Interview Season: Putting the SLLA Exam into Practice, Top 5 Interview Tips

SLLA exam

You’ve passed the SLLA exam, now what? Your journey is only beginning. The path to successful school leadership begins with the search and obtainment of your first school administrator job. I have talked about this process before, and went through the same thing 4 years ago. You can hopefully benefit from my mistakes and my positive experiences, which I will share with you.

  1. First, get your resume in shape. Make sure you highlight your leadership experiences, via Internship or as a Teacher-Leader. List accomplishments and how you handled difficult problems, or conflicts
  2. Cast a Wide Net. Try to target open positions at least 1 hour drive from your current home. If you don’t have any constraints, your opportunities are greater. Your goal is to get that 1st school administrator job. With experience you will be able to make your way back closer to your home district , or to your desired location.
  3. Possess some Specific Skill Sets, that will be of assistance to that particular school. If you are a curriculum specialist, technology wizard, exceptional childrens guru, or a drill sergeant, make that known on your resume, during your interview and in following up with the interviewing team.
  4. Research the School you are interviewing with. Look at data from the past 3 years, academic and discipline. Understand the community partnerships, parent involvement and how the teachers feel about the school ( Check teacher working conditions surveys). Most of this data is public knowledge on the web. Be prepared to ask relevant questions regarding this data, and how you can improved student achievement, discipline and school culture.
  5. Finally, Principals Crave Loyalty. The principal’s job is one of the most isolated professions in the education field. They need to be able to count on someone, and know that they can confide in you. You will soon understand why school admins call this the “Dark Side”. You will encounter many scenarios that will challenge you mentally, physically and even morally/spiritually. School leaders need to be able to trust in each other and know that you have their back. State this in your interview, and Be Convincing.