you a full refund.

Quick summary

  • Brilliant answers to forty difficult questions you may get in your interview for a school principal (headmaster, school director) job.
  • Originally published in 2019, latest update: 2022.
  • Several sample answers to each question, so you can choose one that reflects your values and experience.
  • Six principles of acing the principal interview, things you simply need to know to make the right impression on the hiring committee.
  • Instant download, .PDF format (you can read it on any device (mobile, kindle, PC), and you can easily print it).
  • Secure and simple checkout with PayPal, you can pay with your credit/debit card, or with your PayPal account.
  • Price: $29.95, one time payment, no hidden fees or upsell. 60 days risk free money back guarantee .
  • Click the checkout button below to proceed to the payment.

(After the payment you will be directed back to our website, to a protected page, to download your eBook. You will also receive a download link and instructions to your email, just to ensure that you will get the book without waiting, even if the redirect fails.)



And that’s not all!

You will get the following bonuses for FREE with your purchase!

cover of 15 most common interview questions, a bonus book15 Most Common Screening Interview Questions and Answers [eBook]

To help you (or your loved ones) to succeed in any job interview.

You will learn how to answer the following interview questions, common in all levels of interviews:

  • Can you tell me something about yourself?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • And eleven other common interview questions.

This priceless guide will help you and your loved ones in any interview, for many years to come.

cover of I Will Get a Job, a bonus material

I Will Get a Job! [mp3, instant download]

  • Teaches you everything you need to know to succeed in an interview. 
  • Mp3, instant download.

Buy Principal Interview Guide today, and get these two priceless job interview success products for FREE.

Your interview does not have to be stressful, or difficult. You can interview with confidence, and give brilliant answers to all tough questions. Download the guide today, and succeed in your interview for a job of a principal.

(Secure checkout with PayPal – you can pay with your debit/credit card. Single payment of $29.95. Instant Download. 60 days money back guarantee. No renewals, no upsell, nothing. Just one eBook and a great job contract waiting for you.)

Test it out for yourself. Try my professional Interview Guide in your next interview. Once you have tried it, I am confident you will keep it and will be more than happy about your purchase.

But if not, all you have to do is asking for a full refund. You can not lose anything with your purchase. You can only win a great job contract.

Glen Hughins, author of the eBookSincerely,

Glen Hughins,

Your personal job interview coach

P.S. Please send me a message if you have any questions. I try my best to answer all messages within twelve hours (glen[at]assistantprincipalinterviewquestions[dot]com).