The Process of Interviewing As a School Administrator

Updated April 17, 2017

Education administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of a learning institution. The minimum education requirement for school administrator positions is a master's or doctoral degree. Administrators who manage elementary, middle and high schools, also called principals, should have some teaching experience before becoming principals. The interview process for school administrators involves a series of steps including recruitment, initial eligibility screening, an interview and background check.


Recruiting and selecting the right candidate for a school administrator position is a lengthy process. School districts recruit the candidates. This requires planning and allocating appropriate resources. School districts must set aside a budget and hire recruitment staff. School districts announce vacancies to qualified teachers, assistant principals and school administrators in neighbouring districts. School districts disseminate job vacancies on the Internet, in the classifieds sections of local newspapers and through targeted mailings.

Selection and Assessment

After advertising a job vacancy, school districts hire a team of recruiters who identify minimum employment requirements from a pool of candidates. After the team completes its initial selection process, school districts form a team of senior instructional leaders consisting of assistant superintendents, principals, retired principals and representatives from the office of curriculum and instruction and professional development. Using various types of assessment tools, this team conducts an in-depth interview with each candidate.

Interview Questions

During the interview process, candidates are evaluated using a rubric that rates their professionalism and leadership skills. Important indicators of these characteristics are demonstrated in interview responses, indicating a candidate's concern for student success. Common interview questions for school administrators are: "What skills do you have that will make you an effective school leader?" and "If you were hired, how could you help enhance student learning and create a more positive learning climate?"

Final Approval

Evaluating teams assemble representatives from various groups such as parents, teachers, support staff and community members. Students too, if the administrative position is for a high school. Using an evidence-based approach, the assessment team collectively defines distinguishing qualities that make a candidate an ideal fit for a school district. After evaluation, a candidate is recommended for hire and a report is sent to a school's district superintendent for a final approval.

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About the Author

Selam Nuri has been writing academic articles and working across the curriculum since 2001. She has been published online at various websites and earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology in 2006 from the City University of New York.