Interview strategies for the aspiring school administrator

Posted on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 @ 16:01 PM

school administrators interviewThe Internet is brimming with “top 10s” and “useful tips and tricks” for acing your upcoming interview. But in our experience, once you’ve read one, you’ve kind of read them all—not to mention the fact that few, if any, of them are custom-tailored to fit the kind of scenario facing the aspiring school administrator.

Recently, however, we came across a set of interview strategies by Dr. William Sterrett, an assistant professor at University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Finally, one set of interview strategies worth reading!

We’ve only recounted two of the nine questions you should plan on being asked during your big interview, but aspiring school administrators can find the complete list here. To help you prepare your answers, Sterrett has offered an explanation for the rationale behind the questions and things to consider as you formulate your answers.

Interview strategies for the aspiring school administrator

 1.)    How might you describe effective instruction?

  1. Rationale behind the question:  Some interview questions may be broad and open-ended; this one serves as an example.   Principals must serve as learning leaders; this question addresses this role.
  2. How you might approach the question: Be clear and succinct.  Don’t filibuster.  You may want to consider framing a bit of theory (such as through the lens of student engagement, instructional strategies, etc.) through a practical lens (describe what this might look like in the particular environment in which you wish to serve).  Be specific: what would this look like in a second grade math classroom?  If you are applying for a secondary vacancy, what might you look for in an AP Chemistry class?   

 2.)    How will you support a safe and effective school learning environment?

  1. Rationale behind the question: It is safe to expect to receive some sort of “discipline” or “climate” question that is geared toward better understanding your approach to 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. 
  2. How you might approach the question: As with all answers, be realistic, honest, and describe approaches that will enable you to help lead a community of learners.   You might discuss a particular school-wide strategy that has worked, recount a specific case where your leadership and/or action made a difference, and describe how you will work with teachers, students, and parents to create a learning-centered climate. 

You can read the rest of Sterrett’s article here.

If you’re interested in enhancing your credentials or taking your career in education to the next level, stop by our site to learn more about Marygrove College’s Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. And just so you know, Educational Leadership is only one of several online degree and certificate programs that you can pursue at your pace and on your terms.


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Topics: Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership Degree, Educational Leadership Master's Programs, aspiring school administrator, Online Master's in Educational Leadership, New Principals

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