Interview questions and answers for preschool teachers

Interview questions and answers for preschool teachers DEFAULT


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. 


Preschool Teacher Interview Questions

  1. What is your approach to classroom management when students become disruptive? See answer
  2. What has a typical day looked like in your previous classrooms? See answer
  3. How will you create and maintain a happy and welcoming learning environment for your students? See answer
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6 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions and Answers


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


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

“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.”


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


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

“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.”


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


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

“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.”


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


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

“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.”


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


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

“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.”


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


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:


"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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Preschool Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

Sample preschool teacher interview questions and excellent interview answers. Be well prepared for your interview, do your homework beforehand and have a good understanding of the school teaching philosophy and value system.

Preschool teacher and pupils with hands up in front of blackboard

Think about your interview answers to both common interview questions and teacher-specific questions. Have some insightful questions ready to ask during your interview.

3 Key Preschool Teacher Interview Questions About Your 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
  • 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."

7 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions About Your Skills

Expect these typical preschool teacher interview questions that explore your skills, strengths and experience.

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!

List of strengths

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"

Be Ready to Answer these 3 Behavioral Preschool Teacher Interview Questions

You can expect some preschool teacher interview questions that explore those behaviors or competencies required for successful job performance.

How have you handled a recent behavioral or discipline problem in the classroom?

This is about how you handle discipline problems 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
  • ensuring you understand the situation before you explain or discuss possible solutions
  • showing genuine concern and empathy
  • 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
  • the behavioral aspect including your classroom rules and consequences

Preschool teacher interview tips

What should I wear to my preschool teacher interview?

It is always a good idea to wear interview clothes that are a step up from those you would wear in the classroom. Each district may have different interview dress codes so keep it professional but approachable.

For a preschool teacher, smart slacks or skirt teamed with a blouse and blazer are always a safe bet. You can add some personal flair in the form of a bright scarf or purse.

What questions are asked in a childcare interview?

Find out the type of questions asked in a childcare job interview and how best to answer them at Childcare Interview Questions

Your preschool teacher job search

Preschool Teacher Resume

Preschool Teacher Cover Letter

Preschool Teacher Assistant Resume

Kindergarten Teacher Resume

Preschool teacher interview pages

Teacher Behavioral Interview Questions

The Teacher Interview Guide

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34 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions (and Example Answers)

A preschool teacher requires both dedication and passion. If you are interviewing for this role, preparing your responses to common interview questions can help you project confidence and make a great first impression.

Attentiveness to the details of your responses and your effective communication of your answers will serve as an indicator to the interviewer that you are a good candidate. In this article, we review some typical preschool teacher interview questions with possible ways for you to answer.

Related:Top 5 Common Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

STAR interview response technique

The STAR interview technique is a method of response that provides a frame of reference for you to format your answer. It helps you to create an easy-to-follow storyline to contextualize most answers and provide details necessary to show your qualifications. STAR stands for situation, task, action and results.

You can use this method to share context for the situation you were in, explain the task you needed to accomplish, describe what actions you took to reach the desired outcome and provide the results of your actions.

General questions

These questions gauge personality, attitude and general traits. These are generally posed at the start of an interview and serve as a warm-up for the more detailed questions to come. General questions can help an interviewer determine if you will be a good fit for the work environment.

  • Tell me about yourself and your work ethic.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are you most passionate about?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment?
  • How do you handle conflict at work?
  • How do you define and measure success?
  • List five adjectives that describe yourself and explain why.
  • What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Questions about experience and background

These are more specific questions about your prior experience and overall qualifications for the position. Your responses should exhibit skills you possess that may not readily be evident on a resume. They help to indicate how your values match those of the educational institution.

  • What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
  • How do you approach helping a reluctant learner achieve academic success?
  • Teaching at any level requires organization. Can you explain what you prioritize as an instructor and how you go about fulfilling all of your duties?
  • What is one great success you have had as a teacher?
  • What is your teaching or educational philosophy?
  • What do you think is one of the greatest difficulties facing children today?
  • How do you approach planning with your colleagues?
  • What was one of your most challenging days as a teacher, and what did you learn from it?
  • What approaches do you utilize to reach young learners, and how do they differ from what you have seen used in other classrooms?
  • What are some effective ways you organize your classroom?

In-depth questions

These questions help an interviewer gain a complete understanding of how your classroom will look on a day-to-day basis and how you will interact with the students. They provide a verbal picture of yourself as an instructor and can indicate your style, goals and problem-solving capabilities.

  • Can you detail a time you had an issue with a learner in your class and the steps you took to help the student?
  • Can you describe a time you organized an event or lesson the students enjoyed? What elements could you improve on for next time?
  • What makes you the best candidate for this role, and how do you think you can best serve our students?
  • What methods do you use for language development?
  • What tools do you use to help students with test anxiety?
  • How do you teach test-taking strategies, and which ones have you found most effective?
  • How often do you communicate with parents and guardians? How do you promote parental involvement?
  • What strategies do you use to encourage students to work in groups?
  • How do you respond to classroom behavioral issues?
  • What feedback do you give to students to help them gauge their learning and become agents of their own success?

Interview questions with sample answers

The following are four common preschool teacher interview questions and information to keep in mind as you think about and formulate your answers. These example responses use the STAR response method to give details that demonstrate skills, qualifications and teaching philosophy:

  • How do you measure student success?
  • If I were to walk into your classroom, what would I see?
  • How do you encourage cooperative learning, and what methods do you use to group children for success?
  • Describe your role as an educator in the classroom and your preschool teaching philosophy.

How do you measure student success?

Effective teachers for any age group and learning level need viable strategies to gauge student learning and measure success. This helps to target areas where students need reinforcement and close any learning gaps. An interviewer wants to see that you have methods in place to ensure student success on different levels and to encourage students to be agents of their own education, even at an early age.

Example:"Student learning happens at different paces and in different methods. In my role at my previous school, I was tasked with creating an assessment to measure student success in learning numbers. For young children especially, many assessments are performance-based. I created a game in the classroom where they were able to demonstrate mastery of their counting skills and have fun in the process. Teachers were able to measure success and identify students that needed reinforcement. This enabled our faculty to help all students succeed."

If I were to walk into your classroom, what would I see?

Interviewers use this question to best understand your teaching philosophy and student expectations in the classroom. You can take this time to emphasize your focus on the students and creating a positive learning environment where students are accepted and feel safe to make mistakes.

Example:"Last year, I had the opportunity to work with a special little girl who refused to speak. She would answer by nodding and shrugging and would use other various nonverbal cues to indicate her needs. Although I initially didn't get much response, I met with her and her family, and together we came up with a plan to help her feel at ease in the class and give her tools to begin verbal communication.

Within my classroom, there is always lots of movement and communication. It is center-based to allow students to work on different skills and practice fine motor skills in various capacities. I encourage safe peer-to-peer interaction, and students can often be found helping one another on tasks.

The environment we created helped her feel at ease and guided her out of silence. She began to communicate in one-word sentences, and at the end of the year, she was speaking in complete sentences with her peers and, although still hesitant with adults, was able to speak up more and more. She's now in speech and debate in her fifth-grade class."

How do you encourage cooperative learning, and what methods do you use to group children for success?

Cooperative learning often results in higher learning and better retention than other methods. Interviewers might ask this question to see your approach to learning and if it coincides with the goals of the school.

Example:"Cooperative learning should be purposeful, skill-oriented and problem-based. I started using this strategy a few years ago and began to see success almost instantly. Many of my students were reluctant to learn and be away from home. I needed to create a love for learning in them that would last through adulthood.

I did this by utilizing problem-based learning in focused cooperative learning groups. I placed students in groups according to learning styles, and it helped them feel comfortable with one another and also helped me guide them toward success.

They were able to go on scavenger hunts to learn colors, they created their own counting games and they began to see that learning is a fun process of play and exploration. I reduced the percentage of absences in class by 15%, and student anxiety decreased."

Describe your role as an educator in the classroom and your preschool teaching philosophy.

Interviewers will likely want to know that your role as an educator is central to your philosophy in the classroom and that your actions support best practices within the classroom and daily student interaction. Consider explaining how you conduct yourself within the classroom and describing teacher-student rapport.

Example:"Central to quality education is ensuring students' safety and well-being. Each student must know they are in a safe and accepting environment before they can pursue their education. I am available for students daily and have a genuine concern for their health and safety. I want them to become proactive students and life-long lovers of learning. To instill that trait, I exhibit a love for learning myself.

I value each student, and it shows in my classroom. In the past, I had a student whose parents were going through a difficult financial time. The child sheepishly told me she was hungry, and I made it a point to discreetly keep snacks and extra lunches for her so she would feel safe and unashamed. Additionally, I put the family in contact with a state agency for job assistance, and in a couple of months, she was flourishing both personally and academically."

Jobs similar to preschool teachers

If you have an interest in working as a preschool teacher, there are several other similar job paths to explore throughout your career. Here are 10 different jobs similar to preschool teachers:

1. [Child care center director](

2. [Elementary school teacher](

3. [Curriculum developer](

4. [Education administrator](

5. [Principal](

6. [School counselor](

7. [Early childhood education specialist](

8. [Nanny](

9. [Education coach](

10. [Child care attendant](


For and preschool questions teachers interview answers

Preschool teachers are early childhood educators who instruct children between 2 to 5 years old. These youngsters have a short attention span and their worries are fairly simple. When hiring a preschool teacher, employers look for a person with a passion for teaching young children. Other than that, which areas should you focus on when preparing for a preschool teacher interview? Here are our top 20 preschool teacher interview questions and answers.

1. Tell Me About Yourself

The interviewer wants to hear a summary of your abilities, education attainment, and experience.

Tip #1: Mention your education attainment, abilities, and experience that relate to this job

Tip #2: Prove that you’re the best candidate for this job

Sample Answer

I am a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I have worked as a preschool teacher for 4 years. I have the passion, communication abilities, motivational techniques, and patience required to perform the responsibilities of this job effectively to help kids learn, develop, and thrive in the early and important years of their lives.

2. Why are You Interested in this Role?

The interview manager wants to assess what motivates you to pursue this role.

Tip #1: Mention why you’re interested in this role

Tip #2: Prove that you’re not in this profession by accident

Sample Answer

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I am interested in this role because I have what it takes to execute it effectively and satisfactorily. I have invested time and effort to gain the necessary qualification and experience. Moreover, I want this role because it will enable me to make a huge difference in children. I look forward to applying my supportive and unique style in teaching to overcome the challenges associated with this role.

3. What are the Roles of a Preschool Teacher?

This question is aimed at assessing your familiarity with the roles of a preschool teacher.

Tip #1: Mention the roles performed by a preschool teacher

Tip #2: Demonstrate that you are familiar with your roles

Sample Answer

A preschool teacher is mainly responsible for early childhood education. This role involves creating and delivering interactive learning programs, developing and enforcing rules of good behavior for kids in classrooms, and demonstrating activities to kids. Other roles include offering resources and tools that kids can use to learn and play, evaluating children’s performance, and coming up with teaching methods that fit early childhood education children.

4. Briefly Describe Your Preschool Teaching Experience?

The interviewer wants to assess whether you have the experience required for this job.

Tip #1: Describe your experience as a preschool teacher

Tip #2: Prove that your experience matches what the employer wants

Sample Answer

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education five years ago. Soon after graduating, I joined a local school as a preschool teacher. I performed my duties effectively and to the satisfaction of learners, my employer, and parents. In the third year of my teaching career, I joined a national school where I have been working to date. Over these years, I have gained significant experience in preschool teaching. I understand the ins and outs of this job. Thus, I have the experience required to perform this role effectively.

5. Why is it Important to You to Work as a Preschool Teacher?

Here, the interviewer seeks to know why you consider it important to work as an early childhood teacher.

Tip #1: State why your career is important to you

Tip #2: Be honest and clear with your answer

Sample Answer

Some years back when I was thinking about the career I wanted to pursue, I discovered that I enjoy being around kids. Besides, I am an ambitious person who has a flair for ensuring the cognitive, social, and personal development of young children. These aspects are the main forces behind my interest in working as an early childhood teacher.

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6. Isn’t Teaching Young Children Very Challenging?

The interview manager wants to hear whether you are ready to handle the challenges associated with this role.

Tip #1: Show that you are adequately prepared to handle this job

Tip #2: Be direct and give a relevant answer

Sample Answer

Indeed, teaching kids is extremely challenging. This is because young children can be difficult to control and take time to understand new things. Besides, they can easily forget what they have learned or been directed to do. But since this is my passion, I am ready for the job.

7. What Skills Make You a Great Preschool Teacher?

Here, the interviewer wants to know whether you possess the skills that are necessary for this role.

Tip #1: State the skills that make you a great preschool teacher

Tip #2: Show that you have relevant skills needed to effectively perform this role

Sample Answer

I am flexible and patient. These two skills are among the core abilities that a teacher needs to be successful in this job. Also, because I’m a trained teacher, I am skilled in developing and using age-appropriate teaching materials, assessing learners’ performance, and offering a safe environment for learning. Moreover, I am capable of dealing with classroom issues before they escalate.

8. What Approach Do You Use to Manage Learners When They Become Distractive?

The interviewer wants to assess how you handle challenging and stressful situations.

Tip #1: State how you manage kids when they become distractive

Tip #2: Demonstrate your ability to handle stressful and challenging moments

Sample Answer

When learners become distractive, I manage the situation by providing routine, structure, and support to them. I make sure to have consistent rules and expectations. Through these, I establish boundaries and learners respond well to them.

9. What Qualities Should a Preschool Teacher Possess to be Effective?

This interview question is asked to test whether you know the qualities that can make you effective in this role.

Tip #1: State several qualities that are essential in this role

Tip #2: Prove that you know what can make you effective 

Sample Answer

Important qualities that make a preschool teacher effective include being patient, energetic, flexible, a good communicator and listener, passionate about teaching children, and having a good and engaging personality. Other qualities include being compassionate, confident, organized, innovative, and using a lively and innovative teaching style.

10. What Major Challenge Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It?

The interviewer wants to assess your problem-solving skills and whether you can deal with a challenging situation.

Tip #1: Describe a major challenge that you faced

Tip #2: State how you handled the situation

Sample Answer

During my last role, I had an in-class emergency. As I was teaching my pupils around noon, one child suddenly got into an epileptic state. He was a newly admitted learner. Luckily, I had read his file and knew the appropriate emergency procedure to undertake. I followed it and the pupil gained consciousness after a few minutes. Most of the other learners got really shocked but I calmed them down and resumed teaching in the afternoon.

11. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Preschool teacher

Here, the interviewer manager wants to hear how a typical day of a preschool teacher looks like.

Tip #1: Mention what a preschool teacher does every day

Tip #2: Prove that you know your daily routine

Sample Answer

The daily routine of preschool teachers includes creating plans for daily activities, organizing snack and nap hours for children, supervising them to make sure they are safe all the time, guiding young learners to develop practical and artistic abilities, and maintaining clean classrooms. They also teach basic skills through storytelling and educational plays among other educational techniques, attend to the basic needs of children, read stories for their pupils, and communicate with parents.

12. What is the Biggest Challenge that You Foresee in This Job?

Here, the interviewer aims to test your readiness for the challenges associated with this role.

Tip #1: Mention a huge challenge that you anticipate in this job

Tip #2: State how you intend to address it

Sample Answer

I expect that children will get easily distracted. It becomes very challenging to teach and engage them when they don’t have an interest in a lesson. But I will use fun and interesting teaching methods to win their attention and have them concentrate in class.

13. What is the Aim of Preparing Lesson Plans?

The interviewer wants to test whether you understand the importance of lesson plans.

Tip #1: State the objective of having lesson plans

Tip #2: Prove that you use lesson plans

Sample Answer

The aim of lesson plans is to organize and lead school activities that foster the academic, social, mental, and physical development of every learner. They are based on the ability of each child to learn and cope with different situations.

14. Is it Okay to Enrol Learners with Special Needs in a Regular Program?

Here, the interviewer wants to hear your take on having special needs students in a regular program.

Tip #1: Mention what would determine the enrolment of these learners in a regular program

Tip #2: Think fast and give a well-thought answer

Sample Answer

I see no harm in placing special needs children in a regular school program if they can learn and cope like other kids. So the decision to enroll them in a regular program should be based on their disability and ability to learn.

15. What Do You Like Most About This Job?

The interviewer seeks to know what you love most about preschool teaching.

Tip #1: State what excites you most about teaching young kids

Tip #2: Be honest and give a complete answer 

Sample Answer

Although I like lots of things about my career, I become greatly delighted to see my learners really excited and overjoyed after learning something new. I love to see them become very happy when they can do new things for the first time. I become very fulfilled when my students get excited because of learning new things.

16. What Kind of Strategies and Mind-Set is Required for This Role? Explain With Example

Here, the interviewer wants to assess whether you understand the strategies and outlook that can make you successful in this role.

Tip #1: Describe strategies needed to perform this role effectively

 Tip #2: Mention the mind-set you need to succeed in this job

Sample Answer

Managing pre-schoolers is challenging, but certain strategies can make it easier. A key strategy is to gain their respect by ensuring appropriate conduct without threatening them. Another important strategy is controlling preschool classrooms while keeping things encouraging, enjoyable, and educational. A great way to achieve this is through the excellent organization of the learning environment and activities. The mindset needed in this role involves upholding patience and focusing on creating a supportive, structured, and welcoming learning environment.

17. Why are the First Five Years of a Child’s Life So Important? 

The interviewer wants to know whether you understand the importance of supporting children during their early years in life.

Tip #1: State why the first five years of a child’s life are important

Tip #2: Prove that you are knowledgeable about the needs of young children

Sample Answer

The first five years of a child’s life are extremely important because they are the formative years of a kid. It is during these years that children are provided with a foundation on which their lives are built. Besides, children can absorb a lot during these years.

18. What are Your Strengths as a Preschool Teacher?

This question is aimed at assessing the strengths that make you a great preschool teacher.

Tip #1: Mention some strengths that make you a good preschool instructor

Tip #2: Be truthful with your answer

Sample Answer

I can observe each child objectively and keenly to best meet their individual needs. Besides, I have excellent organizational and planning skills and strong communication skills. Also, I am flexible, creative, and patient.

19. How Do You Stay Motivated at Work?

The interviewer asks this question to know how you stay inspired at work.

Tip #1: State how you remain motivated at work

Tip #2: Show that you are self-motivated

Sample Answer

I observe and read about other teachers who have been very successful in the profession. I look at how they teach, deliver lessons, and engage with learners. In doing so, I learn new approaches and get inspired to work hard and overcome my challenges.

20. Describe a Time You Failed in This Role and the Lesson You Learned

The interview manager wants to assess whether you learn from your mistakes.

Tip #1: Describe a failure that you experienced

Tip #2: State the lesson you learned

Sample Answer

Some time back, I failed to balance the needs of children and parents. I was so much into the children and neglected the role of parents. However, I later on learned that I needed parents’ buy-in as they play a crucial role in education. I started involving them through newsletters, progress reports, and by organizing parent days and activities.


Preparing for your next preschool teacher interview just got easy with these questions and answers. You just need to study and practice them to get adequately ready for the interview. Where applicable, customize the answers to suit your qualification, experience, and skills. 

ULTIMATE Teacher Interview Questions And Answers Guide

Preschool Teacher Interview – 15 Common Questions

Job search is a game of numbers. In this case, the numbers play in your favor: Typically, only a few people will apply for every preschool teacher job opening, and sometimes you may actually be the only job candidate. That means that you do not need to be better than the others. You just need to convince the interviewers that you are good enough for the job.

They will typically use several personal questions (asking about your motivation, goals, experience, and strengths), and a few behavioral questions (asking how you approached certain situations in the past, or how you’d approach them in your teaching job). This is enough for the interviewers to get a good grasp of your personality, motivation, and attitude, and to decide whether you deserve a chance as a preschool teacher. Let’s have a look at the questions!


Why do you apply for a preschool teacher job?

Try to avoid referring to the past, saying that you apply because you’ve graduated from the field. Focus rather on the future, on the things you want to achieve as a preschool teacher, and of course on your love to children.

Say them that you enjoy being around children, that you see a meaningful purpose in this job (in no other time of life can we form children as much as we can during their preschool years), and that you feel ready and qualified to do the job well, from day one.

Speak with enthusiasm. The interviewers should really believe that you want the job, and did not apply just because you graduated from the field, or because you need any kind of job to earn money.


Describe how you imagine a typical day in work.

Now you should show them that you know what is expected from you, and that you do not wear pink glasses when it comes to teaching. There will be problems, there will be challenges. But it is your attitude to problems that matter for the interviewers. Describe games you’d play with children, and skills and abilities you plan to continuously develop with the activities of your choice.

You can talk about taking the children out, to the nature (if it is possible in your location), helping them to build a healthy relationship to the nature, and to their environment. At the end of the day you can simply say that you want to fill their day with meaningful activities, and plan to be busy from morning to afternoon, doing the activities with them, and solving problems that may occur in your class.

Special Tip: Download a complete list of questions in a one page long PDF document, and practice your interview answers anytime later:

What are the most common challenges preschool teachers face?

The right answer to this question varies from country to country, but one thing is common for each pre-primary school: problems with discipline. Obviously we can not control what the parents do, how they bring their children up. In each and every preschool class, we will find some children that struggle with discipline, and sometimes even children that may be ugly to their schoolmates, and do not obey the rules at all.

Problems with discipline represent probably the greatest challenge, but you can mention also other things, such as: cleaning, changing diapers, crying children, paperwork, etc. Do not forget to check:How to overcome interview nerves – get rid of stress and deliver your best in an interview.

children at preschool, they hold their hands up, wanting to answer a question of the teacher.

Why do you want to work here, and not in another kindergarten?

This is your chance to praise the school for something they do well. Perhaps they have an amazing playground for children, or a great and peaceful location? Perhaps their teachers have an excellent reputation, and you have heard just good things about them?

If you can identify anything that makes them stand out in your eyes, refer to it in your answer. And if you do not see anything special about the particular school, you can simply say that it is the nearest nursery school–so it will be convenient for you to work for them, and not somewhere else where you will have to drive to work.


Imagine that one of the children refuses to obey your orders, on a continual basis. What would you do?

Having such a child in your class is difficult, and it creates problems for everyone. When you need to pay special attention to one of the children, you can’t really pay enough attention to the rest of the class. Therefore you should tell the interviewers that you will do your best to address this problem. And how can you address it?

Consulting the parents, working with a school psychologist (if they are employed at the educational facility), trying your best to gain both respect and trust of the child is a way to go. You can even say that in a worst case possible, you will suggest to dismiss a child.

May also interest you: Elementary teacher interview questions & answers – some questions overlap with the questions for preschool, and you should get ready for them.


How would you encourage the children to work together, and to socialize?

Most children will socialize naturally, and we do not have to do anything special to make it happen. Just give them a free hand, and show some love…

Nevertheless, you can suggest doing activities that naturally encourage them to cooperate together, and to talk to one another. Sports, games that have no winners and losers, and activities such as a common drawing, or a common dance are a great choice of an activity. Feel free to come up with your own ideas!


Other questions you may get in your preschool teacher interview

  • Why this level of education? Why not primary or secondary school?
  • Tell us about the games you plan to play with your students, and  why you prefer these games to other games.
  • What would your former colleagues (classmates) say about you?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What are your expectations on a school principal, and other administrators?
  • Do you consider yourself a team player?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Your greatest weakness as a teacher?
  • Why should we hire you, and not the other person who tries to get this job?


Conclusion and next steps, more in-depth preparation

You won’t compete with many job applicants in this interview, but you will still have to demonstrate your motivation, right attitude to work, and readiness for the job.

In this case, your non-verbal communication is extremely important. The interviewers must feel that you really want the job, that you will enjoy working with children.

If you experience anxiety, however, or simply want to spend more time preparing for your interview (and for all questions you may possible get), have a look at my eBook, the Teacher Interview Guide. Brilliant answers to all difficult questions and winning interview strategies for teachers will make a big difference for you on your big day. Thank you for checking it out, and see you in the interviews!



Alternatively you may continue your interview preparation with one of the following articles:

Glen Hughins

Glen Hughins

Recruitment Consultant and Interview Coach from Philadelphia, Glen had worked as a school principal for fifteen years, before he started his career in recruitment consulting and interview coaching. He contributes to Interview Penguin with articles about careers and interviews in teaching, and in educational administration.

Glen Hughins

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