How to Prepare for a Principal Interview


The principal of the school serves an important leadership and administrative role. Principals must demonstrate leadership, create school goals and policies, and take disciplinary action against students who act out. In most cases, schools will not consider a candidate for principal unless he has previous administrative and leadership experience, such as working as an assistant principal at another school. According to, the average principal makes about $73,000.

  • Consider what kind of leader you want to be. Some people lead in a gentle manner while others lead with an iron fist. There is no one way to lead as long as you lead fairly and get your students to respect you.

  • Determine your education philosophy as it regards to important issues such as test taking, the role of athletics in schools and teaching children how to love information.

  • Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as an employee, potential principal and human being. Consider how your previous jobs showcase your strengths. For example, if you were an assistant principal at a school with great academic success, explain that you managed time well and engaged in many positive interactions with students because of your gregarious nature.

  • Gather materials that showcase your skills, such as news articles that proclaim your successes, letters of recommendation or awards you have won. Make copies of these items and bring them to your interview.

  • Groom your hair, nails and skin so they are clean and simple. If you wear nail polish, keep it clear or pale in color. Wear only simple makeup, and choose a professional hair style.

  • Dress in comfortable but professional attire that would be appropriate for a day on the job as a principal. For example, you may wear dress shoes, a crisp white button-up shirt and black trousers.

  • Ask a friend to perform a sample interview by asking you common questions such as, "Why would you be a great fit for this job?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

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