School Principal Interview Questions

Craft an insightful interview for a school principal with our guide. We provide you with characteristics to look for, how to interview, and the questions to ask for the best school principal hires.

Hiring the best school principal for K-12 education is crucial, as they are responsible for leading the school and shaping the educational experience of students. The principal sets the tone for the school’s culture and is responsible for creating a positive and inclusive learning environment that inspires students to achieve academic excellence.

The school principal also plays a critical role in developing and implementing curricula, managing the school’s budget, hiring and supervising teachers and staff, and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations. A strong and effective principal can have a significant impact on student achievement and prepare them to succeed in higher education and beyond.

Building a thorough and efficient process for hiring the best school principal for K-12 education is essential to ensure a high-quality education for all students. To help you identify and hire the best school principal quickly and effectively, we put together a few tips and interview questions.

Jump to the interview questions ▼

What to Look for in a school principal

  • Strong leadership skills: A school principal teacher candidate should have strong leadership skills, including the ability to inspire and motivate a team.

  • Effective communication: The candidate should be able to communicate effectively with teachers, students, and parents.

  • Knowledge of curriculum and instruction: The candidate should have a strong understanding of curriculum and instruction and be able to provide guidance and support to teachers.

  • Problem-solving skills: The candidate should be able to identify and solve problems in a timely and effective manner.

  • Flexibility: The candidate should be flexible and able to adapt to changing situations and needs.

  • Collaboration: The candidate should be able to work collaboratively with others and build strong relationships with teachers, students, and parents.

  • Vision and innovation: The candidate should have a clear vision for the school and be able to innovate and implement new ideas to improve student outcomes.

  • Passion and commitment: The candidate should have a passion for education and a strong commitment to the success of all students.

How to Interview a school principal - best practices to fill seats quickly for this role

When hiring a school principal for K-12, several qualifications should be considered. Top candidates are generally required to have a master’s degree in education or a related field. They should also have a valid state certification or license to lead a K-12 school. These requirements are easily screened in the application stages.

In addition to education and certification, the candidate should have several years of experience in teaching and school administration, preferably in a K-12 setting. Situational and behavioral questions are a great way to learn more about this experience.

Strong leadership skills, including communication, problem-solving, and decision-making, are also essential. Soft skills and skills set interview questions reveal these qualifications. The candidate should have a deep understanding of K-12 education policies and practices, as well as experience in curriculum development and assessment.

You may want to evaluate their business acumen as well. Most importantly, the candidate should have a passion for education, a commitment to creating a positive school culture, and a dedication to student achievement.

Best Types of Questions to Ask a school principal

Here are some effective questions to ask a school principal candidate during a job interview for K- education:

  1. What experience do you have leading a K- school?
  2. Can you describe your leadership style and how it has contributed to a positive school culture in the past?
  3. How do you approach curriculum development and assessment to ensure student success?
  4. How do you work with teachers and staff to support their professional growth and development?
  5. What strategies have you used to improve student achievement in previous roles?
  6. Can you describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision as a school leader?
  7. How do you communicate and collaborate with parents and community members to support student success?
  8. What is your experience with budget management and resource allocation in a school setting?
  9. How do you ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are integrated into the school’s policies and practices?
  10. Can you describe a time when you successfully implemented a new initiative or program to enhance student learning and engagement?

See How To Interview a school principal on Spark Hire

Watch this 90-second video to learn how thousands of organizations use the school principal interview questions above on Spark Hire.

Older higher education employee, smiling

Interview school principals on Spark Hire

Have a list of school principal candidates? Get started with Spark Hire and invite candidates to start interviewing today!