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Yearbook Interview Tips: Talking with the School Principal

Arrange and interview here and get the inside scoop from the top. Image from Flickr CC user Eric E Castro

Normally, being told you’re getting sent to the principal’s office is the LAST thing anyone wants to hear. But today it’s a completely different story – you’ve been assigned to interview your school’s leader for the yearbook. Interviewing someone in such a high position (and who plays an important role in your academic career) can definitely be intimidating, but going into your interview well-prepared and with a positive attitude will yield the results you’re looking for and a win, win for everyone involved.

Follow these simple tips on how to secure, lock-down, and hold an in-depth yearbook interview with the person who keeps your school in check through the good times and the bad.

  1. Schedule an appointment

Make sure you go through all the correct channels to set up a time to interview your principal. Visit the main office on your break or after school and talk to the school secretary about setting up time with the principal. Let them know how much time you think you’ll need whether it’s ten minutes or a half hour and work with them to come up with something that will fit everyone’s schedules. Don’t just walk in at the last minute and expect to get your interview right then and there. Be realistic and respectful of the principal’s time.

  1. Be flexible, but persistent

Your school principal, understandably, has a very busy schedule and might have to reschedule your meeting one or two times. Don’t let this get you down – it’s nothing personal. Be sure to follow-up with their assistant or personal secretary to make sure your meeting hasn’t fallen through the cracks. It’s important to be persistent, but not a pest. Let the secretary know your deadline, and he or she will more than likely be happy to work something into that time frame. Remember, the assistant is your gateway to the principal so getting (and staying) on their good side is important.

  1. Have your questions ready in advance

Do your research ahead of time. The most uncomfortable feeling in the world is going into an interview completely unprepared. Make sure to write out some of your key talking points before you sit down for the interview, and make sure to reference back to these questions throughout the meeting. You don’t want to forget any important talking points because the discussion ended up going in a different direction than you anticipated.

  1. Be friendly

Smiles go a long way. Look interested in what your principal has to say and don’t forget your Ps and Qs. Politeness and a good attitude are not often forgotten.

  1. Don’t be afraid to follow-up

Just like we mentioned in our post on conducting yearbook interviews with your teachers, following up with your principal to make sure your facts are correct is important. If you have any follow up questions or need to confirm any dates, names, or other crucial pieces of your story, make sure you go through the right channels to do a quick follow-up interview. Try to catch the principal during your lunch break or schedule a brief meeting to chat through your piece with their secretary. Remember it’s always good to fact-check and make sure everything is correct before the story goes to press.

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