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Preschool Teacher Interview Questions

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  1. Tell us about a time when you had to discuss a child’s misbehavior with their parent(s). See answer
  2. What is your approach to classroom management when students become disruptive? See answer
  3. What has a typical day looked like in your previous classrooms? See answer
  4. How will you create and maintain a happy and welcoming learning environment for your students? See answer
  5. What do you find to be the least rewarding thing about being a preschool teacher? See answer
  6. What’s your process for measuring your students’ success?
  7. Which subject do you enjoy teaching the most and why?
  8. What your organization process like for getting your lesson plans and daily schedule prepared?
  9. Tell me about your most rewarding moment in the classroom.
  10. Do you have a specific teaching or educational philosophy you regularly follow?
  11. What does your ideal classroom layout look like?
  12. Would you prefer your students work independently or in groups?
  13. 13, Do you practice specific approaches to reaching younger preschool-aged students?
  14. Tell me about your most challenging moment as a student. What did you learn from this experience?
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6 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Tell us about a time when you had to discuss a child’s misbehavior with their parent(s).

A:

This behavioral question will help you gain an understanding of the applicant’s ability to handle potential conflict. Confrontation can be a challenge that many people tend to avoid, but they should be able to talk about their approach to both problem solving in general and, more specifically, how they collaborate with parents in order to resolve conflict. A preschool teacher should have the best interest of the individual child in mind while remaining dedicated finding solutions suitable to the well-being of the entire class. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to speak honestly yet lovingly
  • Strong empathy skills
  • Collaborative problem-solving skills

Example:

“When speaking to parents, I speak gently and mention a positive attribute of their child. I always suggest more than one solution to the problem in order to initiate a discussion and provide options.”

Q:

What is your approach to classroom management when students become disruptive?

A:

Because a preschool teacher may spend a lot of time trying to redirect students’ attention and behaviors, it is important to know if the job candidate can handle these periods of potential stress. You want to be able to see that they have a plan in place that has worked for them in the past, showing a demonstrated ability to manage a group of young children with a positive demeanor. They should be familiar with age-appropriate discipline and be willing to adhere to your existing approaches and procedures. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to stay calm in stressful and challenging situations
  • Familiarity with teaching techniques and classroom management strategies
  • Understanding of child development and age-appropriate behaviors and expectations

Example:

“I am able to manage my classroom by providing structure, routine and support to my students. My rules and expectations are consistent, and I find that children respond well to those familiar boundaries.”

Q:

What has a typical day looked like in your previous classrooms?

A:

While you may already know about your candidate’s educational background and experience from their resume, asking this open-ended question will reveal plenty about your applicant’s personal and professional demeanor, and may reveal their strengths and weaknesses as well. Use this question to assess their ability to stick to a routine, plan activities and take initiative so that you can get an idea what they are like in the classroom. This is also an opportunity to learn more about how well they can follow or develop a formal curriculum and whether their experience is a good match for your school. What to look for in an answer:

  • Balance between academics and open play
  • Amount of one-on-one engagement with the students
  • Willingness to be flexible while still adhering to curriculum guidelines

Example:

“I prefer a mixture of group and individual activities, both inside and outside. I often find engaging opportunities for students to learn through hands-on play.”

Q:

How will you create and maintain a happy and welcoming learning environment for your students?

A:

This question will help you evaluate the candidate’s ability to create a visually pleasing, structured and supportive environment that is conducive to students’ formal and informal learning. It will also show you that they are aware of best practices when it comes to the layout of the classroom to make students feel safe and comforted while also being provided with optimal opportunities for social interaction, quiet moments and more structured activities. They should be sensitive to the specific needs of your student population and their families. What to look for in an answer:

  • Mention of sensory factors and spatial features
  • Knowledge of age-appropriate classroom materials
  • Awareness of possible cultural variations among students and their families

Example:

“My classroom’s setup supports the learning of all students through a variety of relevant printed materials and by creating delineated spaces for everyone to sit comfortably on the ground and at a table.”

Q:

What do you find to be the least rewarding thing about being a preschool teacher?

A:

Asking the candidate about a negative aspect of the job can help you see if they are able to be diplomatic in their answer and assess how much this downside to their previous position will impact the job at hand. For example, if a they say the least rewarding thing was working with parents and there will be a lot of parental involvement, such as at a cooperative school where parents are very actively involved, they might not be the best fit. This is a challenging question that may also reveal their ability to think quickly and critically and that is open-ended enough to generate a truly revealing answer. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to communicate clearly and honestly about challenges
  • Recognition that this position may be different from their past experiences
  • Personal passions, preferences and aspirations to ensure they are in line with your school’s needs

Example:

“Children are easily distracted, and it can be a challenge to engage them when they are not interested in a lesson I am expected to deliver. I have had to find several fun and effective methods to encourage them to focus.”

Q:

What's your process for measuring your students' success?

A:

It's important for teachers at any level to have a clear strategy to ensure their students are learning and fully grasping a concept. Preschool teachers should have a system in place that measures which subjects their students are learning to determine if they're ready for higher-level subjects in Kindergarten. A strong candidate should demonstrate methods they have in place to measure how much their students are learning, which subjects they're mastering and which need additional support.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Dedication to helping students grow and achieve
  • Clear process for measuring student success
  • Creative games, activities and practices used to engage and assess students

An answer to this question could look like this:

Example:

"At my previous school, I practiced various methods to both engage students and measure their knowledge levels. While learning shapes and colors, we played an interactive game where we scattered different-colored shapes around the room for the students to find and describe the shape and color of the object they located. This helped me identify who was mastering this lesson and who I needed to spend additional time with to help them develop and improve these skills further."

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