Preschool Teacher Interview Questions
Preschool teacher interview questions and answers. Be well prepared for your interview, do your homework beforehand and have a good understanding of the school teaching philosophy and value system.
Think about your interview answers to both common interview questions and teacher-specific questions. Have some insightful questions ready to ask during your interview.
Interview Questions - Motivation for the Job
Why did you choose to become a preschool teacher?
A preschool teacher is a demanding job requiring specific dedication and motivation.
This includes a natural passion for encouraging and helping young children to reach their potential, a genuine enjoyment of being surrounded by children, a strong feeling of reward resulting from the successes of the children in your care and a desire to respond to and empathize with the struggles and challenges the children may face.
What do you like most about the preschool teaching job?
"The highlight of my teaching day is when I see the excitement of the children when they learn something new, when they are able to do something for the first time. It is very fulfilling how responsive young children are to learning, to see their enthusiasm for different and fresh activities."
"I enjoy getting to know each child as a unique individual, finding out what makes them tick and then using this knowledge to help them grow, to maximize their strengths and to build their confidence and competence. I find it so rewarding to be an integral part of their development."
What do you like least?
It is important to be prepared for preschool interview questions like this.
"Children this age can so easily become distracted and I have found this a challenge. I have become less frustrated with this aspect as I have gained more experience and found effective ways to encourage concentration and focus such as involving the children more in the activity, asking them questions and seeking suggestions from them."
Preschool Teacher Interview Questions - Skills
What are the key responsibilities of a preschool teacher?
"Preschool education is not just about teaching letters and numbers but also about instilling values and characteristics such as a love of learning, curiosity, discipline, teamwork, independence, communication and socialization skills."
What do you consider your strengths as a preschool teacher?
Possible strengths include the ability to observe each child keenly and objectively in order to best meet each individual needs, planning and organizational skills to ensure the day is a productive as possible, strong communication skills to build positive relationships with each child, dedication, flexibility, energy and creativity, high levels of patience and a good sense of humor!
Describe your approach to classroom management.
Possible answers to this type of preschool teacher interview question include:
"Managing a class full of preschoolers is challenging, I have to gain their respect and ensure appropriate behavior without intimidating them. A successful approach is to control the classroom while keeping things educational, enjoyable and encouraging.
I achieve this through excellent organization of both learning activities and the learning environment. The classroom is a supportive and structured environment where children learn while having fun."
How do you encourage children to work in groups?
Group work is essential for learning cooperation and collaboration. How do you incorporate group work into your activities? Discuss a couple of projects you instigated such as a hands-on art activity that involved the preschoolers working together in groups.
What do you consider to be the role of parents in preschool ?
As a preschool teacher you need to be able to balance the needs of the parents and children.
You want parental buy-in. Discuss how you communicate with and involve the parents including newsletters, notes home, progress reports, organizing family days and parent activities.
Tell me about a typical daily schedule in your classroom.
Provide a concise overview of the types of activities you engage the preschoolers in, rather than a minute-to-minute account of your day. Give reasons for your choice of schedule.
"I like to mix it up between indoor and outdoor activity, big and small group and individual activities, free play and structured activities, and hands-on and listening activities . This keeps the children engaged and provides opportunities for both learning and fun. I start with a large group activity and then move on to .."
Emphasize your ability to be flexible and to adapt your schedule to meet changing needs and demands.
Please summarize your preschool teaching philosophy.
This is a personal question that you need to think about in-depth before your job interview. Possible examples include:
"I strongly believe it is important for preschoolers to be in an environment that is both consistent and secure. A nurturing and supportive school environment makes the child feel safe and instills confidence. I believe learning and development are optimized when a child is secure and comfortable."
"I believe that a mixture of structured activities and free and creative play allow for optimal learning and fun. Each child is an unique individual and should be allowed to learn at his or her own pace. Activities should be centered on establishing self-esteem and confidence"
Behavioral Preschool Teacher Interview Questions
How have you handled a recent behavioral problem in the classroom?
Discuss how you speak to the children involved, explore the reason for the bad behavior, show them the difference between right and wrong, guide and help the children towards appropriate behavior. Detail the types of discipline you use. Support why you use these methods.
"I prefer to use time out with preschool children. It gives the child time to cool off and reflect on what he or she has done. After a couple of minutes of being removed from the group I discuss the misbehavior with the child and provide guidance for selecting the right response or behavior the next time"
This is an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of child development :
"Children who behave aggressively at this age are often unable to verbalize their feelings because they lack the language skills."
Give me an example of when you had to recently deal with a concerned or angry parent.
Parental involvement can be negative as well as positive. It is important to be able to manage this.
Appropriate methods include speaking privately to the parent away from the children, listening closely to the parent's concerns, asking the right questions and ensuring you understand the situation before you explain or discuss possible solutions, showing genuine concern and empathy and remaining calm and professional.
Describe how you created a happy learning environment for the children in your previous job?
This preschool teacher interview question is to evaluate how well you manage your classroom. Effective organization is the cornerstone to this. Describe how you have created a welcoming, structured and supportive learning environment.
Focus on the physical environment, such as labeled desks, the classroom library, storage etc, your daily schedule including the type of activities you organize and the behavioral aspect including your classroom rules and consequences. Use your communication skills to ensure your enthusiasm and passion is evident.
Preschool teacher interview questions will include standard interview questions.
Follow up with a thank you note within 24 hours of your preschool teacher interview.
Take along a well organized teacher portfolio to show off your work.Questions to ask in your teacher interview.
Preschool Teacher Job Resources
Kindergarten Teacher Resume
Preschool Teaching Assistant Resume
Elementary Teacher Interview Questions
Teacher Interview Questions
Teacher Behavioral Interview Questions
The Teacher Interview Guide
Teacher Interview Tips
Job Interview > Teacher Interviews > Preschool Teacher Interview Questions
Use the search box to find exactly what you are looking for.
To Top of Page
Paige is at her first teaching interview for a pre-K teaching position in a public school. She has chosen an appropriate interview outfit and brought her portfolio and extra copies of her résumé. After she and the principal discuss some of the topics Paige has studied for the past four years, such as research-based teaching methods, the principal says, “We have about five more minutes. Sell yourself.”
Much like the activities in an early childhood classroom, what happens during a job interview can be hard to predict. The types of questions asked and the way the administrator shapes the interview varies based on the position you are interviewing for and the school district. As a young teacher, I spent last summer researching interview questions and rehearsing responses in front of the mirror. I reorganized my portfolio at least a dozen times! So many questions raced through my mind every time I got a call: What do I bring? What do I say? What do I wear?
After going to my fair share of interviews, I have become more confident about the preparation process. Although we all have different approaches to teaching and professionalism, the following tips were especially helpful to me and might be useful for you as well.
Out of all of the interview questions I fielded, these five were always asked.
1. “Tell me about yourself.”
It’s typical for interviewers to make this request at the start of the meeting. They want to know what you consider important enough to mention. It is difficult to know just how much to say, because you want to highlight all your abilities and experiences but avoid rambling on. Definitely prepare this answer beforehand, so that you are not randomly recalling résumé bullet points on the spot and debating which ones to bring up. Restate your name, your certification, and the school you attended. Talk about the teaching experiences you consider important and relevant (student teaching counts!), and end with a short sentence about the reasons you want to teach in this particular school.
2. “If I were to walk into your classroom during an early literacy or math activity, what would I see?”
This answer can be a bit lengthy, because you want to explain your intentional planning and the activity’s learning goals. Speak at a steady pace and stay on topic, and the length won’t be a problem. Your answer depends on the children you would be teaching and your teaching style’s fit with their unique characteristics. Are you leading a small group, working one-on-one, or working with the whole group? Explain how you would get the children interested at the beginning of the activity. During the activity, what will you be doing? How will you end the activity? Think about your teaching strategies, and tie them in with the curriculum (typically found on the program or district website). Using the name of the curriculum shows interviewers you are interested in their school or program and that you researched it.
3.“Describe some of your positive guidance strategies.”
Be sure the strategies you describe are developmentally appropriate and effective. It is best to share ones that you have implemented successfully, so you can use examples from your own experiences. Administrators seem to appreciate discussing guidance that reinforces positive behaviors and involves children in deciding how to work together in the classroom.
4. “How do you plan to communicate with families?”
Your answer should reflect the culture of the community in which you are interviewing. Find out the home languages spoken, the economic status of most families, and the kinds of family involvement encouraged by the school or program. Knowing these details, you can shape a response that demonstrates respect for the families. Would it make more sense to use email or to send letters home? Would it be beneficial to create a class website? Is there a teacher portal available? Be sure to mention that you chose a method because you are aware of the community demographics!
5. “What makes you the best candidate for this position?” (“Sell yourself!”)
This is a loaded question! Of all your qualifications, state the ones that put you over the top. Although you need to maintain a professional demeanor throughout the interview, this question calls for your personal views on early childhood education and how you see yourself contributing to the program. When preparing for the interview, consider the following: Why did you choose the field of early childhood education? How dedicated are you to the young children you teach? How has the field affected your thinking, previous jobs, and life experiences? This is the last message you will share with interviewers, so be sure to give an answer that represents you as a unique individual.
Once the interview begins, remember to trust yourself and your skills. With preparation and confidence, you’ll be teaching at your dream school in no time. TYC