Questions candidates get asked in job interviews: Assistant Principal

We deal with hundreds of clients going for job interview each year – and we’re constantly asking them what they get asked.
This a collection of those very questions. We update it on an ongoing basis and hope you find it useful. If you would like to submit to us questions you’ve been asked, email
These are actual questions asked of our clients in job interviews
Seniority: 12 marks
Domain 1: 22 marks
Domain 2: 22 marks
Domain 3: 22 marks
Domain 4: 22 marks
  • Briefly talk me through your education, work experience and any voluntary or charity work you do?
  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Why have you applied for the job?
  • XXXXX school is under the XXXXX charter, discuss how you have followed this charter in your daily teachings/living or what does it mean to you?
  • What is the ethos of the school – how is it linked to your subject?
  • What is your understanding of Looking at our School 2016: A quality framework for Post-Primary Schools?
  • School self-evaluation – discuss one example where you have been involved in this and what learnings did you get from it?
  • How have you contributed to the assessment for Learning in the school?
  • How can we improve links with parents?
  • What makes a good team? Can you give me an example of where you worked in an effective team or name a time when you lead a project/group in your school?
  • Do you have ideas for communication strategies and how to improve communications? What forms of communication has the school got, for example a website, a Facebook page, internal or external WhatsApp networks?
  • How do you facilitate the student voice in the school? Give me an example of where this worked well for you.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a complex situation?
  • Extra-curricular activities?
  • What do you believe is your greatest strength?
  • If you have a weakness, what is it?
  • Why should we promote you into the role of APxxxxx?
  • Do you have any questions for us?
  • What does it mean to be professional?
  • What are your goals in five years?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What makes a good Assistant Principal?
  • What improvements would you make to the school?
  • Regarding policies (e.g. child protection, data protection), can you give concrete examples of the challenges they pose?
  • What are some of the common challenges faced by schools today?
  • What challenges do you see facing this school today?
  • What makes an effective and successful school?
  • Are you reading any interesting articles on education now – whose writing do you follow?
  • What are the key elements of a professional code of conduct for teachers?
  • Tell me about an initiative that you have taken a lead in?
  • Name three skills you have as a leader and demonstrate where you have displayed them.
  • What is your leadership style? Where have you taken a leadership role on board? How did you deal with the conflict that may have arose? How did you manage the schools resources doing this job?
  • Tell us about an initiative you implemented related to T&L (Teaching and Learning) e.g. How you have developed it in your own classes / strategies for managing a CBA and what you learned from it?
  • What competencies you have shown in T&L?
  • Can you tell us about a time that you encountered challenges from a complex situation?
  • Say, hypothetically, you were organising an event and another teacher did not want to help you because it was your post and they wouldn’t get paid for it. How would you encourage them to assist?
  • Vision – what is your vision for the school?
  • How do you work the vision of the school into your daily life?
  • Student voice –  where have you displayed it?
  • What makes us (a Catholic school) different from an Education Training Board (ETB) school?
  • What Continuing Professional Development have you done to develop leadership and management in this school and where have you brought it in?
  • What courses you would like to do in leadership and management?
  • Is there anything that you would like to add?
  • You say in your application form that you engage well with students – how do you know this?
  • Domain One – Leading Teaching and Learning (practices in the classroom)
    • Self-evaluation: How do you self-evaluate? Name a significant change you made in the classroom. Were you involved in School Self-Evaluation (SSE)?

We have a dedicated section on our site for teaching positions – HERE