Questions to Ask During a Preschool Teacher Interview (2023)


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Amanda Rock

Amanda Rock

Amanda Rock, mom of three, has spent more than a decade of her professional career writing and editing for parents and children.

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Updated on November 23, 2020

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(Video) Top 20 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

Adah Chung

Choosing the right preschool is an important decision. And while a preschool interview is a chance for the staff to get to know your child, it's also an opportunity for you to get to know them.

When interviewing the staff at a potential school, write out your questions beforehand and bring a pen, paper, and your powers of observation to help you make the most of the visit. It's better if your child doesn't accompany you so that you can focus, but if you can't get a sitter or if the school encourages it, by all means, have your little one come. Here are questions to ask to determine if a preschool is a good fit for your child.

Basic Questions

Questions to Ask During a Preschool Teacher Interview (2)

You may know the answers to many of these basic questions—or at least think you know—but still, it's a good idea to get the answers from someone in authority. They include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • What are the school's accreditations?
  • What is the student capacity?
  • What are the operating hours?
  • What days/holidays is the school closed?

You should also ask to see the school's license if it isn't displayed. Licensing assures that a preschool program meets basic safety and quality standards, which is not the same as accreditation.Accredited programs must meet higher criteria.

Although a license does not guarantee that a preschool offers a quality education, you should not consider a facility that doesn't have a license.

Questions About Your Child

General questions are important, but you also need to find out answers that are specific to your child including:

  • Do you have space for my child?
  • If not, do you have a waiting list? How long is it? What is the likelihood that we will be called?
  • Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend? Are pull-up-type diapers acceptable?
  • Are children required to be immunized?
  • Can I bring my child in for a site visit before we decide to enroll? (Applicable if you haven't brought your child with you this time.)After we decide to enroll?
(Video) PRESCHOOL TEACHER Interview Questions and ANSWERS! (Preschool Assistant + Daycare Teachers)

Educational Philosophy

There is more than one way to teach a classroom full of preschoolers. In fact, there are dozens. When you meet with the teachers or staff, find out if there is a certain philosophy that they follow.

For example,Montessori schools are known for fostering independence while Waldorf schools are known for their creativity. The High/Scope method sets personal goals for kids, Bank Street focuses on child-centered education, and the Reggio Emilia approach follows a child's natural development.

Remember that each individual school sets its own tone and has their own method. Some schools don't function based on a particular school of thought, but it's likely they do have a mission of some sort. Find out what it is.

Learning and Activities

This is the meat and potatoes part of the preschool interview. Make sure you have the chance to tour all parts of the school. Your questions may include:

  • What is a typical day like?
  • Do you focus more on academics or social growth?
  • Will my child learn basic skills like letters and numbers? Colors and shapes?
  • What type of motor skill activities do the children engage in?
  • Are their separate spaces to learn art and music?
  • Do the children go outside? Weather permitting, how often and for how long?
  • What types of toys and games do you have? How often are new toys brought in?
  • Do you go on field trips?
  • Are outside groups (dance schools, librarians, etc.) brought in to speak?
  • Do you show movies or television programs? How often?
  • Do the children take naps? Where?

Discipline, Socialization, and Meals

Part of preschool is teaching your child social skills that he or she will use later on in life. It's important to find out what methods the preschool will use and how you can complement these methods at home. Questions can include:

  • How are children disciplined?
  • How do you handle bullying or teasing?
  • What do you do if a child needs to be comforted?
  • At what point do you notify the parents if there is a discipline or other type of issue?
  • Will my child eat here? What meals and who provides the food?
  • If I provide the food, are there any items that aren't permitted?
  • How do you handle food allergies?

Health, Safety, and Food

While you don't want to imagine anything going wrong, it's important to be prepared in case something does—and make sure that the preschool is as well. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • What is your sick child policy?
  • Will you give my child medication during the day if I request it? Do I need a doctor's note?
  • Do you teach children to wash their hands? When and how often?
  • How often are the toys and games and equipment washed?
  • How old is the play equipment and how often is it inspected?
  • How are visitors handled? Are the doors locked?
  • Do you have a sign-in sheet?
  • Who is allowed to pick my child up?
  • Do you have fire drills?
  • Do you have a disaster plan? What's the procedure in case of an emergency?

Classroom and Staff

Learning as much as you can about the teachers who will be working with your child is of the utmost importance. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • How are the kids divided up?
  • How many children would be in my child's class?
  • What is the teacher/child ratio?
  • What kind of education and safety training do your teachers have? How often do they go back for more classes?
  • Is everyone in the building trained in CPR and first aid?
  • How many full-time teachers do you have? Are there teacher assistants? Who will be teaching my child?
  • How are staff members screened prior to being hired?
  • Who else is in the building?

The National Association for the Education of Young Childrensuggests a student/teacher ratio of 1-to-8 to 1-to-10 for children in the 4- to 5-year-old age group.

Parental Involvement

Some schools prefer not to have any parental involvement, while others, like co-ops, require it. Find out how often you will be expected to be in the classroom or if you are even permitted to visit. Questions include:

  • Is parental participation required?
  • Are parents allowed to visit the classroom?
  • If so, how often and under what terms?
  • How do you communicate with parents on a regular basis? (Message board, notes sent home, etc.)
  • Are there parent/teacher conferences? How often?


For many parents, this is a dealbreaker. And it's important to note that there can be many facets to preschool costs, including supplies and fundraisers. Try to get as many details ahead of time as you can by asking the following:

  • How much is tuition?
  • How often is it due?
  • What methods of payment do you accept?
  • Do you offer scholarships or discounts?
  • Is there a late fee?
  • Is there a discount if I pay for the year upfront?
  • Will we be responsible for buying school supplies?
  • Do you require parents to participate in fundraising efforts?
  • Are there any other costs that I should know about?
(Video) Top 20 Kindergarten Teacher Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

Questions to Ask Yourself

When your interview is over, it's a good idea to take a few minutes to think about your meeting and ask yourself some key questions about what you just saw (that's where those powers of observation come in)! These can include:

  • If you visited during school hours, were the children happy?
  • Are the rooms decorated with the children's art?
  • Do the teachers seem to like what they're doing?
  • Do the teachers engage directly with the children in a kind, happy, caring manner?
  • Is the preschool clean? What about the bathroom?
  • Does the school seem safe with the proper equipment (first aid kit, a fence around the playground, locked doors, etc.)?
  • What are your instincts saying? Will your child be happy at this school?

How to Know If Your Child Is Ready to Start Preschool

2 Sources

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Keskin B. Recent coverage of early childhood education approaches in open access early childhood journals.Early Child Dev Care. 2016;186(11):1722-1736.doi:10.1080/03004430.2015.1126833

  2. National Association for the Education of Young Children. The 10 NAEYC program standards.

By Amanda Rock
Amanda Rock, mom of three, has spent more than a decade of her professional career writing and editing for parents and children.

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What questions should I ask at a teaching interview? ›

Questions to Ask in a Teacher Interview
  • What would my goals be for the first year?
  • What's the average classroom size?
  • What's the school's culture like?
  • Do you have an active PTA?
  • What are the other teachers like?
  • How is the interaction between the school and the parents?
19 Sept 2022

What questions should I ask at a childcare interview? ›

Child Care Worker Interview Questions
  • What is your favorite part of being a child care worker and why? ...
  • What do you find most challenging about caring for children? ...
  • How have you dealt with upset or angry parents in a child care setting? ...
  • What is your philosophy about caring for infants in a child care setting?
21 Apr 2021

How do you nail a preschool teacher interview? ›

The second important tip is to tell the interview panel passionate you are about teaching. And also

What are good questions to ask at the end of an interview? ›

Questions to ask at the end of a job interview
  • How would you describe the company's culture? ...
  • What is your favorite thing about working for this company? ...
  • How do you see this company evolving over the next five years? ...
  • How would the person in this role contribute to this vision?

Why should we hire you as a preschool teacher? ›

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 makes you a good fit for a preschool teacher? ›

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.

Why do you want to teach pre K? ›

At this age, children learn best when they are having fun. Preschool teachers get to create entertaining, engaging, and creative classrooms that promote learning as well as social, cognitive, and emotional development. In fact, every day brings unexpected learning experiences when you become a preschool teacher.

What are my strengths as a childcare educator? ›

Patience, communication, and a love of young children are just a few of the qualities you'll need if you want to become an early childhood educator. Young children move a mile a minute, aren't always the best listeners, and are learning just about everything as if it's brand new.

What is your weakness best answer? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

What do you say at an early years interview? ›

Example interview questions for Apprentices

What skills do you have that you think could help when working with babies and children? How do you work as part of a team? Can you explain how you would keep children safe in the nursery? How would you help support a child's development and learning?

How do you stand out in a teaching interview? ›

Have your own set of questions prepared.
  1. Convey your passion for teaching and students. ...
  2. Research the institution where you're interviewing. ...
  3. Express your willingness to learn. ...
  4. Share only positive stories about past students, employees and employers. ...
  5. Politely smile and remain positive throughout the entire interview.

How do I nail my teaching interview? ›

Here are my 5 top tips for nailing your teacher interview!
  1. Research the School. Before any teacher interview, take the time to get to know a little bit about the school. ...
  2. Know Yourself as a Teacher. How would you describe yourself as a teacher? ...
  3. Think Through Practice Questions. ...
  4. Be Who You Want to Work With. ...
  5. End Strong.

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for teachers? ›

Teaching interview questions
  • Tips for answering interview questions. ...
  • Why do you want to be a teacher? ...
  • Why do you want to work in our school? ...
  • How will you manage challenges at work? ...
  • What experience do you have in schools? ...
  • What are the core skills and qualities that pupils look for in teachers?

What teachers should not say in an interview? ›

Your Next Teacher Interview: What to Avoid Doing
  • Misrepresenting yourself in any way. That means pretending to be someone you're not, inflating the truth, or flat-out lying. ...
  • Speaking negatively about past or current school experiences. ...
  • Blaming students. ...
  • You've got this!
5 May 2019


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