42 School Administrator Interview Questions With Answers

Updated 13 December 2022

School administration is a highly responsible and rewarding role that allows you to support a school by providing instructional leadership and developing school policies or processes. If you have applied for this position, you can increase your chances of impressing the school principal by spending some time preparing for the interview. One of the best ways to prepare includes reviewing commonly asked questions that schools ask administrators during recruitment. In this article, we list 42 commonly asked school administrator interview questions and provide sample answers to them, which you can use as inspiration to better prepare for your job interview.

Related: What Is Educational Administration? (With 16 Functions)

15 General School Administrator Interview Questions

During the first half of your interview, the hiring manager may ask you some general school administrator interview questions to help you feel comfortable and adjust to the interview setting. Typically, these are questions that allow them to learn more about you, discover some of your personality traits and see how well you fit with the company culture. Here are some general questions for which you can prepare:

  1. How did you learn about this position?

  2. Why do you want to work for this school?

  3. Why do you want to be a school administrator?

  4. What made you decide to leave your previous job?

  5. What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

  6. How would your friends describe you in three words?

  7. What are some key skills of a successful school administrator?

  8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  9. Do you plan to continue your education?

  10. What does success mean to you?

  11. What are three of your best leadership qualities?

  12. Why do we hire you?

  13. Do you have any questions for us?

  14. What resources do you typically use to learn about innovations in education?

  15. Describe your vision for our school.

Related: Teacher Careers: Job Roles With Salaries And Duties

13 Questions About Background And Experience

After learning more about yourself, a hiring manager is likely to start asking about your experience, including your educational and career background. This way, they determine if you can easily complete a school administrator's tasks, which include supervising the school's events and activities or supervising school staff. These are some questions that test your experience, skills and ability to make informed decisions as a school administrator:

  1. What is your educational background?

  2. How has your education prepared you for working as a school administrator?

  3. When a problem arises with a student, what do you do to support them and their family?

  4. What is your experience with contributing to a school's extracurricular programmes?

  5. What was your biggest career disappointment?

  6. How have you helped lead teachers in organising the curriculum?

  7. What methods have you used to resolve conflicts between students?

  8. How do you make sure that parents are involved in their children's education?

  9. Provide an example of a time you worked with parents to achieve a goal. What did you do to foster and sustain parent engagement?

  10. Do you have experience with school accreditation?

  11. Describe a classroom management plan you have used.

  12. Describe a time when you made beneficial changes to a school's environment.

  13. Tell me about a time when you dealt with an angry parent.

Related: Admin Manager Responsibilities, Skills And Job Description

10 In-Depth School Administrator Interview Questions

Towards the end of a job interview, you may expect to hear some more in-depth questions that assess your level of knowledge and expertise in the field. Typically, this is a combination of situational, behavioural and theoretical questions that demonstrate if you can apply your knowledge to real-life situations. Here are some in-depth questions for which you can prepare if you are applying for a school administrator's role:

  1. How do you handle budget cuts?

  2. What would you do to encourage parents to become active participants in their children's education?

  3. How would you propose a new idea for parent-school communication to the principal?

  4. What is the administrator's role in disciplining a child?

  5. Do you consider schools single-point-of-service providers?

  6. What is the best way to deal with a deficit in teachers?

  7. What do you do to support teachers and school staff improve student performance?

  8. How does inclusion impact the school community?

  9. How do you measure teachers' effectiveness?

  10. Can you tell me about the relationship between instructional improvement, teacher evaluation and staff development?

Related: 5 Situational Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

4 School Administrator Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Reviewing sample answers to commonly asked questions can help you prepare. It is also a great way to formulate your sample answers, which can help you better demonstrate your skills and qualities. Here are a few additional school administrator questions with sample answers:

1. What would you do if a teaching assistant came to you complaining about something a teacher has done?

Conflict-resolution is one of the most important skills of a school administrator, which interviewers want to test by asking you situational questions like this one. If you have experience in the role, consider describing a time when you actually helped solve a dispute between a teacher and a teacher assistant. It is critical that you let the interviewer know that your goal is to help both parties of the conflict come up with a long-term solution that can also help them avoid similar situations in the future.

Example: 'Maintaining a healthy staff culture is a priority to me, which is why I would make sure to react quickly. Firstly, I would carefully listen to the teaching assistant's viewpoint, asking them to describe the situation as objectively as possible. This could allow me to understand the situation and determine how I want to approach the teacher who, supposedly, has done something to upset the teaching assistant. That I would do by simply asking them about the situations, without making any assumptions or accusations. These one-on-one conversations are usually a great starting point for resolving staff issues.

Once I know everyone's opinion on the situation, I would bring them together and supervise their discussion, without taking sides. An important element of this would be to ask them if they have any solutions in mind that would allow them to continue working together. Based on their ideas, I would draw up a plan and make sure to follow up on the situation in a few days and then, a few weeks later. This way, I can also make sure no similar conflict arises between them in the future.'

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? Using This Practice At Work

2. Do you plan to involve the local community in your work?

Interviewers may ask you this question to see if you are community-oriented. Thanks to your answer, they can determine your ability to become an influential leader within the local community. It is important that you assure them that you are aware of the importance of maintaining community engagement, as this can positively benefit students and create new opportunities for them.

Example: 'I think that involving the local community is an important goal for a school administrator. Through maintaining strong relationships and investing in the community, the school can create new opportunities for their students and help them feel safer even outside of school hours. Thanks to investing in the local community, the school can also build a strong support system for its activities.'

Related: 10 Important Skills Of A Teacher And How To Develop Them

3. Which of your skills makes you a good school administrator?

By asking you this question, an interviewer can determine if you are familiar with the job description and the role's specific requirements. It also allows them to test your general knowledge of the role. In your answer, consider describing some skills that the school mentioned under the requirements section. It is also helpful to explain how you plan to continue expanding your skills to further advance your qualifications.

Example: 'I am an organised, empathetic professional with strong people skills. In my previous role as a school administrator, these were the qualities that made my job easier, as they acted as a basis for all the other skills, including conflict resolution or analytical thinking. They allowed me to handle budgets, ensure the well-being of students, and position myself as an easily approachable leader for the school staff. Besides that, I am also a lifetime learner, thanks to which I am open-minded and eager to explore any professional and personal development opportunities that could help me improve my skills.'

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4. Have you ever encountered a situation when a parent asked for their child to receive special treatment outside of school policy? What did you tell them?

This question tests your problem-solving skills and allows the interviewer to assess your ethical standpoint. Since encounters with parents are common for school administrators, it is necessary that you know how to handle even the more uncomfortable ones. In your answer, you can address the situation subtlety, following the school's policies and values.

Example: 'Yes, a similar situation happened to me during my time at the previous school. When it happened, I spoke with the parent privately, which allowed me to understand why they asked for this. Once I had heard their reasoning, I informed them that the school's policy for treatment is the same for every student. After explaining that I am only willing to adjust the student's treatment within the framework of school policy, I also let them know that the school can support their child in other ways.'

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