11 Nursery Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Preparing yourself for an upcoming interview is an essential step to cultivating a good first impression with your potential new employer. If you want to work in a nursery, there are many related questions that the employer can ask and it's your responsibility to practise beforehand so you can deliver impactful and realistic responses. Learning how to answer these questions with confidence and tactfulness can help increase your chances of getting hired for the position. In this article, we explore a list of 11 nursery interview questions and viable sample answers to use as inspiration.

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview

11 nursery interview questions with sample answers

Here is a list of 11 nursery interview questions and sample answers you can use as reference:

1. What practical experience do you have that qualifies you to work in a nursery position?

This is a common question for an employer to ask because it sets the basis for your qualifications. Your answer is most beneficial when it highlights aspects of your experiences that are critical to the nursery sector. You might describe specific responsibilities you performed or industry knowledge you gained from a previous job.

Example: "I worked as a nursery nurse for four years at a community health centre. That experience equipped me with the knowledge and practical understanding of what it takes to care for young children. I mostly worked with children between the ages of three and eight."

Related: Top 20 Nursing Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

2. How do you keep up to date on the latest developments, tools and practices within the nursery field?

As technologies, people and practices change over time, this question demonstrates your ability to adapt to changes in the field. A proper answer to this question emphasises your proactive approach to professional development and continuous education so you can provide the best care to young children. Highlight resources that you use, like news articles, social media platforms, blogs and other knowledge bases.

Example: "To stay updated on the latest development in the nursery field, I read a lot of related articles on a daily basis. I'm subscribed to multiple nursery websites, read child development books and have an RSS feeder on my phone so I can always get new articles to read."

Related: 13 Competency-Based Interview Questions and How to Prepare

3. Can you provide an example of a time when you took a proactive approach to integrate a parent or guardian into the child's development?

Sometimes an employer might ask this question to determine how you handle a child's development. A positive answer demonstrates your willingness to actively involve parents in what's going on with their child. Explain how parents might help to improve their child's emotional and intellectual growth.

Example: "I once cared for a child who developed a bad habit of yelling when he didn't get his way. I approached his parents and provided them with some techniques and strategies on how to stop this behaviour early on before it can escalate and become more severe."

4. How do you handle a child that's demonstrating challenging or difficult behaviour?

Sometimes children demonstrate unfavourable behaviour for a diverse range of reasons and it's important for a professional in the nursery to address these behaviours. This question seeks to understand your method for handling these children and whether the actions you take are appropriate. Make sure to provide an answer that is professional and representative of the occupation.

Example: "When a child is demonstrating difficult behaviour, I liked to understand what is making the child act how they are. Once I identify the cause of their actions and behaviour, I develop a strategy specific to that child's unique temperament and personality type."

Related: 40 Top Behavioural Interview Questions (with Example Answers)

5. Why do you want to work with young children?

This is an open-ended question that looks to understand your personal motivations for wanting to pursue a career that involves the care of young children. There is no explicit right or wrong answer to this question. Employers usually just want a truthful response from you.

Example: "I want to work with young children because I love kids and have always admired the people who help children grow up into respectable and emotionally healthy adults. Working with young children is my way of helping to reinforce and encourage positive development"

6. What is your experience working with young children who have special needs or disabilities?

Working with young children who have disabilities or special needs requires a unique approach from the professional who is taking care of them. When an employer asks this question, it's likely because they want to understand if you know how to handle these circumstances. Providing an answer that is tactful and thoughtful is ideal.

Example: "I have a fair amount of experience working with special needs and disabled children. I'm most comfortable working with children in wheelchairs and who have down-syndrome, as those are the conditions I have the most experience with. However, I am quite familiar with many other conditions and am confident in my ability to adapt to the needs of each individual child, regardless of their unique circumstances."

7. What does it mean to show equal opportunity towards children?

Showing equal opportunity to each child is a crucial element of working in a nursery. A good response demonstrates an understanding of the concept and how important it is that you have good moral character. You might also highlight the ways that you practise equal opportunity in the nursery.

Example: "Showing equal opportunity means to each child fairly and with love, providing them all the same level of respect regardless of their gender, race, cultural upbringing or any other factors. Children deserve unconditional care and it's my responsibility to ensure they receive that unbiasedly. It's very important for each child to feel that they're special and that their unique qualities are beautiful just the way they are."

8. How do you encourage teamwork and collaboration within the nursery sector?

In a nursery, collaboration and teamwork are important for the children to learn, but it's also important for the staff members to work well together. A good answer to this question demonstrates your commitment to group effort. You can also describe the strategies you use to encourage a collaborative environment.

Example: "For the children, I try to encourage teamwork by implementing games and activities that are team-oriented. The purpose of these games is for the children to have fun and then at the end, each team gets a reward. This kind of method works really well because it positively reinforces that working with others is good. For my colleagues, I try to instil in them that for the children to thrive healthily, we have to work as a cohesive unit and put our differences aside when we are with them."

Related: 6 Common Interview Questions About Teamwork (With Answers)

9. Thinking realistically, what would you do to ensure you and your colleagues are following safety and health protocols in the nursery?

The safety of the children is one of the main priorities of a nursery professional. To answer this question effectively, demonstrate your understanding of the standard rules and practices for a healthy and secure environment. It's also important to demonstrate your flexibility, critical thinking skills and ability to create solutions to nursery problems.

Example: "I think the best way to make certain everyone is adhering to safety guidelines is to lead by example. I also find it important to conduct periodic meetings to instil safety and health as the priority. I also might pull individual colleagues aside to talk with them in private if necessary."

Related: How to Prepare for a Mock Interview (Plus Definition)

10. How would you encourage children to be confident and independent?

Teaching children how to be confident in themselves and learn how to make decisions independently is an essential aspect of their healthy development. When an employer asks this question, they want to understand your teaching methods for encouraging this type of positive growth. In your response, highlight your skills as an educator and positive adult figure.

Example: "To encourage the children to be confident and independent, I get them to work on simple tasks that they complete alone. If they struggle, I guide them on how to do it. They slowly gain more confidence and independence as they continue working."

11. What are your strategies to ensure that the learning experience for children is fun and engaging?

Children are usually able to learn most efficiently when they're in an environment that makes learning a fun activity. A proper answer to this question demonstrates your ability to develop interpersonal connections with the children under your care. This is also an opportunity for you to highlight your creativity skills.

Example: "I believe that the best way to teach young children is through games. As they learn, they gain positive reinforcement that learning is a fun experience. This encourages them to see learning as an opportunity for new enjoyment."

Explore more articles