December 2017
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  1. Interview Questions and Approaches for Appointment of School Principals or Vice Principals


    Interview Questions and Approaches for the post of School Administrator

    The following are the questions and approaches that can be used for planning an effective interview for the appointment of school administrators. This excellent interviewing resource has been developed specifically for educators. These questions on different areas would help you in improving your interviewing skills for hiring effective principals or vice principals for the school. It will help you in identifying a well-qualified and competent candidate suitable for the required post of school administrator.


    • Please explain experience you have had as it relates to this position.
    • Tell us about yourself. (Include information about high school, college, activities, honours, student teaching assignment, administrative experience, etc.)
    • What are your endorsements?
    • Why do you want to be a school principal/assistant principal/dean of students?
    • What do you perceive as the top priority for a school administrator? For this position?
    • Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the position?
    • What makes for a good school?


    • Describe some characteristics of school students.
    • What three expectations do you have of students?
    • How do kids learn?
    • How have you had a positive influence on the lives of your students as an administrator?
    • What should a typical day be like for students in middle school?

    Leadership – General

    • Tell us about your leadership style. How do you lead? What would we observe when watching you work with staff?
    • What role do you take in team meetings?
    • What do you look for when observing teachers?
    • Describe how you use technology to manage your building.
    • What characteristics do you look for in a teacher candidate for your building?
    • Describe your experience with building a master schedule.
    • What three expectations do you have of your staff?
    • Explain your experience in running meetings and leading groups.
    • How have you worked with regular education teachers to ensure the success of integrating kids with special needs in regular education classrooms?
    • What are the characteristics of a successful school for young adolescents?
    • Describe your knowledge and experience in using data to inform decisions.

    Leadership – Instruction/Curriculum

    • Describe a curriculum project that you have led in your building as an administrator and your role in the process.
    • Describe your experience working with special education programs and students.
    • Describe your experience working with English language learners.
    • Describe what you consider good assessment.
    • What do you see as the curriculum director’s role in working with your staff?
    • What do you consider to be the key components of a good grades program?
    • When you walk into a classroom, how can you tell if learning is going on?
    • What do you expect to see in quality lesson plans?

    Leadership – Staff development

    • How do you tell someone he or she is not doing a good job?
    • How do you decide what staff development is necessary?
    • How do you determine what to do on staff development day?
    • How do you evaluate the effectiveness of staff development?
    • What does staff development look like in your school?


    • How would you go about developing and implementing an advisory program in a school where no such program exists?
    • Have you had to develop a shared vision where there had been no vision or differing visions? Describe that experience.
    • How do you work with a teacher who repeatedly sends students to the office?
    • How do you work with a parent who is upset or angry with a teacher?
    • Describe the toughest student(s) you have dealt with and how you resolved the situation?
    • What steps would you follow if a teacher did not comply with your recommendations after a classroom visit?
    • How do you react when a parent calls and is upset with something one of your teachers has done?
    • How do you react when a parent calls and is upset with something you have done?

    School Climate and Community

    • Describe ways you contribute to or facilitate collegial support and staff morale.
    • When dealing with a discipline problem with a student, what is your major concern?
    • How much and what type of input do you solicit from a teacher in dealing with referrals and discipline problems with a student?
    • What kind of discipline plan do you expect from the teachers working under you?
    • When a teacher sends a student to you for discipline, what process do you follow?
    • How have you helped others develop discipline, intervention, or behaviour plans?
    • Tell us about a time when you had to make a difficult decision, and you knew that whatever you decided, some people would be unhappy.
    • Define “learning community” and describe what that looks like in your school.
    • What does a safe, supportive, encouraging environment look like in your school?
    • How do you go about creating and nurturing a safe, supportive, encouraging school environment?
    • What role do parents and adult family members have in the school?
    • What do you expect of students’ parents and adult family members?

    Professional identity, care, and development

    • What makes you well-suited to work with students in this capacity?
    • What is your greatest strength? Weakness?
    • What three words would your staff use to describe you?
    • What three words would your students use to describe you?
    • What do you read to stay current in your field?
    • What are your long-term professional goals?
    • What do you do to combat stress?
    • What kinds of things are important to you and would definitely be part of your daily schedule?

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