Principal Interview Questions

Principals are awesome. They shape school culture in a positive way and create a safe, challenging, and disciplined space for learning.

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Principal interview questions

Your next high-performer is experienced, qualified and awesome at handling stressful situations. They’ll have an equally strong set of soft skills as well as hard skills. Plus, they’ll have experience hiring, training and developing teachers, improving student performance and communicating with parents. 

Top tips: 

  • Know the process: Your hiring committee will oversee the hiring process, and will start by deciding the essential requirements based on existing needs and goals. Usually, the committee will run the first-round interview and the core admin team will run the second-round. 
  • Think diversity: Diversity is key for a thriving workplace. Keep an eye out for management and exec-level candidates from varying backgrounds and aim to eliminate bias from your hiring process.

Problem solving interview questions

  • What do you know about our school improvement plan? What will you contribute to that plan?
  • What does an effective (elementary/middle/high) school look like to you?
  • What’s your leadership style?
  • How would you rate yourself as a disciplinarian?
  • Describe a time you’ve handled a delicate situation. What happened?
  • How do you empower teachers to be awesome leaders?
  • What makes a highly effective teacher? How do you ensure you hire the best?
  • Have you ever made an unpopular decision? What happened?
  • What would you do if teachers complained about a lack of admin support?
  • How do teacher evaluations relate to student achievement?
  • How do you help teachers improve their instruction methods?
  • What are your top classroom management strategies?
  • How would you support new teachers during their first year?
  • Have you ever had to give negative feedback to a long-serving teacher? What happened?
  • How would you bridge the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students?
  • How do you know which parent orgz are effective?
  • When would you involve parents when dealing with difficult students and how would you communicate with them?
  • Have you ever discovered a student actively endangering other students? What did you do?
  • What would you do if a group of students complained about a teacher?
  • How would you balance extracurricular activities v budget cuts?
  • What new services or activities did you bring in at your last school?
  • How would you increase community engagement?
  • What are our school’s strengths and weaknesses?

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