Hello childcare center directors and administrators! After sifting through numerous applications, you’ve narrowed down your list of potential candidates. Now, it’s time to delve into the interview process and find the perfect fit. Whether you are a childcare center director, administrator, or anyone looking to hire a new team member in childcare, we want to help you make the best decision. That’s why we have compiled a list of the top interview questions to ask childcare professionals. Let’s dive in!
Ace Conducting Childcare Interviews in 4 Easy Steps
It’s essential to gather as much relevant information about your candidates as possible. To streamline the process, we recommend following these four progressive steps:
- Preliminary phone interview
- In-person interview
- Working interview
- Reference checks
By starting with the least time-consuming steps and ending with those that provide the most detailed information, you’ll be able to efficiently evaluate candidates and make a well-informed decision.
Uncover the Perfect Candidate with Insightful Interview Questions
Asking the right questions will give you a better understanding of each candidate’s approach to the profession, past experiences, and problem-solving skills. Here are some examples of questions to ask during the in-person interview:
Overall Approach to the Childcare Profession
- Have you been inspired by a mentor, and if so, in what way?
- Which aspects of your profession do you enjoy, and which do you find challenging?
- What do you believe are aspects of a high-quality childcare program?
- Describe some experiences in your work with children and families that have influenced how you approach your job.
Behavioral Questions: Assessing Experience and Personality
- Which of your accomplishments make you proud? Why?
- What are you really good at professionally?
- In your previous position, you had many responsibilities. How did you prioritize your tasks?
- Describe a time you realized that you had made a mistake and what measures you took to correct it.
- Describe a challenging situation involving a child, a parent, a coworker, or a supervisor and how you responded to it.
- In your previous position, how did you gather information for assessing a child’s development?
- Describe the team you worked with in your last role. Rate them on an A to D scale, and explain how you’d turn them into an A+ team.
Situational Questions: Evaluating Problem-Solving and Communication Skills
- In your assessment of a child’s development, you have identified significant speech delays. How do you discuss your concerns with the child’s parents during a teacher–parent conference?
- A two-year-old in your group has just bitten another crying child. What is your first reaction? What measures will you take to prevent biting incidents? How will you discuss biting incidents with the child’s parents?
- A first-year teacher is overwhelmed during transitions. What advice do you give this teacher?
By asking insightful interview questions like these, you’ll be well-equipped to evaluate your candidates and select the ideal team member for your childcare facility. Remember, the key to hiring the right person lies in understanding their experience, approach, values, and personality, so don’t be afraid to dig deep and ask follow-up questions as needed.
Looking for even more questions to ask or, importantly, what not to ask during an interview? What about how to conduct a preliminary phone interview or working interview? All of these questions and more are answered in our professional development course Hiring and Supervising Qualified Staff in Child Care.
Once you have found that perfect candidate, you will want a training plan to ensure their (and your) lasting success. Check out our blog on childcare professional development where we discuss ways to engage your staff and help them achieve their professional goals.
Now that you’re armed with these interview tips and questions, embark on your journey to find the ideal childcare professional for your facility. Best of luck, and happy interviewing!
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