23 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions with Answers

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23 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions with Answers

Being a preschool teacher is a dream for millions of people across the world, but trying to understand preschool teacher interview questions is much less of an enticing idea.

Nonetheless, it is absolutely key to understand that the interview process is absolutely key to acquiring any job that you dream of, and this is especially true for future preschool teachers.

Teaching candidates often become stressed when preparing for their interviews, and it is no wonder why.

Many believe it is impossible to boost their interviewing skills and rely on old, canned preparation techniques. There are, though, simple and effective ways to prepare for your interview.

23 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions with Answers

In this article, we will explain the most commonly asked questions to preschool interviewers and the effective ways you could respond.

What Skills Are Needed for the Preschool Teacher Position?

Every school interviewer has unique goals, values, school demographics, and needs for their employees. They have different criteria for what makes a great candidate so fantastic.

Therefore, it is impossible to say that every preschool teaching candidate needs to have the exact same set of skills to succeed and acquire the job you desire.

With that being said, there are still some skills that are far more important than others if you wish to achieve this goal. Some of those incredible strengths are:

Communication skills

Teachers are well known for being great communicators. They need to speak to many individuals throughout the course of their career, whether it be their boss, colleagues, students, or even parents.

If you are able to speak clearly, you can help students understand the subject you are teaching in a much more effective way. In addition to this, individuals who know how to communicate are also great at speaking with parents and establishing strong relations with them.

Organization skills

Organizational skills are extremely important in any job. They allow you to stay efficient and become productive. These skills can make an immense impact on your students as well, which should ultimately be your goal. 

For instance, you could begin by using more planners or setting daily reminders to perform certain activities. Also, try ranking tasks based on importance when making schedules.

Regulations and laws related to teaching and school

Knowledge is another crucial factor that determines if you acquire your preschool teaching job. You need to meet certain requirements and regulations to even be considered for this position.

Even if you meet the bare minimum requirements, you should try to become familiar with the more localized requirements and regulations for your specific school district. Being aware of these regulations shows you have done your homework and went above and beyond.


As a preschool teacher, you will likely see tantrums on a near-daily basis. Conflicts between numerous students could be common as well. And, even beyond that, you might have to work with parents who are stressed out or just generally tough to work with.

This is when using your patience can be extremely useful. All teachers need to understand how to be patient, for learning is a long process. Use active listening skills as one of the top strategies for boosting your patience.

Computer skills

In today’s world, it seems like career success is dependent in part to how well you can use technology. All industries are beginning to become more and more reliant on technology, and this can be done for the betterment of students as well.

If you know how to turn technology, which is negatively viewed by some teachers, into a positive tool, you will be seen as innovative and a problem solver by the interviewer.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are used by preschool teachers every single day. Whenever the teacher speaks to students, they need to utilize interpersonal skills. It is especially important to have strong interpersonal skills as a preschool teacher due to the students being especially young and tough to look after.

As such, you need to be a master of interpersonal skills to succeed. For instance, you must be a great listener, conflict mitigator, and empathizer to be a great teacher.

Time management

Teachers often accuse students of having terrible time management skills. But, the reality is that many preschool teachers themselves are not great at prioritizing tasks.

In addition, if you can show you have great time management skills, then the interviewer will be highly interested in hiring you. Time management will help you become more efficient and allow you to accomplish more of your goals, thus helping your students as well.

Related: Academic Skills: Definition, Examples, How To Improve Them

23 Preschool Teacher Interview Questions with Answers

General Interview Questions

1. What made you want to become a teacher for such young children?

Most teachers undergo times of intense stress, but something has to empower them to push past these tough times. The main factor that creates this positive attitude is passion. You can demonstrate this passion by giving a strong emotional reason for why you decided to become a teacher.

A potential way to respond is: “I became a preschool teacher because I love working with students and seeing young people grow. I especially enjoy making an impact on very young students. Several of my teachers have left an immense impact on me, and I want to instill that love of learning into the next generation.”

2. What would I see if I entered your classroom?

Every teacher has different tastes and designs their classrooms in different ways. They have unique approaches to working with students. You should highlight your unique teaching strengths by giving the interviewer a mental picture of your classroom.

A sample response is: “If you entered my classroom, you would see a very tidy and organized room. I like to have all the desks near my own desk so kids can easily reach me. I want the room to be very welcoming, so I would hang up certain comforting items throughout the room.”

3. Describe your preschool teaching strengths.

One of the most crucially important factors that differentiates you from other candidates is your strengths profile. At the end of the day, connect your strengths back to the question: why is this good for the kids?

When answering, you could say something along the lines of: “My top teaching strength is being able to listen and communicate. I know how to appropriately describe concepts to students. I listen to students to resolve conflicts, help them understand right from wrong, and better educate them.”

4. Suppose a group of students is being extremely noisy and rambunctious. How would you address these students?

As nice as it would be to have students who never misbehave, the reality is you will be dealing with unruly preschoolers on a consistent basis. Thus, you must have a strategy for getting the class back on track.

For instance, you could say: “If a group of kids was being disruptive, I would address it first by directly speaking to them. I would try to understand what their issue is and try to overcome the problem with them. If they repeatedly ignore me, I will consider more serious consequences, like calling parents or sending them to the time-out corner.”

Experience and Background Interview Questions

5. Do you have a subject you especially enjoy teaching? What makes you passionate about it?

Your reasoning for loving a subject is just as important, if not more important, to the question than what your favorite subject is. This reasoning could reveal an immense amount about your teaching method and personality.

One way to respond would be: “My favorite subject to teach is math. I have always enjoyed math; it seems like a puzzle. I make sure they see the fun in math from an early age. This teaches them problem-solving and persistence, which are extremely important life skills.”

6. Some students initially struggle with learning. What would you do to assist them academically?

Every student is different. They have unique strengths, weaknesses, interests, and backgrounds. All of this could influence how well a student does in school. As a teacher, it is your job to provide them with the best opportunities for academic success you can.

One way to respond would be: “The best way to work with struggling students is to first understand why they struggle. Is it a family life issue? Is it a lack of studying? Do they not engage with my teaching style? Then, I will create a plan for addressing these issues.”

7. As a preschool teacher, where do your teaching priorities lie? What steps do you take to fulfill your responsibilities in this teaching position?

Depending on what you say your priorities are, the interviewer will see what your values are as well. See if your values align with the school’s listed values. Then, describe what you do to align your teaching with those values and priorities.

A sample response is: “My greatest priority as a teacher is to instill a love of learning in the students. I want them to leave my preschool classroom each day curious about the world and interested in investigating more. To help them learn to love learning, I use fun activities to demonstrate concepts. “

8. Tell me about one of your greatest successes during your teaching career.

If you are a new teacher, you might not have many successes under your belt yet. That does not mean you cannot get the job you are applying to. You can note your success as an intern at this point, too. Note what you did and the impact of your actions on students.

When answering, you could say something along the lines of: “I once taught a young girl who was struggling immensely with math, and she would often throw tantrums when she did not get the answer correct. I helped her by introducing her to fun math games, and engaging her in more simple concepts first.”

9. Describe your overall approach to teaching.

Teachers come from a wide variety of different backgrounds. The interviewer wants to make sure your teaching philosophy is appropriate for their students. Be honest about your approach. Highlight how your approach to teaching has been beneficial to students as well.

One example of a response would be: “My teaching style is nurturing and individualized. I like to work with kids one-on-one whenever possible. In addition to this, I help students by giving them simple directions and straightforward prompts. I am always open to questions.”

10. What is one of the most significant obstacles facing children in today’s world?

The world is ever-changing. Just throughout the first few years of your teaching career, you will see how different the world is from the time you were a kid. Thus, you should try to find what makes kids less passionate about learning. Once you see the problem, you can take steps to find the solution. 

For instance, you could say: “The greatest challenge facing kids today is a lack of passion for play and little curiosity. They focus more on being realistic, as this is often instilled in their minds by society and even their parents.

I will try to get kids to see the benefits of imagination plus play. This imagination helps kids develop social skills and boosts creativity, both very important skills.”

11. What is your planning strategy? How do you work with others when planning?

Preschool teachers often plan their days ahead of time, and plan lessons potentially weeks in advance. This allows the teacher to be more organized and boosts time management, productivity, and goal achievement.

A potential reply could look like: “I often use planners and to-do lists to create goals, both for the long term and short term. I list tasks in order of importance to boost my time management. This allows me to achieve the most important. The students almost always get through the most important parts of the lesson because of this planning.”

12. What was one of the greatest challenges you have faced as a teacher? What did this experience teach you?

Even the greatest teachers will face days that are extremely challenging. You need to be prepared to overcome these challenges if you wish to be a successful teacher. Describe what made some days especially difficult. Note the way you addressed the issues that day.

One way you could respond is: “The most difficult day in my teaching career came when I spoke to a student who was repeatedly sneaking out of the classroom. The student told me she thought my room was unsafe, and she wanted to escape. I had to contact her parents and school leaders, who helped me calm her down.”

13. Which teaching strategies do you use for young students specifically? In what ways is this approach different from your other teaching style?

The way you must teach very young students as a preschool teacher will likely differ from the way you teach older kids. This is so because children have unique needs. You must show you are aware of this fact, and that you can serve the unique needs of these students effectively.

One way you could respond is: “My main difference between teaching older and younger students is that I tend to simplify topics much more to young students. I also monitor these students much more closely, as they tend to get hurt more often. In addition, we do more hands-on activities with young students.” 

Role-specific interview questions

14. Have you ever assisted a student who had an especially tough time understanding something? What was your strategy for helping them?

Some students will struggle more with certain concepts than others. They all have unique strengths and weaknesses. Those who struggle will need extra support, and you must be able to adapt your teaching strategy to meet the student’s unique needs.

One of the ways you could respond is: “I have worked with some individuals who struggle to grasp certain concepts. I have worked with disabled students. I was able to simplify my instructions to a baseline level and engage students in different ways, such as visually instead of verbally.”

15. Tell me about a particular lesson your students loved. What do you think made them so interested and what did this experience teach you?

As a teacher, your career will be filled with highs and lows. The key is to learn from the highs to implement the same strategies more consistently, so you experience far more highs than lows. If you can state why you believe the kids were engaged, the interviewer will see that you are focused on students and are a learner yourself.

A potential answer could be: “One lesson that I clearly remember was the time I took students outside and let them paint their favorite tree. This helped the students understand what a tree is, how the tree gets water, what animals live in trees, and more with a creative activity.

Kids were asking questions and very engaged. It showed me that hands-on learning is often a great way to engage students.”

16. What makes you the best preschool teacher candidate for this position?

This is one of the most common interview questions for a good reason. Interviewers want to understand what exactly makes you unique with this question. It is the opportunity to highlight your strengths and values. Keep the interviewer’s needs in mind as well.

A sample answer is: “What sets me apart as a preschool teacher is my decades of experience and strong communication skills. I have worked with students from all across the globe, and they have taught me invaluable lessons. Few other teachers can say they taught in over 10 countries.

These experiences allowed me to see the different ways students learn, which I still consider in my teaching to this day.”

17. What are the ways your teaching could benefit our students?

This is a very direct question that aims at the heart and main purpose of being a teacher: serving students. You should highlight your prior experiences if you have any. Show how your experience has helped students. If not, you could note how your strengths benefit the students in the school you applied to.

When answering, you could say something along the lines of: “The main way I can benefit students is through my unique approach to teaching. For instance, I help students understand how to use technology appropriately and in a fun way. In addition to this, I balance out these skills with helping students learn about the outside world.”

18. How do you assist young students with developing language skills?

One of the most important parts of early childhood education is developing language skills. As such, it is absolutely crucial to develop these skills. Highlight the specific techniques you have used, or will use, to do this.

For instance, you could say: “I help students with developing language skills primarily by utilizing books. I would read to students, and then also give them books to read in a circle. That way, it is a way for students to hear the words but also practice saying them. I also use applications like ABC Mouse to help with reading skills.”

19. Some students have test anxiety. How do you help them overcome this issue?

Getting nervous for tests is natural for most people. However, test anxiety can become a serious problem when it starts to distress students continuously. You should show that you prioritize student health first. This means addressing anxiety as a serious condition.

One way to show your skills to the interviewer is to respond with: “I have had students that were extremely stressed when it came to stress. The best way to help students is to be there for them when they are stressed. I help them prepare well, and if they have a panic attack, I put their health first and address the issue.”

20. Which test-taking strategies do you think are the most beneficial for students? How do you teach students about these techniques?

Knowing how to take tests will be a major part of a student’s school career for decades. Thus, you must have a clear outline for communicating these test-taking strategies. Recognize that the best test strategy is different for every student.

But, note which you have found to be the most effective, and how you add individualization to your teaching approach.

A way to respond is: “I have seen that one especially effective strategy is helping the students with preparing in advance for tests. Then, if they get stressed during the test, using a technique like deep breathing works quite well.”

21. How do you ensure parents and guardians stay aware of their child’s academic performance? What steps do you take to ensure parents are involved in their child’s education?

Most parents are naturally inclined to be curious about how their child does in school. Others may be less concerned. It is the job of the teacher to involve parents as much as they can in their child’s education. They play an active role in the educational process while also encouraging parental involvement.

A sample response is: “I communicate consistently with parents and guardians. I inform them about the child’s grades, behavior, attitude, strengths, weaknesses, and many other factors regarding their school experience. I often suggest activities the parent can do with the student to further propel their growth, too.”

22. Students often need to work in groups at preschools. How do you facilitate this process?

Kids have quite different personalities and desires. The best preschool teachers know how to make group activities fun and not stressful. Your strategy should highlight how you make group work educational while still being fun.

When answering, you could say something along the lines of: “I know that some students may not be very eager to participate in group activities. I will speak with these students to find out their comfort level, and then make a plan that fits within that comfort level.

To ensure people feel more comfortable in groups, I will promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

23. If a student shows they have behavioral problems, how would you address that?

As a teacher, you must acknowledge the fact that some students may have a hard time maintaining proper behavior. A proper discipline plan is necessary to help the students grow. With this question, the interviewer is testing if you are more confrontational or gentle.

For example, you could say: “I try to be gentle with students. I know there may be underlying issues for their behavioral problems. The best way to find out why they are acting up is to notice when these tantrums happen and also ask them directly. I often involve parents in the process. That way, I am on the same page as the parents.”

Questions for You to Ask in a Preschool Teacher Job Interview

Preschool teaching can be a somewhat competitive job field, depending on where you are located. As such, teaching candidates will do anything they can to get an advantage over other applicants.

Some even go as far as spending hundreds of dollars on books and interview training courses.

However, you do not need to do that to be successful. In fact, using a very simple strategy during an interview can go a very long way. This strategy is just asking the interviewer some questions of your own.

By asking the interviewer questions, you go above and beyond, showing you are curious, engaged, and motivated. There are a plethora of questions you could ask the interviewer, but a few examples are:

  • When would you like to hire your next preschool teacher?
  • Am I going to be reporting to the principal, superintendent, school board, or someone else?
  • Do you give any newly hired teachers extra education? If so, what does that education process look like?
  • How do you measure teacher performance? How often do you review performance?
  • How would you describe the leadership style of the administrators at this school?
  • What do you think an ideal preschool teacher looks like for this school and community?

How To Prepare for Preschool Teacher Job Interview

Now that you have read through the prior text on potential interview questions, congratulations! You have just taken the first step to acquiring the job you dream of.

Being aware of interview questions is a fantastic first preparation step. However, you should not feel limited. Do not believe that this is all you can do. There are numerous other great ways to further boost your preparation levels.

For one, you could further expand on these interview questions. Reread them, but this time, think about some potential responses you have to these questions.

Recall some of the most important moments of your career and how you could incorporate these lessons into your answers. Consider what inspired you as well. Make sure to connect the responses back to helping students and furthering the school’s goals.

In addition to this, you should also do some extra research into the school itself. What are the student demographics? Is it low-income or high-income? What kind of technology will you be working with? Who is on the school board? What is the class size?

These are all questions that you could consider in your research, as they could potentially impact your teaching style. Pay special attention to the school’s values if they list them on their site. You could even ask a friend who is currently employed at the school to give you extra insights.

STAR method

There are many ways to prepare for an interview. However, one commonly used method to further increase your interview success is known as STAR.

STAR is an acronym, standing for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is most often used when you wish to give a response in the form of a narrative.

In other words, if you want to demonstrate a strength or point by giving a story, STAR is a good method to utilize. S is for the situation, or the circumstances occurring in your narrative (who, what, when, where, why).

T is for the task, or what your responsibilities were in the situation. Then, A stands for action, or the course of steps you took to address the issue at hand. Last but not least, R stands for the result, or what happened because of your actions.

Preschool Teacher Interview Questions FAQ

What are the 7 principles of teaching?

A teacher has to keep in mind many rules and regulations regarding their role if they want to be successful. In general, there are 7 principles of teaching every aspiring educator should be aware of.

The first is keeping a strong teacher-to-student relationship by offering consistent communication.

Next, great teachers know how to encourage and facilitate student cooperation. After that, good teaching practices allow students to become active learners who are passionate about learning. Great teachers give honest feedback often, too.

Another principle they live by is “time on task” or helping students learn time management skills. Additionally, teachers have high expectations for their students to motivate them. Finally, they recognize and respect every student’s unique strengths plus learning styles.

What are the roles of a preschool teacher?

A preschool teacher has many important responsibilities he or she must handle on a daily basis. One of the most crucial roles such a teacher has is instilling a love of learning into students.

Preschool teachers serve as one of the child’s first role models as well, often second only to the child’s immediate family.

Another role preschool teachers have is that of a protector. They give the students a safe and comfortable environment during the day.

Additional roles a preschool teacher has is that of a storyteller, communicator, scheduler, progress as well as strengths observer, behavioral manager or discipliner, and more.

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