This morning, our department sponsored an interview/resume workshop for our master's level principal certification students. In collaboration with two of our large school district partners, we invited 8 principals and central office leaders to share their thoughts on the do's and don'ts of interviewing for assistant principal and principal positions. There were panel discussions and mock interviews.
Some of the things I heard today from our school district partners included:
1. Start thinking like APs and Principals rather than teachers in preparing for the interview.
2. Instructional leadership is the name of the game. If you can't talk about it, you aren't likely to be successful.
3. Be specific rather than generic in presenting your ideas. Use examples.
4. The best references are from your supervisors, i.e., your principal AND not professors. Professors can't speak to your teaching or day-to-day professional life. If you have 3-5 references, at most, you should have 1 professor. Do not waste your references.
5. Take initiative as a teacher in seeking leadership opportunities now and gain a reputation as a go-to person.
While I have known and shared some of these suggestions, they were much more powerful coming from our school district partners.
During the workshop, we have 4 mock interviews. These are designed to be real life interviews. My kudos go to our school district partners for showing "tough love" and not sugar coating the performances of the mock interview participants. I have no doubt the participants gained tremendously from this opportunity and experience.
I would like to know what others are doing around the country and globe to better support and prepare their leadership students for the next phase in their professional life. Please share your ideas with the members of this blog. As a field, we get better when we learn from each other and share effective practices.