300+ TOP PRINCIPAL Interview Questions and Answers

PRINCIPAL Interview Questions for freshers experienced :-

1. Who do I talk to when things aren’t going well?
Now, you may be thinking that you don’t want to suggest that things won’t go well. Don’t worry. Wise principals know that even the best, most experienced, teachers have problems during a school year. Like question number 1, there’s only one reasonable answer to this one. The principal should eagerly reply, “Me.”

2. What is your Twitter handle?
If the principal says she is not on Twitter, it may not be a deal breaker, but it’s definitely a red flag. Being a connected educator is essential to every educator’s success in the digital world in which we live. If a principal counters with, “Why is this important?” you should simply repeat my last sentence.

3. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Summarize by emphasize your qualifications as they apply to this job. Also cover anything you missed from your opening.

4. How Do You Handle Student Discipline?
As an assistant principal, your first and foremost task will be to assist the principal in his or her duties. From time to time, this means that you will be called upon to discipline an unruly student. You may be asked to determine whether the student should get detention, in-school or home suspension, or even expulsion in extreme cases. To answer this question, you should reply with a past scenario if you can. Explain the offense and the steps you took to discipline the child. If you do not have experience with student discipline, create an imaginary scenario and explain how you would handle it.

5. Have You Ever Handled an Upset or Irate Parent?

  • The parents of schoolchildren are often very involved with their children’s education, and as such, you will sometimes need to participate in meetings or conferences with parents.
  • Sometimes, and especially when students have been suspended or otherwise disciplined, parents can become very upset. Your interviewer will ask you if you have ever dealt with such a situation, and you should answer honestly.
  • If so, describe the situation and how you handled it. If not, you should provide another example of a situation in which your communication skills were able to dissolve the angry party’s frustrations.

6. What is your philosophy on mobile learning?
If the answer is, “We have a strict policy stating that all mobile devices must be left at home or in lockers,” you can forget your other questions and politely excuse yourself. It’s the 21st century, for crying out loud. Who wants to teach in a school that forbids the use of the most powerful teaching and learning tool ever created?

7. What are your major strengths as a principal?
Focus on these competencies when formulating your interview answers to these principal interview questions.

8. Have You Ever Evaluated a Teacher Who was Not Performing to Expectation?
Aside from disciplining students, you will also likely be called upon to evaluate the performance of individual teachers on a regular basis. You may also be asked to evaluate a teacher whose students’ test scores are not on par with national averages; you may even be required to evaluate a teacher about whom you have received multiple complaints from students, parents or even other staff. As such, the interviewer will need to determine your capabilities. Here, you should use another scenario if you are experienced with such evaluations. If you are not, explaining that you would take the time to listen to both sides and then create an effective remedial plan should suffice.

9. Am I required to assign homework or give a particular amount of tests?
For me, a Yes reply here is a deal breaker. However, there are ways around traditional homework and many alternative forms of assessment, so if all other questions are answered appropriately, you might still keep the school on your short list.

10. Outline the role that parents should play in the school?
Discuss your vision of positive parental contribution and how you have facilitated and promoted this through the implementation of school initiatives.

PRINCIPAL Interview Questions
PRINCIPAL Interview Questions

11. What qualities are you looking for in a teacher when you do a walk through or formal observation?
The answer to this question helps you know precisely what the principal expects from you, which will prepare you for future evaluations. More important, though, the answer tells you exactly what is important to the person running the school where you may soon work. Does she want to see a classroom that is orderly, where the teacher is in control? Or, is she looking for a vibrant, messy place where children are laughing, collaborating, and exploring?

12. Who has most influenced you to become an educator, and how did they influence you?
I believe that personal life experiences in education relate directly to the type of teacher someone will be,” Lotspeich told Education World. “The candidate’s response to that question should come from the heart, and it will give me insight into the ‘heart’ the candidate will draw on as he or she relates to students.

13. What about your qualifications for the position of principal?
Focus on the aspects of your experience that apply to this position.

14. What limits, if any, are there on the environment I create in my classroom?
Apart from anything that might break fire codes, it’s difficult to imagine this being answered with anything other than, “Do anything you wish; it’s your room.” If asked what you want to do, explain that you want an inviting, fun, learner-centered classroom. This may require you to move some chairs and tables, bring in some plants and maybe a few beanbag chairs, and a variety of other things that make learning fun.

15. What are the issues faced by the education sector? Do you have any suggestions to resolve these issues?
The interviewer here wants to know your take on the education system. You should be able to point out some issues that you feel are acting as a setback against the learning objectives. Suggest some measures and changes that you believe will bring a change in the way education is perceived and imparted.

16. How would you schedule classes?
Before answering this question, you should clarify the grade for which you are being asked to schedule the classes, and accordingly answer the best schedule that will help the students to attend all the classes attentively.

17. What professional goals have you set yourself for the next 5 years?
Focus on broad goals that contribute to the overall improvement of the school. Consider student results and achievement, staff performance and development, instructional quality, the school culture and reputation, community involvement.

18. I’ve read your application and resume, but what are the most important things I should know about you, your life, your experiences?
What I’m looking for when I ask that question is whatever the person really wants to share with me,” principal Tim Messick told Education World. Besides the basic responses, “I’m looking for candidates to get away from the ‘canned’ responses. I’m interested in hearing what the candidates feel is most important. I’m looking to learn how they see themselves and what they value about themselves.

19. How do you motivate and encourage staff?
Highlight the steps you take to create a climate in which people want to perform to the best of their ability. How do you assess an individual’s strengths and develop them? Highlight the mechanisms you put in place to support staff through collaboration and inclusion.

20. Do You Multitask Well?
You will have many duties as an assistant principal, so being able to perform many tasks all at once is imperative. In some cases, your interviewer will provide you with a hypothetical scenario in which the principal is out of the office and you are in the cafeteria supervising lunch break. During this time, you receive not only a report about a fight in a classroom, but you are also notified of an angry parent in your office demanding a meeting. Here, your interviewer is asking you to prioritize these tasks efficiently. Your answer should be short but precise. “I would ask another teacher to supervise the cafeteria long enough to bring the fighting students into my office and schedule a meeting with the parent.”

21. What would be your top priorities in this position?
The school want to know that you have an action plan in place. Understand the needs, demands, culture and values of this particular school or district. Show you are willing to confront and re mediate inadequacies in the school, to modify school structures where necessary and to identify and capitalize on current strengths.

22. How Would You Evaluate and Respond to a Teacher Who Does Not Meet Expectations?
One of your duties may be to conduct evaluations of teacher performance. If a classroom scores lower than anticipated on a standardizes test or if the school has received numerous complaints about a particular teacher from parents, students or staff you may be required to investigate the situation and confront the individual. The interviewer will want to understand your method for evaluating a teacher’s instructional effectiveness as well as their behavior towards students, parents and coworkers, including how you would gather all relevant information. The hiring manager will also want to know that you are capable of confronting a coworker while maintaining a good working relationship. You should be able to detail how you would work with the teacher to design a plan for improvement and a means of evaluating the effectiveness of that plan. As with all questions, include real examples from your own experience whenever possible.

23. What professional development activities have you undertaken recently?
Research has shown that effective principals derive much of their professional development from community partnerships and colleagues. Demonstrate how your professional development activities have addressed the personal areas you identified as needing improvement or strengthening. How have these activities allowed you to perform your job more effectively?

24. Have You Ever Dealt With an Angry or Upset Parent?
Interacting with parents is another important part of an assistant principal’s day. Most parents are eager to be involved in their child’s education and are heavily invested in their success. You might participate in formal and informal meetings and conferences with parents whose children are not meeting academic or behavioral standards. Parents can become very angry or upset in these meetings, particularly if they feel their child is being treated unfairly. You will need to be adept at handling an emotionally charged situation. If you have ever dealt with this type of situation, give your interviewer some context for what was happening and why the parent was upset. Explain how you handled it, how the parent responded, and what you learned from the situation that you can apply to future conflicts. If you have never deal with an angry parent, provide an example of another time when you were able to diffuse a tense situation.

25. How do you set about building good relationships with staff and parents?
The ability to build constructive and effective relationship is key to success in this role. How do you establish trust and confidence? Sharing relevant information, setting a clear direction, objectives and measures and providing and encouraging constructive feedback all contribute to successful relationships.

26. What Is Your Approach to Student Discipline?
At times the principal may delegate the discipline of an unruly student to you. A potential employer will want to know how you have used discipline in the past and whether it was effective. Some administrators use detention, suspension or even expulsion. Respond with specific situations you have dealt with and detail what you learned from each. Include information about the offense, the steps you took and the outcome. If you are new to administration, use what you have learned in your classes and witnessed in your educational experience to detail how you would handle an imaginary but common scenario. You might also explain how and when you would involve parents and teachers in a disciplinary issue.

27. What has been your greatest contribution to the schools you have worked in?
Make your answer relevant to the needs of this principal job when answering these type of principal interview questions. How did you contribute to the overall effectiveness of the school, to student achievement, to staff development, to strengthening the school culture?

28. How would you describe our school district to a potential new teacher?
Do your homework and research the school district through newspapers, District publications and websites. Identify the community issues and emphasize the positive.

29. What makes you think you are an ideal candidate for this job?
Answer this question by expressing not just your interest, but your qualifications for this position. Emphasize on the job duties in your previous jobs and the knowledge you have gathered throughout the course of your career. Be confident and ready to answer further questions that might arise when the employer discusses the job requirements.

30. How would you work with the School Improvement Team or equivalent to realize change?
This question could be geared toward a specific improvement objective (improving attendance, closing an achievement gap in reading, decreasing disciplinary incidents, etc.) and is geared toward merging important leadership areas-including instructional leadership, managerial leadership, visionary leadership, and organizational change leadership-together.

31. Don’t hesitate, ask if you have any questions for us?
You definitely would have questions in your mind and need to clear all your doubts. Do not hesitate to ask the time the recruiters will take to decide for your selection, or the operations, or anything else that you feel is reasonable to be asked.

32. How many classes/lectures can you handle apart from administrative tasks?
Feel comfortable to speak about the number of classes/lectures you can handle, because sometimes you might have to handle more classes than usual apart from the administrative tasks assigned on a routine basis.

33. What salary do you expect?
State clearly about your salary expectations and justify why you want this salary.

34. What about yourself and your career?
You need to make the maximum use of this opportunity to introduce various aspects of your personality. Apart from your name, work experience, and qualifications, you should describe about your interests and goals. You can also highlight the milestones of your career. When you start answering, maintain eye contact with the interviewer(s).

35. Are you interested in sports and outdoor activities such as camping?
Discuss about your interest in outdoor sports and other activities that are aimed to keep an individual physically as well as mentally rejuvenated. On the other hand, if you are not much into outdoor activities, then feel free to discuss your interest in indoor and virtual sports.

36. Can you please explain your weaknesses?
Weakness is a human trait. No one is perfect and can never be. Still, there is always a room for improvement when you are able to recognize the areas where you lag behind. Openly discuss about what you consider as your weaknesses and do not forget to elaborate on the measures you are taking to eliminate your weakness.

37. How would you resolve a conflict between two upset adults in your school?
This hypothetical question is framed to possibly involve either staff members or parents. As an administrator, you will likely face upset adults who are angry or frustrated.

38. How will you ensure that staff members continue to grow as professionals?
In an age of accountability and budget cuts, principals are increasingly asked to lead professional development in new and relevant ways. Districts will likely want to hire school leaders who are aware of current needs and trends, future developments, and are aware of the real needs of teachers and staff in today’s schools.

39. How will you support a safe and effective school wide learning environment?
It is safe to expect to receive some sort of “discipline” or “climate” question that is geared toward better understanding your approach to climate issues you will surely face. School safety is at the forefront of today’s discussions related to education, and a school community will want a leader that is focused on a safe learning environment.

40. What do you know about our organization? Would you like to make any changes in our vision, goals, and activities?
The answer to this question emphasizes on your familiarity with the organization and how well you understand the nature and scope of its operations. Discuss areas where you think improvement should be done while keeping in mind that your suggestions should be practical.

41. If your life was a movie, who would play the lead role?
A smile (or laugh) can go a long way to show that you can play along. Do your best to take the question on with a mix of thoughtfulness and fun. If possible, relate your answer with a laser-like focus of how you are equipped for this particular leadership role. As a leader, you will deal with the unexpected. . . . How will you handle it?

42. What would you do to resolve conflicts that arise among the students owing to difference in caste and ethnicity?
Conflicts among students are unavoidable, and there is little that can be done to completely eliminate these situations. However, you need to explain the various measures you would take to imbibe a sense of unity and respect among the students for each other.

43. Can you describe a mistake you have made before and how you addressed it?
I like this one much better than the worn-out “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” question. If we’re honest, we all make mistakes. The key is being willing to admit them, learn from them, and emerge better and stronger as an individual and as a leader. The panel will likely be looking for honesty, growth, and how you perceive yourself as a leader and lifelong learner.

44. How do you tackle situations where parents support their child despite being told that the child is indisciplined?
Give your insight about handling such situations where taking a stance is tough, yet inevitable to avoid further complications.

45. What is a recent professional development-related book you have read recently and what did you gain from reading it?
If panels don’t ask this, they should! And if you don’t have anything in mind, you should! As a learning leader, your education shouldn’t stop just because you complete a graduate degree. Principals must be professional development leaders and if you are not keeping up-and contributing to-current trends and best practices, than you risk being “stuck” in a rapidly-changing educational climate.

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