Keep Moving Forward

When I was in college, we had a motto that was ingrained in our minds every day:

Forward, Always forward, Everywhere forward

Its meaning is as simple as it sounds: no matter what, keep going. Through good times and bad, through adversity and struggle, our calling is to keep moving forward. More importantly, we believed that the victory would be ours if we continued our efforts courageously.

As I continue my interview journey, I am called to do so courageously; even when I will fall short. Last week, amidst an ice storm in Texas, I anxiously prepared for the final round of interviews for a job back in my home state of Kansas. I was going to interview over zoom, which, thanks to the pandemic, was no feat… Until my camera refused to work.

Mortified that my technology failed and that I was going through an interview with nine people via a black screen, I pressed on.


The interview took an hour, with questions coming from all nine of the panelists. I felt good as I answered questions with confidence and poise. Of course, there were a few that threw me off, and I had to take my time to think about them. For example:

Give each of these characteristics a rating, and then explain why you gave that rating: Accountability, performance, planning, and relationship building.

I was puzzled, but I kept going forward, writing the prompt down and rationalizing my ratings.

Exiting the interview, I felt confident and believed I had a shot at landing the job.

And then I got a phone call from HR telling me that they loved me, but decided to go with someone internally. Competing against internal applicants is always going to be an uphill battle. I couldn’t be that disappointed, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. However,  I was so thankful for the opportunity to interview and know that I ended up in the top two out of forty applicants.

Always Forward

In sports, experts say that if you visualize something happening, then it’s more likely to happen. When I played college basketball, I found myself often visualizing hitting a three-point shot from the wing or stealing the ball from the point guard to give myself a wide-open layup. This technique of visualizing can also be impactful for your interviews.

I spent time during our bad weather days practicing my answers to common questions, reading through the district’s strategic plan, and picking out an outfit. This helped me to visualize what my interview might feel, look, and sound like. It helped to calm my nerves tremendously and gave me a boost of confidence

Adversity and disappointment will happen. It’s all about how you respond. How will you keep moving forward after you have been turned down? I encourage you to reflect on this in the coming weeks.

Everywhere Forward…

Are you preparing for an assistant principal interview? We are excited to share the release of our first online course: The Assistant Principal Interview Bootcamp. This comprehensive course is designed to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to dominate your assistant principal interview and obtain your first assistant principal position.

If this is your first time here, and you found some value in what you read, make sure you never miss out on future tips, strategies, and resources to help you take the next step in your leadership journey. Subscribe to the New School Leader newsletter:

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *