Episode 129

Episode 129: Nail the Interview - A Collaboration with the Schurtz & Ties Podcast

Published on: 17th March, 2024

In this special collaborative episode, I'm sitting down with Brian Miller from the Schurtz & Ties Podcast. Brian T Miller is a middle school principal, writer, speaker, and podcaster who is dedicated to building and maintaining healthy school cultures and encouraging all to #DoGreatThings!

For more on this episode, visit Brian's blog here

Interview season is here! And we’d love to help.

Below are a few lessons and tricks we have picked up along the way and share in this episode


  • What word or idea do you want your audience to know/think about you and what stories can you share that embody them? Write them down, rehearse them to the windshield, then confidently share them in the interview. Be intentional. It is what your audience will remember most.


  • No matter the position you are applying for, show yourself as a leader willing to do and be more than that position. Sure, they need you as an English teacher, but how else might you impact or help the building, the district, or the community? Be the go-to person on something other than the position you are applying for.


  • There are things worse than not getting the job . . . getting a job under pretense. Be who you are, fully and confidently. If they love you they’ll hire YOU! Showing up to work and trying to be someone you’re not sounds miserable. Quality educators are not looking for someone to fit in the box. So be confident. Be you.


  • Sure, you’re the one sitting in the hot seat, but they also need the position filled. Take the opportunity to learn about the district, the school, and the leaders. Ask some questions, take notes, and ask yourself if YOU want to hire THEM! Not only does this relieve some pressure, but it can also put a little confidence in your spine. And confidence is always attractive.


  • Nobody has the perfect resume. And although we don’t want to spend too much time speaking to our weaknesses, it is okay to acknowledge them. But also, and more importantly, it is imperative that we highlight our strengths, talents, and abilities. Again, BE CONFIDENT! Just don’t brag. Instead, share how your badassness will help students, staff, and the community. Use who you are to protect and support others.


  • Don’t forget that at the root of all of this are students. They are impacted MOST by your interview for they either get to have you in their building or miss out. So ask about them. Make them the focus. For you, as well as those who are sitting around the table.

A Few Pitfalls to Avoid:

  • Don’t talk too long. Remember, those sitting at the table will be there all. day. long. Give them little hooks they can hang your answers on, and maybe select one or two questions where you dive a bit deeper. Otherwise, be prepared, and be concise.
  • Don’t highlight your weaknesses. You can and should address them, but don’t continually remind your audience of them.
  • Don’t speak negatively of previous experiences. Even if they were awful or taught you valuable lessons, you can address them honestly without being destructive. Negative talk about other schools or personnel comes across poorly. Always. Avoid at all costs.
  • Don’t ask about $$$. At least not from the gate. We all need to make money and pay bills, so the question isn’t bad, but it shouldn’t be the first. And, probably, HR or a website will answer this question for you.

If you have any questions or would like to chat more, please reach out to Darrin Peppard or Brian T. Miller. We’d love to hear from you and offer whatever guidance we can.

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About the Podcast

Leaning into Leadership
A Road to Awesome Podcast
We all want to see successes in both our personal and professional lives. Often, that requires strong leadership. In a time when leadership can be more challenging than ever, this podcast is dedicated to cultivating leaders by elevating the voices of leaders and promoting positivity. Join Dr. Darrin Peppard, lifelong educator and best-selling author, for this mixed platform podcast (some solo, some guest interview) for inspiration and insight, and some great leadership stories from those are living it, excelling at it, and celebrating it. Together, let's lean into leadership.

About your host

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Darrin Peppard

Darrin Peppard is an author, publisher, speaker, and consultant focused on what matters most in leadership and education. Darrin is an expert in school culture and climate, as well as coaching and growing emerging leaders, and is the author of the best selling book Road to Awesome: Empower, Lead, Change the Game.

Darrin was named the 2016 Wyoming Secondary School Principal of the Year by WASSP/NASSP and was the 2015 Jostens Renaissance Educator of the Year. In 2017, Darrin earned his Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Wyoming. Darrin was inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame in 2019.

Darrin now shares his experiences from over 25 years in education, specifically those learned as an education leader during the past 13 years. As a ‘recovering’ high school principal, Darrin shares lessons learned and effective strategies from over 25 years in public education to help leaders (both adults and students) to become more effective and positively impact the world around them. Connect with Darrin at roadtoawesome.net