Assistant Principal Interview QuestionsAssistant Principal Interview Questions

Top 20 Frequently Asked Assistant Principal Interview Questions in 2023

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An assistant principal or vice principal is one person leading a school administration. Also, a career as an assistant principal would probably mean you will enjoy a fine balance of leadership while maintaining a wonderful connection with students.

For some years, assistant principals have steadily increased, especially in elementary schools. This position promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion in schools. It also ensures that all students get the adequate foundation to help them excel academically, irrespective of their social, economic, and physical differences.

The role of an assistant principal involves high pressure and visibility as you will pass through a couple of interviews to prove you are qualified.

The job interview is an important step in pursuing a career as an assistant principal. To secure a job as an assistant principal in most schools, you have to prepare very well; proper preparation will require you to go through many assistant principal interview questions and their correct answers.

If you are going to interview for an assistant principal role, there are common questions that you need to answer well. In this article, you will learn about the top 20 questions you would like to answer well, ace your interview and secure your job as an assistant principal.

What Does An Assistant Principal Do?

Every school administration team requires the figure of an assistant principal. Assistant principals get in touch with every part of the school community, which includes the school teachers, parents, and students. 

Though the majority of the duties of an assistant principal will depend on the needs of the school, some responsibilities are common to assistant principals, and they include:

  • Hiring and training school staff 
  • Coordinating the use of school facilities for community events
  • Making orders for equipment for the office and classroom
  • Maintaining the integrity of records and students
  • Responding to emails from both staff and parents
  • Coordinating the use of school facilities for community events
  • Enforcing school rules and regulations 
  • Collaborating with teachers to improve the curriculum and teaching methods to improve the academic experience of the students
  • Supervising the school grounds during the school day

How To Answer Assistant Principal Interview Questions

While studying commonly asked interview questions and their answers can give you ideas about the job and what to expect in your interview, that alone is still not enough to guarantee your success. 

However, a technique for tackling questions you expect, as well as those that you don’t expect will help you stay ready for any circumstance and ace your interview.

It is important that you remember that each school has its set of challenges and has different expectations of the person they hire as the assistant principal. 

The first thing you have to do is to research the school to learn about their needs, challenges, achievements, and plans. This will help you acquire some vital information about your interview. 

One place to start your research about the school is the job description, it often contains information about the skills and qualifications required for the role. 

Other resources to research a school include its official website, social media pages, and even local newspapers. These will help you learn about the school’s mission and values and will also give you a glimpse into the culture of the school.

After you are done with your research, you should have some vital information about the school you are applying to and some questions you will be asked. The next step is to develop an approach to answer the interview questions. You will want to be ready for both classic and job-specific questions.

One friendly approach to answering interview questions is to focus on relevancy, which will require you to speak to a district’s unique needs. This approach will help you communicate interestingly and help you stand out.

When asked behavioral questions, it is better to make your answers relevant, engaging, and provide simple examples of why you are a great fit for the job.

Before you get into the questions, discover the 21 Great Job Interview Tips: How to Make An Impression

Top 20 Assistant Principal Interview Questions

Below is a list of the top 20 assistant principal interview questions in no particular order. Each question will have an overview followed by a key to answer it correctly and also may contain an example answer snippets:

1. Why do you want to be an assistant principal?

This question requires you to include your passion for the school you are interviewing with in your answer.

Your answer should focus on your ability to impact and how you intend to improve students’ learning experience, connect with the community, and support teachers. 

In this case, avoid telling about your career ambitions, lust for money, and how it benefits you.

2. What qualities do you think are a must for an assistant principal?

Working as an assistant principal is not a simple job. It demands a lot of skills and hard work, which includes balancing the demands of teachers and students, responding to parents, and managing the school’s daily activities.

Your answer should include the qualities that are required for one to be a successful assistant principal which include taking initiative in difficult times, effective communication, being fair and consistent in judgment, passion for teaching and learning to make a positive impact, and even a growth mindset.

3. How did you deal with a parent whose child complained about you?

A leader in a school must know how to deal with complaints. Your answer here should include how listening and agreement, empathy, following up with a parent and taking responsibility, and saying your apologies when necessary play an important role in resolving issues arising from complaints.

4. What is your approach to discipline and motivation for students?

Knowing how to handle students and keeping them motivated is a wonderful skill that every leader in the school should possess.

Your answer here should include the importance of good relationships, rewards, consistency, and an appropriate learning environment that helps to optimize the learning environment in the school.

5. What makes for an effective team?

Something can also frame this question as “describe your experience as an effective team.” This question understands how you intend to work with the principal.

Your answer here should focus on the power of teamwork, how healthy debate leads to collective implementation and loyalty.

6. How do you handle student discipline?

This question allows your interviewer to learn about your philosophy towards life and know if it aligns with the school’s expectations. 

Your answer here should explain your philosophy in life and focus on how you can help students excel in their academics. Avoid demeaning students in your answer.

7. How would you schedule classes?

Depending on the grade you are asked about, your answer here should include the best schedule that will help students to attend all classes attentively.

8. How many classes can you handle apart from administrative tasks?

Although most roles won’t require you to handle more classes apart from your normal role as an assistant principal, you should give your honest answer here just in case you actually have to manage some classes yourself.

9. How do you resolve conflicts that arise among students owing to differences in their caste and ethnicity?

It is impractical to prevent conflicts among students. However, your answer should contain the measures you would take to imbibe a sense of unity and respect among them.

10. What are the issues faced by the education sector? What are your suggestions to resolve these issues?

This question helps the interviewer to understand your take on the education system. Your answer is expected to point out some issues you think are a setback against the learning process. Also, your suggestions on the measures and changes you believe will help ease these problems.

11. What are your weaknesses?

This question is not to judge you negatively because no human is perfect, and weakness is a human trait. You are expected to openly discuss the areas where you lag and how you intend to work on your improvement. It is important you elaborate on the actions you make to eliminate your weakness.

12. What are your salary expectations?

Depending on the school, you might be asked this question and it is important that you clearly state your salary expectations and justify why you want such a salary.

13. Why do you want to work for our school?

To answer this question, you need detailed knowledge about the school. Your answer should use information you have gathered during your research before the interview to convince the interviewer that you are aware of the school and really want to work for them.

14. Do you have any questions for us?

This question allows you to have your doubts cleared. You should embrace this moment to ask questions about confusing or vague matters.

15. Are you interested in sports and outdoor activities such as camping?

This question helps the interviewer know whether you are into indoor or outdoor activities that help an individual stay mentally rejuvenated. Your answer should clearly state your interest in either indoor or outdoor activities.

16. What kind of impact would you like to have on this school?

This question provides you with an opportunity to share some of your professional goals. You are expected to share an overview of your plans to reach your career goal and how it will benefit the school. Also, it is important to focus on specific goals that lead to significant results.

17. What is your leadership style?

Assistant principals must lead students and teachers, so they are expected to know their strengths and weaknesses. Here, you are expected to discuss your disciplinary style, strengths, and weaknesses, and how it relates to your leadership style.

18. How would you conduct parent conferences?

Since meeting parents is considered one of the assistant principal’s major responsibilities, you are expected to discuss this topic very well. Previous experiences on meetings you had with parents as a teacher will be valuable here.

19. Have you helped teachers and students improve in the past?

Here, you are expected to talk about a time in your teaching career when you either helped a fellow teacher improve on their teaching method or when a student’s complaint required a teacher to be disciplined. You can also talk about times when your advice helped a fellow teacher handle a hard student.

20. What advice will you give to a new teacher who just started his/her career?

This question requires you to speak from your unique experience as a teacher. The first year of any teacher’s career is always the most difficult. Since the assistant principal is considered to be the support for teachers, it is expected that you can give valuable advice that will help a new teacher excel in his/her career.


The assistant principal position is often a high-pressure job and the interview for an assistant principal position is quite difficult as it requires you to have the qualities, experience, and skills.

Some of these skills include soft skills you practice daily, like empathy and interpersonal skills.

It is important that the assistant principal of a school is qualified to be in that position so that the school builds and maintains an environment that is conducive to academic excellence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What questions should I ask during an assistant principal interview?

Some questions you should ask include; salary and the protocol.

What skills do I need to become an assistant principal?

Some required skills include organizational skills, attention to detail, trustworthiness, diplomacy, effective communication, etc.

What does an assistant principal do?

There is the particular responsibility of the assistant principal that is considered to be the most important. However, they play a key role in laying out and enforcing a school’s policies.

What questions should I ask an interviewer?

Some good questions to ask interviewers include, ‘Is this a new role, or has it existed before now?’, ‘Who are the key people I will collaborate with?’, ‘What is the future of someone who holds this position?’ etc

What skills does a vice-principal need to have?

A good vice-principal must have excellent leadership skills, determination, confidence, and strong decision-making skills.