Getting Hired Hiring Interview Questions Leadership School Leaders Teacher Interviews

Field of Dreams: Interview Questions for Teachers and Admin

Hi everyone. This is going to be my shortest post ever and yet I hope it becomes a valued resource. I’m going to keep a list of interview questions that you can use to find potentially great/innovative school leaders either admin or in the classroom leaders. I will continually update this resource. Last update: 2/17/14

photo posted on

Don’t just dream of creating a Hall of Fame staff do something about it

The teachers and school leaders below are all amazing. If you have a Twitter account please click “Follow” on any of these educators below, if you don’t have a Twitter account (you really should) then click on their name and you will see that many of these educators have a blog or website, bookmark that site to learn more from them.


I am NOT looking for them to say “My iPhone or my iPad” I’m looking for specific apps or tools that assist them in sharing, assessing, communicating, teaching, managing, etc…


I know that last Tweet wasn’t a question, but you could ask a potential principal or teacher “Give us specific examples of how you document, share, and promote the successes of others- students or teachers at your school?”

I am not a big fan of job climbers. Personally my conspiracy radar is engaged every time an administrator presents a new idea because I’m wondering if it’s because the idea is needed or because the administrator needs to fill his/her résumé. No administrator can have a blank five year period on their résumé that says “I lead a wonderful school with high test scores and did everything I could not to mess it up, by leaving it alone.” Now I know some job climbers can introduce great ideas that stick when they leave- but they better be amazing to accomplish that.

I thought that this last idea was kinda evil. So naturally I loved it. Many administrators try and keep everyone happy. They do this by promoting a calm sea. You cannot prove your leadership by sitting in a rowboat on a placid lake, and your staff and students cannot surf unless there are waves. Having them answer a question like: Would you rather expel a student or have them stay in a classroom where they are a potential danger/distraction? Or Would you rather let some teachers show up continually late or write up any teacher for being late, would be an interesting moment in an interview.


just one more question

It never hurts to ask one more question- it might be the best question

One last point: I’ve been wanting to write a blog post on this ever since Elizabeth Goold and I started talking and asking about questions that SHOULD be included in an interview that usually aren’t. Thanks Elizabeth for being a curious and dedicated educator. Your school is lucky.

Also, I could have put this in a simple list format, but I wanted to give credit to those who shared the questions with the Twitter universe. I also wanted to help grow your Twitter PLN.  The inclusion of these ideas is not a statement of origination. Tons of similar ideas/questions are floating through the universe, but until they get shared out they don’t reach their full potential. Thanks to all of you who are committed to sharing your ideas in public.

If you are a teacher looking to get hired and want to prepare for a job interview here is a list of commonly asked teacher interview questions.


  1. David,
    Thank you so much for writing about this topic. It was interesting to me, as well to see what sorts of things to inquire about. These questions were also helpful to me when I had a recent interview. It allowed me to have a clear picture of what the admin was like before making a commitment.

    I hope that these questions and this thought process will help more educators in the future!

    Elizabeth Goold

  2. Daveed –

    Outstanding post, an excellent resource for current leaders and leaders-to-be (it gets me thinking about a “How to prepare for your next job” post and will be duly included as a reference).

    As a survivor of 15? or so leadership interviews (learning from failure…), I appreciate a well-crafted question. When I’m being interviewed, I’m the person being stared at, whose life’s work is getting scrutinized before, during, and after the encounter (maybe someone on Google in fact-check mode for good measure). That said, I’ve realized that the people asking the questions are also getting “interviewed” – by the candidate. The questions they ask, the way they carry themselves, etc., contribute to the feeling the candidate walks out the door with. The candidate, after all, is also looking for a good match. Is this a school that thinks it’s all that, a place looking for someone to come in and keep things nice and tidy and static and milk- toast? Or is this a school and staff that is comfortable looking in the mirror and saying, “Dang, we’re not looking our Saturday Night Fever best, maybe this bloke can come in here and get us fired up to dance?”

    One question I would add: “What does creativity look like in your life, and what do you do as a leader to sustain/grow a spirit of creativity in your school community?”

    I am excited to share this post with colleagues on the path to leadership, and with all of my admin peeps who, to a person, are killin’ themselves to make good schools great. My administrative advice to you: soak in every last golden drop of sunshine for the rest of your well-deserved summer. Eric

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