53 Questions to Ask a Principal During Interview

Being well-prepared for your school administrator interview is critical to success. Of course, you want to put your best foot forward and demonstrate that you have the chops to be a great principal. To do this, you’ll need to ask some questions that will make the principal think. 

30 Questions to ask the principal during an interview: 

  1. What inspired you to become a school principal?
  2. What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful principal? 
  3. What challenges have you faced as a principal? 
  4. How do you think the role of the principal has changed in recent years? 
  5. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing education today? 
  6. What are your school’s priorities related to education? 
  7. What innovative programs or initiatives has your school implemented? 
  8. What do you think are the keys to a successful school? 
  9. How do you create a supportive school culture? 
  10. How do you handle difficult situations or parents? 
  11. How do you manage your own time and stress levels? 
  12. What advice would you give to new or aspiring principals? 
  13. How do you keep up with educational research and trends? 
  14. How does your school use data to improve student outcomes? 
  15. How do you feel about standardized testing?
  16. How does the school handle bullying? 
  17. What are the school’s safety procedures? 
  18. How does the school deal with struggling students? 
  19. What enrichment opportunities does the school provide for students? 
  20. How does the school handle advanced or gifted students? 
  21. What is your vision for the future of the school?
  22. How do you communicate with parents and guardians?
  23. How do you handle difficult conversations with parents?
  24. How do you involve parents in their child’s education?
  25. How do you evaluate teachers and hold them accountable for student learning? 
  26. What professional development opportunities do you provide for teachers?
  27. How does the school deal with transportation issues?
  28. What do you think are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the school? 
  29. How do you work to create a positive school culture? 
  30. How do you deal with disruptive or disrespectful students and how do you prevent disciplinary problems from occurring in the first place?

23 Questions to ask principals about their work:

  1. How do you think a successful principal should spend their time?
  2. What do you think are the three most important qualities of a successful principal? 
  3. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing principals today? 
  4. How do you develop and maintain good relationships with your staff? 
  5. What strategies do you use to manage difficult conversations? 
  6. Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision? 
  7. How do you deal with conflict? 
  8. Can you describe a time when you faced a significant challenge at work? 
  9. What did you learn from that experience? 
  10. How can teachers best support students’ social and emotional needs? 
  11. When is it appropriate to provide students with additional academic support outside of the classroom? 
  12. How do you know if a student is struggling and needs additional support? 
  13. How do you promote positive behavior in the classroom and throughout the school? 
  14. What are your thoughts on using technology in the classroom? 
  15. When is it appropriate to use technology in instruction, and when is it not?
  16. What are your thoughts on standardized tests?
  17. What do test scores really say about student learning? 
  18. How do educators best prepare their students for standardized tests? 
  19. What happens when students do not perform well on standardized tests?
  20. What factors do you consider when deciding which students should be retained or promoted to the next grade level?
  21. How can educators best support English language learners?
  22. Do you have any suggestions for how schools can better support undocumented students?
  23. What advice would you give to new or experienced educators working in high-needs schools?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of school principals?

School principals are responsible for the overall operation of their schools. They manage the budget, staff, and curriculum, ensure that all students meet state educational standards, and work with parents and the community to create a positive school climate. Principals are also responsible for instruction and work with teachers to help them improve their teaching practices.

What skills do you need to become a school principal?

One of the most essential skills is the ability to lead and inspire others. A principal must be able to create a vision for the school and motivate teachers and students to achieve it. Strong communication skills are also essential, as the principal must be able to communicate with parents, staff, and the community. Organizational skills are critical, as the principal is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the school. Finally, a principal must have in-depth knowledge of education and be able to make informed decisions about curriculum and instruction.

What do teachers value most in their principals?

Teachers value principals who are communicative and supportive. They want principals who take the time to listen to their concerns, give them feedback, and support them in their professional development. Principals who are good leaders create a positive environment where teachers feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things. They also value principals who are knowledgeable about teaching and learning and are willing to collaborate with teachers to develop the best teaching practices for their students.


These questions will give you valuable insight into what it’s like to be a principal at a particular school. By asking these questions, you’ll also show that you are not afraid to tackle difficult topics – such as the important traits of a leader like school principals!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?