Nursery Teacher Interview Questions (With Sample Responses)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 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.

A preschool teacher requires dedication and passion. If you're interviewing for this position, practising your responses to frequently asked interview questions may help you exude confidence and make a positive first impression. Concentrating on the details of your responses and communicating them effectively may show the interviewer that you're a qualified candidate. In this article, we discuss some common nursery teacher interview questions and possible responses.

Nursery teacher interview questions

Here are some nursery teacher interview questions your prospective employer may ask:

General questions

These questions assess a person's personality, attitude and general characteristics. Interviewers typically ask these at the beginning of an interview to prepare you for the more thorough questions that may follow. General questions can help an interviewer in determining whether you may fit into the work setting. Here are some general questions:

  • Tell me about your background and work ethic.

  • What are your strengths and drawbacks?

  • What inspires you?

  • What are your greatest passions?

  • What is your proudest achievement?

  • How do you resolve workplace conflict?

  • How are success and failure defined and quantified?

  • Five adjectives that best define you and why.

  • What are you reading for pleasure at the moment?

  • In five years, where do you see yourself?

Related: Project Management Interview Questions With Answers

Questions about experience and background

These are more detailed questions about your prior experience and general suitability for the role. Your comments can show abilities that are not easily apparent on a CV. They help show how your ideals correspond to those of the educational institution. Here are some questions about experience and background:

  • Which subject do you prefer to teach and why?

  • How can you assist a reluctant learner in attaining academic success?

  • At whatever level of education, organisation is necessary. Can you clarify your instructional priorities and how you go about performing all of your responsibilities?

  • What is one of your greatest achievements as a teacher?

  • What is your educational or teaching philosophy?

  • What do you believe is one of the most significant challenges confronting children today?

  • How do you collaborate with your colleagues when it comes to planning?

  • Which of your days as a teacher was the most challenging, and what did you learn from it?

  • What strategies do you employ to engage young learners, and how are they different from those you've observed in other classrooms?

  • How do you organise your classroom effectively?

Related: Interview Question: “What Is Your Greatest Strength?”

In-depth questions

These questions assist an interviewer in gaining a thorough picture of how your classroom may operate daily and how you can connect with children. They paint a verbal portrait of you as an instructor and can reveal your teaching style, objectives and problem-solving talents. Here are some in-depth questions:

  • Can you describe a period when you encountered a problem with a student in your class and the steps you took to assist the student?

  • Can you recount a time when you organised an event or class that was well-received by your students? What aspects of your performance can you improve upon for the next time?

  • What qualifies you for this position, and how do you believe you can best assist our students?

  • What approaches do you employ when it comes to language development?

  • What methods do you use to assist pupils who are experiencing exam anxiety?

  • How do you instruct students on effective test-taking tactics, and which ones have you found the most effective?

  • How frequently do you speak with your parents and guardians? What strategies do you use to increase parental involvement?

  • What methods do you employ to motivate pupils to collaborate?

  • How do you handle behavioural concerns in the classroom?

  • What kind of feedback do you give students to assist them in assessing their progress and being agents of their success?

Related: 4 Situational Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

The STAR interview technique

The STAR interview method is a response strategy that gives a framework to style your response. It enables you to develop an easy-to-follow narrative that contextualises most of your responses and provides the facts necessary to show your qualifications. The acronym STAR is an acronym for situation, task, action and result. You can use this method to provide context for the scenario in which you found yourself, explain the task at hand, describe the activities you did to achieve the desired conclusion and provide the results of your actions.

Related: Interview Question: “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

4 interview questions and examples of responses

The following are four often asked preschool teacher interview questions and relevant information to consider as you examine and prepare your responses. The following examples explain how to use the STAR response approach to detail one's abilities, qualifications and teaching philosophy:

1. How do you measure student success?

Effective teachers of all ages and abilities require realistic ways of assessing student learning and determining success. This helps identify areas where students require reinforcement and filling any learning gaps. An interviewer wants to see that you have strategies in place to assure student achievement on a variety of levels and to empower children to be agents of their own education, even at a young age.

Example: “Students acquire knowledge at varying speeds and through a variety of approaches. At my previous school, they tasked me with developing an exam to gauge students' success in math. Many assessments for young children are performance-based. I devised a game in the classroom where I allowed kids to show mastery of their counting abilities while also having fun. Teachers were able to track student progress and identify kids who required additional reinforcement. This enabled our faculty to assist all kids in achieving success.”

2. What do you think I may see if I walked into your classroom?

This question enables interviewers to understand your teaching philosophy and student expectations in the classroom. You might use this opportunity to underline your commitment to students and the importance of building a pleasant learning environment in which students feel accepted and safe to make errors.

Example: “I had the privilege of working with a particular little girl who refused to speak last year. She responded by nodding and shrugging, and indicating her demands with a variety of nonverbal signs. Although I initially received little response, I met with her and her family and together, we devised a strategy to assist her in feeling at ease in class and equipping her with the tools necessary to start vocal communication. There's constant activity and communication in my classroom. It's a centre-based program that enables students to work on various abilities and develop fine motor skills.

I promote safe peer-to-peer connections, and you can see children frequently assisting one another with assignments. The environment we provided aided her in regaining her composure and guiding her out of her silence. She began communicating in one-word sentences, and by the end of the year, she was speaking in entire sentences with her peers and, while she remained reserved around adults, was increasing her ability to speak up. She joined the fifth-grade speech and debate society before I left the school.”

3. How do you promote cooperative learning, and how do you group youngsters to ensure their success?

Cooperative learning frequently results in increased learning and retention compared to other methods. Interviewers may ask this question to find out your approach to studying and whether it aligns with the school's goals.

Example: “Cooperative learning can be goal-directed, skill-based and problem-based. I began employing this method a few years ago and saw almost instant success. Many of my students didn't want to learn while also being away from their families. I needed to instil a lifelong love of learning in them. I accomplished this through the use of problem-based learning in targeted cooperative learning groups. I divided students into groups based on their learning styles, which helped them connect and also aided me in guiding them towards success.

They were able to take part in scavenger hunts to discover colours, develop their counting games and realise that learning is a process of play and exploration. I reduced absenteeism in class by 15%, and student anxiety reduced”.

4. Describe your role as a teacher in the classroom and your philosophy of preschool education

Interviewers may certainly want to know that your job as an educator is important to your classroom philosophy and that your actions promote best practices in the classroom and with students daily. Consider detailing your classroom behaviour and teacher-student interaction.

Example: “Assuring pupils' safety and well-being is critical to providing high-quality education. Before students can continue their education, they need assurance that they're in a safe and accepting atmosphere. I am available to kids regularly and genuinely care about their health and well-being. I want them to develop into proactive students and lifelong learners. To foster that trait, I show my enthusiasm for learning. Each student is valuable to me, and it is evident in my classroom.

In the past, I had a student whose parents were experiencing financial difficulties. The child nervously informed me she was hungry, and I made a point of discreetly storing snacks and supplementary lunches for her, ensuring that she felt secure and safe. I connected the family with a local employment agency, and within a few months, she was prospering both personally and academically.”

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