Preschool Teacher Interview Questions?

Question:Anyone know possible interview questions to become a preschool teacher (besides the most common questions like strengths/weakness/etc)? I have an interview next Thursday and I am trying to prepare.

Thank you!




Answers:
1. Can you tell us a little bit about what you are doing at the moment?
2. Why are you interested in this position?
3. Describe to us the strengths that you feel you could bring to the job.
4. What past experience do you have of working with children?
5. What sorts of activities would you provide to occupy the children in your care?
6. Tell us about any relevant training which you have had.
Would you be willing to take additional training?
7. Can you tell us what you know about equal opportunities?
8. Imagine that I am a dissatisfied parent, what would you do if I complained to you about the behaviour of another child within the setting?
9. What sorts of policies would you expect to see in a pre-school?
10. How would you ensure good standards and practice within the setting?
11.How would you aim to offer inclusion to children with special educational needs?
12.Where do you want this job to lead?

Are there any questions you would like to ask us?
just be confident..as long as your good with kids you should prety good
"Do you like kids" is actually a common question.

Be over prepared.

I brought a portfolio of pre-school age art projects that I've done when I was an aid.

Wear flats, don't wear low cut shirts.
I have worked with children before and here are some questions I was asked:

Why do you want to work with children?
What was the biggest mistake you've ever made as a caretaker, or with a child/children?
What do you feel qualifies you to care for children?
Is there a particular accomplishment related to caretaking of children that you are proud of?
As a child, who were your biggest influences and why?
What can you provide as a child caretaker that is unique or special?

Good luck!
Be prepared for some hypotheticals, such as "What would you do if John bit Mary?" "How would you deal with an irate parent?" and so on.
OK, it would help to know the basic types of child care services, and different philosophies that child Care centre has, See if they have a web site. Create your own philosophy as well, using words like collaboration with families, children and encouraging diversity. Be familiar with regio Emilia, and socio cultural theories if you really want to impress them. They will proberbly ask you what contributions you can make to the centre, which would relate to you strengths but also your background, i.e if you can play an instrument, know another langage or have experences with plannaing activities or in the case of having a centre that uses Emergent Ciriculum adapting spontaneous activities related to the interests of the children. If your familiar with Vygoksky's zone or Proximal Development where you use activites that are slightly harder than their capabilities that would also help, to demonstrate your understanding of assisiting children with their learning.

Just remember you want to collaborate with the chidlren and learn with them rather than teach them. Good luck I'm sure you'll do fine.
My parents owned a preschool for over 10 years and they looked for outgoing individuals that dressed comfortably and weren't about highend fashion. Listen to "i hate dr. phil's" response. She's correct in stating to wear flats and no low cut tops. Dress in slacks, collared shirt and comfortable shoes. And definitely bring materials and ideas you have to teach these kids.

As for questions, be prepared to answer questions like:

1. How long have you been teaching?
2. What do you enjoy about teaching?
3. Have you ever successfully potty-trained children?
4. How would you handle an angry parent?
5. How would you handle two kids fighting?
6. If someone other than the parent came to pick up a child what would you do?

Those are just a few. I'll answer them for you.

1. This is your opinion. I'm sure you can answer that easily
2. Same with this one.
3. Again, same.
4. Handling an angry parent is difficult only if you've never done so. If the director is available, always tell the parent that they can speak with them. Never get involved, since it's not your place, and it's best handled by upper management.
5. Separate the two and speak to them individually. You probably know the answer to this as well.
6. If someone other than the parent comes, the school usually has a list of names the parents leave in case of an emergency. First contact the director. If they're not there, then call the parent to confirm pickup.

I really hope this helped. :) And Good Luck!!
Aside from the usual "tell me about yourself" here are some I have used:
1. What do you see as the role of play in a preschool classroom?
2. What is the role of adults during Free Play?
3. How do you prepare four year olds for reading and writing?
4. What's your favorite book to read to kids?
5. What kind of activities could you do based on that book?
6. How do you handle a child who is disinterested in the art activities you plan?
7. What would you do if you saw a fellow employee strike a child?
8. How do you handle biting?
9. What would you say to a parent who wanted you to make her child learn to write his name at age 3?
10. What would you say to a parent who demanded to know what child hit his child?
11. How do you help a new child separate from his mom?
12. At what times of day should the children wash their hands? You?
13. What's your philosophy of how kids learn?
14. What would you do with a child who would not sleep during nap time?
15. How do you handle a fussy eater?

Good luck.
They could ask you how you discipline children,
or situation questions, like" If you were doing a circle time and one child was being really disruptive, how would you handle it?
What do you look for when writing your lesson plans? (good answer- Developmentally appropriate activities that are fun and interesting)
We just finished interviewing new teachers and we were looking for a teacher that had the same philosophy as our school- That was the most important trait and then her personality was really important- could we all work well with her?
Good luck!
What I usually ask is...

How do you handle conflicts between the children?

How do you handle a parent who is very upset about their child getting hurt at school...or upset because their child is dirty or messy? What do you say to a parent who thinks their child is not learning because their are no finished products at the end of the day and they want their child to be learning their ABC's and numbers?

What open ended activities do you do with the kids? what fun things do you like to do with the kids?

How will you involve different cultures in the classroom?

How will you make parents feel welcome and get them more involved in the classroom?

How will you incorporate learning during outside time?

Those are ones I can think of now...if you want to email me I can offer you good answers to those questions as well as more questions.
Devika,

You brought up good questions (I did give you a thumbs up because of the questions), but I would have to say to reconsider the answers in an interview:


Question #4:
"How would you handle an angry parent?"

You said:
"Handling an angry parent is difficult only if you've never done so. If the director is available, always tell the parent that they can speak with them. Never get involved, since it's not your place, and it's best handled by upper management. "

My reply: To say it's not your place to handle an angry parent sends warning signals off to me that you're not capable of dealing with parents.
Your suggestion is also not a good idea for a first step. If you pass it off to the administration right away, you're almost telling the parent that you're not concerned with what they think, but only concerned with what the administration thinks. Now they're not only mad at the original problem - they're upset that you don't care about their anger.

The first thing the parent needs to know is that he/she is being heard and you understand the problem.
When it comes time for you to reply, you ask for clarification on anything you may have misunderstood.
Once you understand the problem, then you know how to better address it. The fact is, many times a parent is upset because of a miscommunication.
Often times, the parent may be upset about something you have no control over (if the child has a chicken pox, the health department says they cannot be at school for xx amount of days). If it is something like that, always feel free to "blame" the people who make up those laws. Then explain that it's because other children could easily get sick as well. If they still don't like that answer, THEN you refer them to the administration.
If the problem is something you can solve, then you weigh your options. The question I always think of is whether this is going to be the best option for the child. Both you and the parent have the best interest of the child in mind, even if (at the moment) you disagree with what that is. If it is something you have the power to change and is something you feel is a beneficial change, explain to the parent you think they have a great idea and you will consider changing it. I then make the change as soon as I can and let the parent know about it.
If it is something clearly out of my level of jurisdiction, I explain the reasoning behind the "problem" then, if they still have issues, let them know I don't have the authority to change it, but they may talk to the administrator.

Whenever I can, if I've told a parent they need to go to the administrator, I do the courtesy of walking them down and helping to introduce the problem to the administrator. This shows the parent they are being heard - even if they don't get a result they necessarily "want." This is not always possible, of course, as I may be the only one watching children at the time.

No matter what the parent is angry about, whether it's resolved or not, I always make sure to let the admin know ASAP. Nothing's worse for an admin. than getting an "I'm still mad" phone call from someone they didn't know was mad in the first place.


Question #5:
" How would you handle two kids fighting?"

You said:
"Separate the two and speak to them individually. You probably know the answer to this as well."

I wouldn't go with that answer. The important thing is not that you talk to them, but that they talk with each other. This may be a good first step to help clarify what happened. But if Tommy hit Sam, I eventually have Sam tell Tommy that he did not like to be hit. I think it's important that children are able to say what they didn't like and I also think it makes a better impact on the child if they hear it from the child rather than from me. With Tommy (the hitter), I will have him brainstorm about ways he could have handled the situation differently.

Question #6:

"If someone other than the parent came to pick up a child what would you do? "

You said:
"If someone other than the parent comes, the school usually has a list of names the parents leave in case of an emergency. First contact the director. If they're not there, then call the parent to confirm pickup. "

Even then, the emergency contact is not necessarily allowed to pick up. Let me throw this answer out there for people to consider:

"At the schools I worked at, we had a seperate sheet that parents could fill out telling us names of people that were allowed to pick up. If it is not a parent and I do not know for sure if that person is on the list, I check the list and ask for a driver's license to confirm the name. This has frustrated people before because they had to go back to their car to get it, but I will not, under any circumstances, send a child home with someone unless I know it's safe. If the person is not on the list and/or cannot provide a valid form of identification, they may not leave with the child until I contact the parent and they give me permission to send their child home with that person. If there are any problems or if it seems like it is going to be a long delay in contacting the parents, I will contact you (I'm assuming you're having an interview with the administrator of the school) and ask for your help. I've never really had a problem beyond frustration of going back to get their ID. In fact, I usually get thanked by that person and the parents that witnessed it for helping to keep their children safe."

Matt
One word your co-workers would use to describe you.

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