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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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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."
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