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Child Care Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Elisabeth Walter

Updated August 22nd, 2018
Question 1 of 25
For children over the ages of five, what are your feelings about outdoor play without direct supervision?
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How to Answer
Self-guided play is becoming more and more popular. As kids learn to calm themselves and play nicely with one another, they are more capable of playing on their own. Now, depending on who you are interviewing with, they may not feel comfortable with you letting the kids play on their own at such a young age. However, there are ways you can supervise from afar, like when you are watching kids play on the playground. You can still be present while allowing kids to play on their own. You may want to explain that you feel most comfortable being in the same room while the five-year-olds play. Maybe you aren't involved with the activity, but you are still available in case they need your help.
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25 Child Care Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. For children over the ages of five, what are your feelings about outdoor play without direct supervision?
  2. How would you handle a temper tantrum in a grocery store?
  3. What is your stance on discipline?
  4. What role should outdoor play and interaction with other toddlers have in a child's playtime experience?
  5. What was your most difficult babysitting experience? How did you overcome it?
  6. How do you feel about supervising over five children at a time?
  7. Describe ways you can turn everyday household activities into a fun activity for children?
  8. What television shows do you feel are appropriate for children of ages 3-5?
  9. How would you react to a toddler who was not responsive when you told them to do something?
  10. What do you like to do in your free time?
  11. Tell me about your experience working with kids.
  12. What is the most interesting aspect of working with children?
  13. How do you think your closest friends would describe you?
  14. Have you ever had to handle an emergency? If so, what happened and what action did you take?
  15. What are the most challenging aspects of working in child care?
  16. If hired here, how does this child care position fit into your career path?
  17. How have you approached toilet training in the past?
  18. What activities do you typically facilitate when working with toddlers?
  19. Tell me about your experience working with toddlers.
  20. How would you handle a baby would just would not stop crying?
  21. Tell me about your experience with tutoring or assisting with homework.
  22. How do you voice your concerns to parents when unexpected issues arise?
  23. Are you willing to work evenings, weekends or overnight shifts?
  24. What is your comfort level with cooking and preparing meals for kids?
  25. Do you have any experience with children with special needs?
Answer Examples
1.
For children over the ages of five, what are your feelings about outdoor play without direct supervision?
Self-guided play is becoming more and more popular. As kids learn to calm themselves and play nicely with one another, they are more capable of playing on their own. Now, depending on who you are interviewing with, they may not feel comfortable with you letting the kids play on their own at such a young age. However, there are ways you can supervise from afar, like when you are watching kids play on the playground. You can still be present while allowing kids to play on their own. You may want to explain that you feel most comfortable being in the same room while the five-year-olds play. Maybe you aren't involved with the activity, but you are still available in case they need your help.
2.
How would you handle a temper tantrum in a grocery store?
"If a child had a temper tantrum because I told them they couldn't buy something, I would stay firm in my decision and let them cry. It can be difficult, especially when they're not your own children, but sometimes you just have to let them cry it out. If it was really bad, I might try to calm them down by reminding them we only have five minutes before we are on our way home and then they can watch their favorite TV show."

Temper tantrums are never easy! Share how you would handle the situation in the most patient and relaxed manner.
Elisabeth's Answer
"If a child had a temper tantrum because I told them they couldn't buy something, I would stay firm in my decision and let them cry. It can be difficult, especially when they're not your own children, but sometimes you just have to let them cry it out. If it was really bad, I might try to calm them down by reminding them we only have five minutes before we are on our way home and then they can watch their favorite TV show."
3.
What is your stance on discipline?
"When I'm babysitting, I always ask the family about how they discipline their child before I attempt to lay down the law. I think it's important for children to have consequences, but the severity of those consequences needs to be determined by the parents first. When I'm working in a daycare setting, both the parents and the facility are in agreement about the rules and what will happen if they are not followed. I typically put children in time-out and I'll take away TV time as a consequence of their actions. Taking away a privilege causes them to think about their actions."

Explain your experience with disciplining children. Depending on the interview, you will want to focus on a specific age group. If you're interviewing at a daycare, talk about your experience disciplining in a classroom or group setting. Share what you have found most helpful. You can also talk about forms of discipline that you have tried unsuccessfully. If you are interviewing for a nanny position, ask the parents about their stance before you share yours. This will help you to decide which experiences to share that are relevant to their family. You can also ask them how you would like them to implement those consequences when you are in charge.
Elisabeth's Answer
"When I'm babysitting, I always ask the family about how they discipline their child before I attempt to lay down the law. I think it's important for children to have consequences, but the severity of those consequences needs to be determined by the parents first. When I'm working in a daycare setting, both the parents and the facility are in agreement about the rules and what will happen if they are not followed. I typically put children in time-out and I'll take away TV time as a consequence of their actions. Taking away a privilege causes them to think about their actions."
4.
What role should outdoor play and interaction with other toddlers have in a child's playtime experience?
"I think exposing children to nature and teaching them how to play together is so important in a child's development. The more you teach kindness, patience and sharing at a young age, the more easily they will be able to practice those skills as they get older. I like to take kids on nature walks to teach them about trees and plants, educating them about how to be gentle with the earth just as they are gentle with one another."

Before you share your opinion, make sure you are clear on the parent or the child care supervisor's philosophy. They may have a specific routine they follow each day to give the kids exposure to nature and learn about cooperation. You can talk about activities that encourage sharing and learning to play together outside! You can give suggestions for games you think the kids would enjoy, like red light green light, red rover or big booty! There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors and play together!
Elisabeth's Answer
"I think exposing children to nature and teaching them how to play together is so important in a child's development. The more you teach kindness, patience and sharing at a young age, the more easily they will be able to practice those skills as they get older. I like to take kids on nature walks to teach them about trees and plants, educating them about how to be gentle with the earth just as they are gentle with one another."
5.
What was your most difficult babysitting experience? How did you overcome it?
"My most difficult babysitting experience was when an 8-year-old thought it would be funny to play with a knife by chasing me around the kitchen. Even thought it was a scary experience at first, I took control of the situation by speaking firmly and threatening to call the child's parents. I could tell the kid had excess energy, so after I grabbed the knife out of his hands, we went outside to ride bikes and play some basketball."

You never know what might happen next when you're babysitting for a new family! It's important to always exercise your control in situations, even when a child is acting out. Demonstrate your ability to stay calm and make rational decisions in difficult circumstances.
Elisabeth's Answer
"My most difficult babysitting experience was when an 8-year-old thought it would be funny to play with a knife by chasing me around the kitchen. Even thought it was a scary experience at first, I took control of the situation by speaking firmly and threatening to call the child's parents. I could tell the kid had excess energy, so after I grabbed the knife out of his hands, we went outside to ride bikes and play some basketball."
6.
How do you feel about supervising over five children at a time?
If you have any classroom experience, you know the challenges of supervising large groups of kids! If the job requires you to manage large groups of children, tell the interviewer, "I feel great about it! I know it can be a challenge, but I am excited to learn more skills that will help me improve my skills!" If you're still feeling a little uneasy about it, ask more questions! Find out what the expectations are and if you will have any support from another child care provider.
Elisabeth's Answer
"I feel great about it! I know it can be a challenge, but I am excited to learn more skills that will help me improve my skills!"
7.
Describe ways you can turn everyday household activities into a fun activity for children?
"I like to turn chores into fun games by singing a song about it. The "Clean Up Song" is a great way to make picking up toys a fun activity. We also sometimes make it a race where I will set the timer and whoever finishes cleaning up the fastest gets a prize. We keep a chore list on the wall and every time the kids complete one, they get a gold start. At the end of the week, if they have completed their chores we get to have a candy or ice cream snack."

There are so many ways to make chores fun! Whether you make up a song about it or create a rewards-based system, children will enjoy completing their chores when you turn it into something fun. Share how you motivate kids to do their chores.
Elisabeth's Answer
"I like to turn chores into fun games by singing a song about it. The "
8.
What television shows do you feel are appropriate for children of ages 3-5?
Shows like Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street and Thomas the Tank Engine are all shows that would be appropriate for this age group. You also want to stress that you limit TV time as much as you can in order to keep the kids busy with fun activities and playing outdoors. When TV is an option, share that you like to show kids educational shows that will help enhance their learning experience.
9.
How would you react to a toddler who was not responsive when you told them to do something?
Picture yourself driving in the car with two toddlers in the back seat. One of them has been throwing toys at you and the other is screaming that he wants his pacifier. When you told one kid to stop throwing toys, he wouldn't stop and you can't safely find the pacifier without taking your eyes off the road. You may not be able to discipline the one child until you get home, but you can still say something to get their attention. Discipline can be so difficult, especially in situations where you have limited authority or when you're in the middle of doing something important that requires your full attention. Before you threaten to take away a privilege, you may want to try counting to three in a very stern voice, letting the child know what the consequences are if they don't do as you ask. Explain how you would handle the situation based on your experience.
10.
What do you like to do in your free time?
The interviewer is asking this question to get to know you better. Try to keep it light! Talk about sports or hobbies you enjoy. If you enjoy volunteering or spending time with kids outside of work, talk about those experiences. It's okay if your hobbies are not relevant to the job, but if you do have some fun activities you can relate to child care work, share them! Plan to share three activities you like to do in your free time so that the interviewer can learn more about you.
11.
Tell me about your experience working with kids.
"I have worked with children of all ages, from newborns to teenagers. When I was twelve I started babysitting, and I always enjoyed playing with the kids. I learned about the importance of routine and was very respectful towards the parents' wishes, making dinner, reading to the kids and getting them to bed on time. I babysat for five years and then became a nanny in college. I also volunteered as a youth leader at my church and worked with the Junior High girls. I enjoy facilitating games and playing with kids of all ages. Now I teach kids yoga!"

Provide a brief overview of your experience to give the interviewer a glimpse of the work you have done with kids. If you have been working in child care for 10 years, summarize your experience and mention a few highlights that are relevant to the position you are interviewing for. If you are limited in your experience, offer a couple of examples from babysitting, substitute teaching, or volunteering.
Elisabeth's Answer
"I have worked with children of all ages, from newborns to teenagers. When I was twelve I started babysitting, and I always enjoyed playing with the kids. I learned about the importance of routine and was very respectful towards the parents' wishes, making dinner, reading to the kids and getting them to bed on time. I babysat for five years and then became a nanny in college. I also volunteered as a youth leader at my church and worked with the Junior High girls. I enjoy facilitating games and playing with kids of all ages. Now I teach kids yoga!"
12.
What is the most interesting aspect of working with children?
"I enjoy working with kids because I am always learning. Sometimes I learn through the activities we do, like science experiments or games. They have taught me the importance of patience and self-control. They always keep me on my toes!"

If you are young at heart and enjoying playing and facilitating fun activities, working in child care could be a great fit for you! Working with kids is a great career for someone who likes to be active and enjoys learning. Share what you find most interesting from your experience working in child care so far.
Elisabeth's Answer
"I enjoy working with kids because I am always learning. Sometimes I learn through the activities we do, like science experiments or games. They have taught me the importance of patience and self-control. They always keep me on my toes!"
13.
How do you think your closest friends would describe you?
You friends have nothing but good things to say about you! They might not know you in the context of work, but they know your personality and your quirks very well. The interviewer wants to see how you would describe yourself. Take a moment to think about how others perceive you in social situations. They might say that you are friendly, outgoing or compassionate. When you are struggling to accomplish a goal, your friends might say that you are motivated and that you persevere through obstacles. If you're not quite sure how you would answer this question, call one of your friends! And keep in mind, there is no wrong way to answer this question. The interviewer simply wants to hear about your qualities and strengths.
14.
Have you ever had to handle an emergency? If so, what happened and what action did you take?
"I took the two kids I was babysitting to the playground one day and the two-year-old fell from the playscape and landed on her arm. I immediately rushed to comfort her. I checked to make sure she was breathing and conscious, and I made sure she didn't hit her head. She was okay, but her arm did not look right. I called her parents and let them know I was taking her to the emergency room to get an x-ray. When I met the parents at the hospital, they were so grateful for the way I handled the situation. Luckily I haven't had to deal with an emergency since then, but now I know all of the proper procedures to follow if there were a medical emergency in the future."

In an emergency situation, the first thing to remember is to stay calm. If you can keep your emotions under control, you will be able to think clearly about the steps you need to take to navigate the situation. If it is a medical emergency, you always want to check to see if they are breathing and conscious. Always call 9-1-1 if the situation is beyond your expertise, like a head injury or a major wound.
Elisabeth's Answer
"I took the two kids I was babysitting to the playground one day and the two-year-old fell from the playscape and landed on her arm. I immediately rushed to comfort her. I checked to make sure she was breathing and conscious, and I made sure she didn't hit her head. She was okay, but her arm did not look right. I called her parents and let them know I was taking her to the emergency room to get an x-ray. When I met the parents at the hospital, they were so grateful for the way I handled the situation. Luckily I haven't had to deal with an emergency since then, but now I know all of the proper procedures to follow if there were a medical emergency in the future."
15.
What are the most challenging aspects of working in child care?
"It can be difficult to discipline kids sometimes, simply because I am not their parents. I have learned that kids don't always respect authority, so I have been working on asserting my authority and earning their trust. I've learned that by building relationships with the kids, they are more likely to listen and respond to you. Implementing routine, offering rewards, and being consistent about giving them consequences when they have done something wrong has made disciplining kids more effective."

When you talk about a challenge, share what you are doing to overcome it. The interviewer wants to hear how you are taking initiative to learn from difficult situations or challenging personalities and developing skills that will help you be a better child care worker.
Elisabeth's Answer
"It can be difficult to discipline kids sometimes, simply because I am not their parents. I have learned that kids don't always respect authority, so I have been working on asserting my authority and earning their trust. I've learned that by building relationships with the kids, they are more likely to listen and respond to you. Implementing routine, offering rewards, and being consistent about giving them consequences when they have done something wrong has made disciplining kids more effective."
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