Top 5 Tips for Crushing Your First AP Interview


Now that you’ve passed the SLLA exam, you got a few more hurdles to get over. Getting your first interview and what to say in that interview, will determine whether  your in a classroom next school year or walking the halls as the “New Assistant Principal”.  Here are a few tips from my forthcoming E-Book, “How to get that First AP Job”.

  1. Before the interview, research the school, “datamine” trends, strengths and weaknesses. See how you can help solve some problems or add to their strengths.
  2. Once in the interview, be open and friendly, talk briefly about yourself, family, educational back ground. Usually you can make a connection, as educators have a strong and wide network.
  3. Be comfortable expressing your educational , instructional, discipline and parent involvement philosophies.  See if you can align it to the school’s.
  4. Be prepared to ask the Principal/Hiring committee questions about the school, like some challenges it’s faced in the past, and how you might help solve some of those issues.
  5. Finally, tell them why you are the best candidate for the job, and how you look forward to being apart of their leadership team.

I know this will be helpful as you begin your search. My new E-Book, “How to get that First AP Job” will have much more actionable items that will help you land that first Assistant Principal Job. It will be ready for download in 10 days. If you have not signed up already, please do so here

How to get that First Assistant Principal Interview

How to prepare for that first Asst Principal Interview

As spring approaches, what should school admin interns be doing to help them get that Assistant Principal interview. You’ve prepared and hopefully passed your comprehensive exams, your portfolio is complete and your studying for the SLLA exam. Now what? Here are my top ten things your should do to ensure you get that call back for an interview.

1. Bring something to the table.
You should have an area of specialization that you can bring to a school. In the business world this is sometimes referred as “Value-Added”. What value or expertise can you add to a school? What can the Principal absolutely count on you for? What skills do you have that’s going to enhance or increase student achievement? (Literacy, Math, Technology, Special Education, Discipline, Parent/Community involvement). These are a few of the assets Principals are looking for when considering candidates for Assistant Principal.

2. Cast a wide net.
If possible, look at all the school districts within an hour’s drive of your home. In my area, that gave me many more opportunities to land a interview and possible a job.

3. Use different subject headings when you email about an opening.
This helps you split test to see which one gets the most replies. Be creative. I used, “Innovative Instructional Leader” or “21st Century School leader”. use something to make you stand out from the crowd.

4. Research your potential Schools
Review data from the schools and see what their needs are. Try to match up their needs with your strengths and experience.

Check this resource out, It helped me get to the next level!

Check back later and give you some tips when you get that first interview, and how to prepare for it!

Good Luck!

The New School Leader “Vortex” the SLLA Exam and a Quest for a Mentor.

new school leader, slla exam

I’m going to talk to you about how school leadership stretches you way out of your comfort zone and how you can get yourself put back together. A new school principal has many new things to learn. The culture of a school, district policies, Instructional leadership, school budgeting, just to name a few. All this can get your head on a swivel quickly and have you putting out one fire after the next. Soon you may find yourself spinning around and getting nothing accomplished.

This is what I call the New School Leader Vortex. A new school, a new position, new level of responsibility, ( Did I mention lonely?). This is intensified if you’re at a Title 1 school, have challenges with test scores and have low parent involvement. I found myself in this “Vortex” back in November of this year. I knew I had to reach out to someone who had done this before, and who had done it successfully! As a school leader, sometimes you can take on a superman/woman persona. Thinking you got this, “Im the Principal”, there’s nothing I cannot handle! Nothing could be further from the truth.

The SLLA Exam Practice helped me to prepare for some real-world scenarios. It also helped me frame my vision and my core beliefs, which I mention in