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10 Daycare Interview Questions [With Sample Answers]

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Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview at a local daycare that seems suitable for you and your abilities.

You know you have the skillset but must still prepare to answer a few common daycare interview questions.

Since daycare roles involve working with children, you can bet the examination of your skills and background will be thorough.

But what exact questions might interviewers ask in an interview?

10 Common Daycare Interview Questions

You will help interviewers see your potential as a quality candidate for the position by providing solid and thorough answers to these common daycare interview questions.

  1. What is your favorite part of working with children?
  2. Describe a time you had to resolve a conflict with a parent.
  3. How do you handle misbehavior?
  4. What would you do if two children began physically fighting?
  5. What is your least favorite part of working with children?
  6. What drew you to child care?
  7. What would you change about your last job?
  8. Describe the most challenging situation you have faced working in childcare.
  9. What are the most important traits of daycare staff and why?
  10. What is the most important thing for a classroom to run without serious problems?

You can also count on them asking these other daycare interview questions.

To prepare even further, you should expect questions about your work philosophy and expect some culture interview questions.

What Should I Say in a Daycare Interview?

Above all, a daycare seeks someone who can keep children safe and help foster their education.

Thus, speak about past experiences in managing environments with children or past experiences mentoring.

What Skills Are Daycare Interviewers Looking For?

Daycare Interviewers need to know they can rely on you to keep children from harm, keep them entertained, and mitigate disputes.

  • Initiative: As a daycare worker, you must anticipate and prepare for the children’s needs before they know them. You will also have to anticipate dangers or potential problems and nip them in the bud.
  • Patience: Let’s face it – children can be annoying. Interviewers are looking for patience and the ability to weather days with bad behavior.
  • Eye For Detail: Daycare interviewers are looking for people who can notice how children interact and operate and base their approaches on these observations.
  • Adaptability: Situations can change fast in daycare work, and interviewers want to ensure you can keep pace.
  • Fair: Daycare interviewers want to see that you will not favor one child over another if disputes arise.

What Traits Are Daycare Interviewers Looking To Avoid?

On the other side of the skills that daycare interview questions evaluate, there are characteristics they are trying to stay away from.

  • Laziness: Working with children is an active profession, not just supervision. Interviewers want candidates to engage directly with the children rather than have them sit there and watch.
  • Irritability: If a childcare worker is irritable, it will lead to conflict with staff and children.
  • Stubbornness: Stubbornness gets in the way of the children and the worker and makes a worker inflexible. If a worker is too stubborn, they will risk not being hired.

Sample Daycare Interview Questions and Answers

You don’t have to memorize all 10 of these questions.

But preparing for a few will help you, and all of them will help you get a good idea of what you need to present.

1. What Is Your Favorite Part of Working With Children?

Any industry will ask you a question about what you like about the work.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question authenticates your motivation, and you can almost count on it being asked.

If you cannot come up with an answer that truly shows you enjoy working with children, it shows you may be applying for the wrong industry.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You can focus on what you find fulfilling about working with children, such as opportunities to educate them, opportunities to bring them joy, or opportunities to help them see their potential or abilities.

Just make sure you prepare your answer honestly.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid anything about the children being cute and this being your motivation to work with children.

Example Answer

“My favorite part of working with children is their infectious optimism and joy.

These qualities bring out the best in me and help me do my best to care for them.”

2. Describe A Time Where You Had to Resolve A Conflict With a Parent

Parents keep daycare workers employed with their demand for high-quality child care during the day.

Thus, interviewers need to know you can work with parents in a way too.

Why This Question Is Asked

Conflict resolution is an important part of daycare work.

Some parents may have higher expectations of care workers than others, and if they feel the current services are inadequate, they may bring it up to you, and you need to be prepared.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on demonstrating empathy and patience and demonstrating communication skills.

Daycare interviewers do not expect you to have a magic solution for tougher parents or issues with them.

Still, they expect that your experience has taught you how to navigate the situation.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid looking like you invalidated the issue the parent had.

This will demonstrate poor conflict resolution skills and that your ego may be inflated.

Example Answer

“When the father of a child I taught came to me about how I was teaching his son math, I made sure to keep calm and listen to him rather than defend myself.

After that, I presented my intentions and spoke with him about how we could perhaps avoid disputes in the future, as I thought we could make a compromise to benefit his son.”

3. How Do You Handle Misbehavior?

Misbehavior is a simple reality of childhood – so you should be ready to handle it as a caretaker.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question is asked to make sure you can handle disciplining the children you care for and are comfortable following up on consequences.

What to Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on fairness and a system of handling misbehavior.

Many daycares stick to the “3 strikes system” and pre-empt a need for consequences by making children aware of the future repercussions.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid the extremes on either end of this question.

If you seem too harsh, they will worry that you give children consequences for the slightest matters.

They fear children will walk all over you if you seem uncomfortable with discipline.

Example Answer

“I handle misbehavior by giving children three strikes until they get a timeout, one minute for every year of their age.

After their timeout, I follow up to ensure they understand that their actions put them in timeout, not their personage.”

4. What Would You Do If Two Children Began Physically Fighting?

Occasionally children do not get along, and their disputes can lead to fights, so you should be ready to answer potential questions regarding them.

Why This Question Is Asked

The daycare interviewer wants to see how you will mitigate a fight if one breaks out and wants to ensure you will be comfortable doing so.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Luckily this one is an easier question.

Point to your resume and mention certifications you have in disrupting fights between children.

Take a look at this babysitter resume sample for an example of the things you want to mention from your resume.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Do not give your interviewers the impression that you will magically stop a fight from afar.

Reassure them that you will separate the children and keep them safe.

Example Answer

“If a fight were to break out, I would use my MANDT training to safely physically intervene, call upon other staff, and separate the children from each other.

Other staff and I would then discuss the problem with the children to determine consequences.”

5. What Is Your Least Favorite Part of Working With Children?

Interviews often include a question meant to trick you and see how you can put a positive spin on negative situations.

For daycare interviews, this is that question.

Why This Question Is Asked

These kinds of questions want to gauge your tendency to complain or badmouth aspects of the industry.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Be honest.

If you struggle changing diapers when needed or helping children with their math homework, do not be afraid to say so – this will not lose you the job.

You can talk about these aspects and how they were opportunities to develop new skills, especially because one of the hardest parts of working with children can be working with other adults.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid complaining, badmouthing, or being negative.

After all, you will still be working with children with this job.

Example Answer

“My least favorite aspect of my last job at a children’s shelter was helping children manage their hygiene.

Once we had a particularly difficult child arrive at the shelter, I had to take up more responsibility helping change diapers, manage shower schedules, and help children learn clean habits – all of which bring out the most stubborn side in children.

But I took this as an opportunity to make myself more patient and to make myself a better parent.”

6. What Drew You to Childcare?

This type of question is common to almost every industry and has a specific logic behind it.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question seeks to see if you want this job because you care about children or because you want a job.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Being genuine will get you the best result here.

Try and find an anecdote that can answer this question and form a compelling, genuine story.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid anything stating that you became a childcare worker because it was a good job or that you became a daycare worker because you did not know what else to do.

Example Answer

“As I started preparing to leave college, I began coaching a local youth basketball team, and the opportunity to educate children outside of school thrilled me more than expected and I transitioned from that role to a position as a childcare staff and found I felt fulfilled helping children explore opportunities for play and joy away from the school environment.”

7. What Would You Change About Your Last Job?

This is a common entry-level interview question and one you can prepare an answer to for almost any interview.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question is both a trick question and not.

Daycare interviewers will ask to see what support you will expect from them if you work for their daycare in the future.

They also ask to see if you have good ideas for the future.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

If you plan to criticize your previous job, keep your criticism focused on systematic problems you noticed.

If you wanted to offer new ideas at your previous job, go ahead and say this too.

If neither of these applies, you can focus on the lack of growth opportunities.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Once again, avoid badmouthing or saying that you want different staff members in charge.

Example Answer

“In my last job as a kindergarten teacher, I felt I and the other teachers did not get to work in a team as much, and I felt we could have benefitted from further teamwork and educated the children even better.”

8. What Is the Most Challenging Situation You Have Faced Working in Childcare?

You will inevitably face challenges working in the industry, and challenges in childcare are myriad.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question evaluates your resiliency and how you work when faced with adversity.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Focus on a challenging situation you overcame and the methods you used to overcome it.

You can expand the focus on this question by relating your answer to childcare.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid personal life challenges or challenges related to getting along with co-workers or children.

Both of these kinds of challenges could get you counted out.

Example Answer

“Many people find it easy, but the most challenging situation I encountered was trying to understand how children think – even though, like everyone, I used to be a child.

This especially proved challenging when I could not get children to see the value of completing their homework on time or keeping themselves clean.

But patience and empathy have slowly given me the upper hand in this challenge.”

9. What Are the Most Important Traits of Daycare Staff and Why?

Luckily for you, a list in this article can help you answer this question.

Here we will expand on how to answer it.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question shows your interviewer whether or not your vision of a daycare staff aligns with their institution.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Though many daycares have specific principles, they all have a general template they are looking for – and you can focus on those more general principles.

Talk about how the experience has shown you the importance of those principles.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid saying that anything physical is needed to be a daycare staff.

Example Answer

“The ideal daycare staff will have deep patience and empathy, know how to anticipate the needs of children, staff, and parents, and use their eye for detail to provide quality care for children.”

10. What Are the Most Important Things for a Classroom To Run Without Problems?

Though daycare may not necessarily look like a classroom, it is still an educational environment, so this question may appear.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question shows your interviewer what you will need and expect to keep the environment around you in order and for children to listen to you.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

This is a good chance for you to lay out your expectations system and how you will communicate that to children.

Classrooms run on agreements to rules at their base, and you can talk about your system of rules.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Saying you need specific objects or items will reflect poorly on you when asked this question.

Example Answer

“To make a classroom run smoothly, it is important to clarify expectations and ensure children understand the rules and what they are there for.

I do this by posting signs, explaining them on the first day, and giving them chances to ask questions.”

Other Common Interview Questions You Could Be Asked

Like many other interviews, daycare interviews can throw curveballs at you as they proceed.

It is your job to prepare for them, and you can do so by reading on.

1. What Does Integrity Mean To You?

Integrity is an important concept to be able to speak about, especially when working in an educational environment.

Why This Question Is Asked

In addition to patience and attention to detail, daycare interviewers want to ensure employees are principled and able to speak about their principles.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Once again, give an honest answer but do not talk about integrity in an abstract sense.

Ground your answer in real-life moments where you demonstrated integrity.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Integrity is harder to define through words, so avoid philosophical or pretentious definitions.

Example Answer

“I struggle to define integrity, but I know it when I see it.

I recall a particular instance when I gave a child a chance to be honest with me after he got in trouble, and though it would not have affected him to lie to me, he still chose to tell the truth.

This instance demonstrated a form of integrity to me.”

2. What Is Your Greatest Weakness?

This interview question is classic but often confounds candidates, so read on to prepare.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question is not to get you to confess something you struggle with: it is to give the employers a chance to see how you deal with your challenges and what they can anticipate from you.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

The key to this question is framing your weakness as pushing you to grow.

No matter what the weakness is, there are lessons you have learned from it, and find a way to connect them to your answer.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Strengths are not weaknesses – so do not use something that can be very easily considered a strength to manipulate the question, such as perfectionism.

Example Answer

“My greatest weakness is balancing work with life.

I do put pride in my work, but that pride also comes from a place of stress, one that bleeds into my life occasionally and depletes my ability to recharge.

I struggled with this in school, but it has become an opportunity to begin compartmentalizing my life.”

3. Why Are You A Great Match For This Role?

This question is yet another classic interview question and could appear in a daycare interview.

Why This Question Is Asked

There are no tricks in this question; the interviewer genuinely wants to hear your explanation as to why you think you are a good fit.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Mention specific things you found in the role description and how they pair with your traits and experiences.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Avoid exaggerating or saying you are the best for the role without qualification.

Do not try to make up your answer on the spot either – this question requires thorough knowledge of your role.

Example Answer

“I think I am a great match for this role because it needs someone with experience with emotionally disturbed children and a sense of empathy, and my experience in the Peace Corps gave me both.”

4. What Are You Passionate About?

Passion is what makes a person interesting, and your interviewers want to see what makes you yourself.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question measures what you do outside of your office time and gives your interviewers an idea of how much time you give yourself to recharge.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

Answers here should be activities related to your specific job or activities that nurture skills in the role.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Do not answer with passions that are wholly unrelated to the field you apply for.

Applying to a role in that industry will look bad if your passion is completely unrelated.

Example Answer

“Personally, my passion is making sure the world is a better place than when I entered it.

And helping give children a carefree education space is my role in fulfilling that mission.”

5. What Are You Looking For In Your Next Role?

You should always try and think of what life would be like in your new role to prepare for this question.

Why This Question Is Asked

This question can give your interviewer proof you have thoughtfully considered your position and thought realistically about its potential appearance moving forward.

What To Focus on When Answering This Question

You can relate this question to passion if the interviewers have yet to inquire about your passion, mission, or beliefs.

Try and get to the “why” of the things you are looking for in your next role.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

Any mention of salary, benefits, or ease of work should be avoided at all costs.

Example Answer

“I am looking for opportunities to grow and for promotion, in addition to ample communication from my superiors and equals, and a pleasant environment in which to work, fostered by pleasant children and adults.”

Additional Tips for Daycare Interviews

Consider these next aspects before your interview.

How Do You Prepare for a Daycare Interview?

Thoroughly read your role description and think of related questions you will want to ask.

Use the job description with these questions and find questions where you can use specific parts of the description in the answer.

What Should You Wear to a Daycare Interview?

Business casual will be the standard for a daycare interview, as most daycare workers do not need to wear anything special for their day-to-day work.  

How Should You Introduce Yourself In a Daycare Interview?

Always introduce yourself with your name and a firm handshake during your interview.

Briefly mentioning your experience in education and your education before the questions cannot hurt either.

What Questions Should You Ask at the End of a Daycare Interview?

Interviewers will always be impressed by candidates who have thoughtful questions at the end of an interview.

You can prepare to do this by using the questions below.

1. How Would You Describe the Ideal Candidate?

Asking this question demonstrates that you want to fit their vision and that you are willing to work toward doing so.

Based on this answer, you can also decide if the job does not suit you.

2. How Do You Measure Success?

Success is measured differently in each industry, and especially in the non-formal educational setting of a daycare, success can have a very different metric.

Make sure you understand the goals and success definition by asking this question.

3. How Would You Describe The Company’s Culture?

Company culture is of growing importance, and you can see how the company operates and approaches employees based on this line of inquiry.

The answer to this question can also tell you if this position suits you.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are also questions not asked in the interview that you may want to know the answer to, and here they are.

Do These Questions Also Apply to Dog Daycares?

These questions would not apply to dog daycares because they require a different skill set.

How Do I Pass A Childcare Interview?

Preparation is the key to passing your childcare interview.

Do not only prepare answers to the questions above; research the childcare and see how it operates.

Once your interview is done, send your interviewer an email thanking them and letting them know you hope to work with them.

Wrapping Up

We know interviews can be high maintenance, especially when maintaining children.

But there is no need to stress about getting past a daycare interview when you can prepare with these daycare interview questions.

Go through the list again and create answers for yourself, and you will find that you are ready for your daycare interview before you realize it.

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