An assistant principal plays an important role in shaping school policy. They may assist in researching and initiating new programs and evaluating the results. They will interact with teachers, students and parents on a daily basis, solving problems and making plans for improvement. A successful assistant principal has a positive attitude, strong leadership skills and the ability to work well with others.
When interviewing for a position as an assistant principal, it is important to research the district where you will be working. Learn about the student population, the school's past performance and their goals for the future. Conduct a mock interview to practice common assistant principal interview questions and answers such as these so you will be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.
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.
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.
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.
As a school administrator you will interact with students, teachers and parents on a daily basis. As you review common assistant principal interview questions and answers you should craft responses that illustrate your ability to communicate effectively, evaluate a problem and come up with a solution that puts student performance first while alleviating the concerns of those involved.