Interview

17 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a preschool teacher, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Preschool teachers are responsible for the education and care of children who are three to five years old. They help prepare children for kindergarten by teaching them basic skills, such as counting, reading, and writing. They also encourage children to explore their creativity and engage in social activities.

If you’re looking for a preschool teaching job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of common preschool teacher interview questions and answers.

Common Preschool Teacher Interview Questions

Are you certified or licensed to teach preschool age children?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine whether you have the necessary certification or license to teach preschool age children. If you are not certified or licensed, explain what steps you took to become qualified for teaching young children and how it helped you in your career.

Example: “I am a certified teacher who has been teaching preschoolers for five years now. I started my career as an assistant teacher at a local daycare center where I observed teachers and learned from them. After two years of working there, I decided to pursue my teaching certificate so that I could work independently with young children. My decision was well worth it because I gained valuable experience while studying for my certification.”

What are some of the most important skills that a preschool teacher should have?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a strong understanding of what it takes to be successful in this role. When answering, consider which skills are most important for your own success as a teacher and highlight those.

Example: “I believe that one of the most important skills a preschool teacher can have is patience. It’s so important to be able to remain calm when working with young children who may not understand something right away or who may get upset at times. Another skill I think is essential is creativity. You need to be able to come up with new ways to teach concepts and keep lessons interesting for kids. Finally, I think communication is key. Teachers should always communicate clearly with parents about their child’s progress.”

How do you create an environment that is fun and engaging for your students?

Interviewers want to know how you plan and execute fun activities for your students. They also want to see that you understand the importance of keeping children engaged in their learning environment. Show them that you can create a classroom that is both educational and entertaining by describing some of the ways you’ve done this in the past.

Example: “I believe it’s important to keep my students entertained while still teaching them new things. I do this by incorporating games, songs and other fun activities into our lessons. For example, when we are learning about shapes, I will play a game where they have to find different shapes hidden throughout the room. This way, they’re having fun but also learning something at the same time.”

What is your teaching philosophy?

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan to implement it in their school. When answering, think of a few key principles that guide your teaching methods. Explain how these principles help students develop important skills and behaviors.

Example: “My teaching philosophy is centered on the idea that every child learns differently. I believe that by understanding each student’s unique learning style, we can create an environment where they feel comfortable expressing themselves. For example, when I taught second grade, I noticed one of my students was very quiet during class discussions. After talking with her parents, I learned she had a hard time speaking up because she was shy. We decided to try out some new strategies, like having her partner with another student for presentations. By giving her different opportunities to speak up, she became more confident in front of the class.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to use creative problem-solving skills to resolve an issue with a student.

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you use them in the classroom. Use examples from previous positions where you had to resolve a conflict or challenge with students, such as helping a student overcome an obstacle or encouraging them to try something new.

Example: “In my last position, I had a student who was very shy and didn’t want to participate in class activities. I decided to give him one-on-one attention during our circle time so he could get comfortable with me before joining the rest of the class. After spending some time getting to know each other, he became more confident and started participating in group activities. He eventually joined the rest of the class for all activities.”

If a student was having a difficult time interacting with the other students, how would you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict resolution and problem solving. Use examples from your experience to explain how you would approach this situation, what steps you would take to resolve it and how you would ensure that all students are able to interact with one another in a safe environment.

Example: “If I noticed that a student was having trouble interacting with their peers, I would first try to get to know them better by asking questions about their interests or hobbies. This helps me learn more about each child’s personality so I can understand why they may be hesitant to speak up in class. If I notice that a student is being bullied, I will immediately step in and address the issue. I will also make sure to talk to the other children involved to let them know that bullying isn’t acceptable.”

What would you do if you noticed that a student was starting to act out during class?

Interviewers want to know how you handle challenging situations with students. They also want to see if you have any strategies for handling these situations that they may not be familiar with. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to help the student and regain control of the classroom.

Example: “If I noticed a student was starting to act out during class, I would first try to calm them down by speaking to them privately or asking another student to assist me in distracting them. If this didn’t work, I would ask the child’s parent to come into school so we could discuss their behavior. This is usually enough to get the message across that acting out isn’t acceptable.”

How well do you handle stress while working with students?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your ability to handle challenges and remain calm in the classroom. They want to know that you can keep a positive attitude while working with students who might be experiencing stress or anxiety. In your answer, try to explain how you manage stress and provide an example of a time when you did so successfully.

Example: “I find that I am able to stay calm and focused even when things get hectic in the classroom. For instance, last year one of my students had a meltdown during snack time because they wanted a different type of cracker than what we were serving. Instead of getting upset, I calmly explained to them why we couldn’t have any other snacks and helped them understand why it was important to follow the rules. The student calmed down and went back to eating their cracker.”

Do you have any experience working with special needs students?

Special needs students are often a part of the preschool classroom. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience working with these types of students and how you plan on handling them in your classroom. If you do not have any experience, consider asking about what special needs services they offer at their school.

Example: “I have worked with several special needs students throughout my career as a teacher. I find that it’s important to create an inclusive environment for all students. In my previous position, we had a student who was nonverbal. We made sure to include him in group activities and gave him plenty of one-on-one attention. He eventually started using sign language to communicate with us.”

When teaching a lesson, how do you make sure that all students are paying attention and listening?

This question can help an interviewer understand how you plan and execute lessons. It also helps them see if your teaching style matches the school’s methods for keeping students engaged in class. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific strategy or two that you use to keep students focused on what you’re saying.

Example: “I find that one of the best ways to make sure all students are paying attention is by using visual aids during my lesson. I always bring extra materials with me so that I can show multiple examples of something we’re learning about. This way, even if some students aren’t looking at me, they’re still seeing the material and hearing me describe it.”

We want our teachers to be able to work well with other teachers and staff members. Describe a time when you were able to collaborate with another teacher to improve a student’s learning experience.

Collaboration is an important skill for teachers to have. It allows them to work together and share ideas, which can lead to more effective teaching methods. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of how you worked with another teacher or staff member to improve your classroom’s learning environment.

Example: “In my last position as a preschool teacher, I had a colleague who taught the same class as me. We both noticed that our students were having trouble focusing in certain areas. So we decided to collaborate on a lesson plan that would help us teach those skills better. The result was a new curriculum that helped our students learn more effectively.”

Describe your process for evaluating a student’s progress and adjusting your lessons accordingly.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you adapt lessons for students who need extra help. Use examples from past experiences to explain the steps you take when assessing a student’s progress and adjusting your lesson plans accordingly.

Example: “I assess my students’ progress at least once per week, usually during our morning meeting or after lunch. I use assessments as an opportunity to get to know each child better and find out what they’re most interested in learning. For example, if one of my students is struggling with counting, I’ll incorporate math into their favorite activities like playing with blocks or drawing pictures. This helps me adjust my lesson plan so that I can provide individualized attention to all of my students.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for working with preschool age children?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a passion for working with children in this age group. You can answer by describing your previous experience working with preschoolers and how it has prepared you for this role.

Example: “I am passionate about working with young children because I find them so inspiring. They are eager to learn, curious about their surroundings and always willing to try new things. In my last position as a teacher’s aide at a local preschool, I helped teachers prepare lessons and activities for the students. This gave me valuable insight into what works best for this age group and inspired me to pursue a career as a preschool teacher.”

Which teaching methods do you prefer to use when teaching a lesson?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your teaching style and how you plan lessons. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few methods that you enjoy using in the classroom and why.

Example: “I find that hands-on learning is one of the most effective ways for students to retain information. For example, when I taught my last class on shapes, I had them create their own shapes with play dough. This allowed them to get up and move around while still being engaged in the lesson. Another method I like to use is having students work together in small groups. This allows them to practice social skills as they collaborate.”

What do you think is the most important thing that a preschool teacher can do for their students?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer that you know what it takes to be an effective teacher. When answering this question, make sure to emphasize your teaching skills and how they can help students learn.

Example: “I think the most important thing a preschool teacher can do for their students is provide them with a safe learning environment where they feel comfortable asking questions. I always made sure my classroom was clean and organized so that students knew exactly where everything was. This helped me create a routine for my students that they could follow throughout the day. It also allowed me to keep track of all of their belongings and ensure that they were in a safe place at all times.”

How often do you make sure to praise your students for their accomplishments and progress?

Praising students for their accomplishments and progress is an important part of teaching. Interviewers want to know that you understand the value of praise in motivating your students and helping them feel good about themselves.

Example: “I make sure to praise my students at least once a week, usually during our morning circle time when we discuss what we’re learning that day. I find that praising students often helps them stay motivated and focused on their work. It also gives me an opportunity to get to know each student better by asking them questions about their favorite things.”

There is a bug in the classroom and the students are starting to get nervous. How do you handle it?

Bugs are a common occurrence in many classrooms. Interviewers want to know how you would handle this situation and if you have any special techniques for calming the students down.

Example: “I’ve had bugs in my classroom before, and I find that it’s best to remain calm and reassure the children that there is nothing to worry about. I explain that insects are part of nature and we can’t avoid them all the time. If possible, I’ll take the kids outside so they can see that the bug isn’t going to hurt them.”

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