School principal applicantSchool principal is a dream job of many people. However, it is not easy to get this job, and it is even tougher for a school to recruit a good principal.

To understand the personality of each job candidate, their motivation, attitude to various work-related situations and challenges the school faces, the internal HR committee, the local Department of Education, or the recruitment agency (whoever will lead the interview with you) need to design a complex interview process, that consists in more rounds.

During these rounds of interviews, you will deal with screening, behavioral and technical questions, and often also with a personality and IQ test. In this article we will have a look at the common questions, the interview template.


Questions for school principal interviews

  • What do you know about our school? What are the main areas for improvement?
  • What do you think should be the main goals of a school principal?
  • If you should characterize an ideal school principal with three words, what words would you choose?
  • Why have you decided for the job of a principal? What motivates you the most to do this job?
  • Do you think that the principal should take part in teaching? If they should, why?
  • How do you imagine a typical day in work?
  • What will be the first thing you do if you get this job?
  • From your point of view, what should be the relationship of a principal and the students?
  • What are your plans in long term horizon, let’s say in 10 years?
  • Do you have any experience with leadership?
  • What do you expect from the students, the vice principals, and the teachers?
  • How would you recruit new teachers for the school? Have you ever led job interviews?
  • From your point of view, what should be the role of technology in the process of education?
  • How would you attract more students to apply for a study program at our school?
  • Do you have any role models in life?
  • If we decide to move forward with your job application, when will you be able to start?
  • Speaking about public relations, what activities do you think should a school principal do?
  • Why should we hire you, and not one of the other job applicants?


A tough interview

School principal interview belongs to the most difficult interviews. It can be also very stressful, since you interview in front of a panel, and have to deal with a variety of questions. If you are not sure how to deal with this challenge, you can have a look at the website of Glen Hughins, a reputable interview coach and former school principal, who specializes in helping job seekers to get various jobs in education administration. You can find his website here: