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25 Questions and Answers by Elisabeth Walter
Updated October 11th, 2020
Job Interviews     Careers     Protective Services    

Question 1 of 25

What do you like to do in your free time?

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1.

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.

2.

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!"

3.

How have you approached toilet training in the past?

"I would make a habit of asking the child every hour if he needed to use the bathroom. Often times kids get so used to diapers that they forget they have to go until its too late. I would take them to the bathroom to check to see if they needed to pee if they weren't sure. I tried to help them get more comfortable with the idea of sitting on the toilet. I even bribed them with gummy bears so that they knew every time they went to the bathroom, they would get rewarded. This worked extremely well!"

If you have experience with potty training, talk about what you have found the most helpful. If you haven't done potty training on your own, talk about kids you worked with who were learning to use the bathroom and how you supported them as they learned.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I would make a habit of asking the child every hour if he needed to use the bathroom. Often times kids get so used to diapers that they forget they have to go until its too late. I would take them to the bathroom to check to see if they needed to pee if they weren't sure. I tried to help them get more comfortable with the idea of sitting on the toilet. I even bribed them with gummy bears so that they knew every time they went to the bathroom, they would get rewarded. This worked extremely well!"

4.

If hired here, how does this child care position fit into your career path?

"I want to become a Montessori teacher. My goal is to get a job work with elementary school kids and integrating my experience of teaching yoga with our daily activities."

If you're not quite sure where this job will lead you, that's okay! The interviewer simply wants to hear about your goals. They want to know that you are thinking about the future. Maybe you want to become a teacher. Perhaps you want to be the director of an after-school care program. There are so many options with child care! Take some time to reflect on your goals, thinking about how the skills you will learn in this new job will help you get to the next phase of your career.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I want to become a Montessori teacher. My goal is to get a job work with elementary school kids and integrating my experience of teaching yoga with our daily activities."

5.

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."

6.

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."

7.

How would you handle a baby would just would not stop crying?

"I would try a few different things. First I would check to see if there was any soothing music I could play for them. Then I would swaddle them and rock them for a while. If that didn't work, I might even try singing to them. Usually rocking them to sleep with the sound of music will help calm them down. I always hold babies close so that they feel secure and safe."

If you have experience with babies, you know that sometimes they might start crying and you won't know why! Sometimes you have to simply have patience and let the baby cry, but it always depends on the situation. Share any calming techniques that will help the baby relax. After you share your perspective, ask the interviewer what works best for their child.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I would try a few different things. First I would check to see if there was any soothing music I could play for them. Then I would swaddle them and rock them for a while. If that didn't work, I might even try singing to them. Usually rocking them to sleep with the sound of music will help calm them down. I always hold babies close so that they feel secure and safe."

8.

Tell me about your experience with tutoring or assisting with homework.

If you have experience give an example. Maybe you tutored a seven-year-old in basic math. Talk about how you were able to assist them. Share your teaching style and how it has been effective. Parents and child care supervisors want to hear about results. If you have experience in these areas, talk about how you helped the child get an "A" on the test or how you helped them get to a point where they no longer needed your assistance because they understood the material so well.

Elisabeth's Answer

"A"

9.

Tell me about your experience working with toddlers.

"I have been working with toddlers for the past 10 years. I am comfortable with all ages, from one to three years old and have learned about the developmental stages as well. From teething to potty training, I am good at working with supervisors and parents to help ease the growing pains. I worked as a nanny for all four years of college with two kids, ages one and three. We spent most of our time outside playing games and swinging on the swings. I like to keep out time positive and fun for the kids and I'm always open to trying new activities."

Give the interviewer a short summary of your experience. You may want to mention experience with potty training and your discipline style. Also, give at least one example of a time you provided child care for toddlers.

Elisabeth's Answer

"I have been working with toddlers for the past 10 years. I am comfortable with all ages, from one to three years old and have learned about the developmental stages as well. From teething to potty training, I am good at working with supervisors and parents to help ease the growing pains. I worked as a nanny for all four years of college with two kids, ages one and three. We spent most of our time outside playing games and swinging on the swings. I like to keep out time positive and fun for the kids and I'm always open to trying new activities."

10.

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."

11.

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."

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 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."

14.

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.

15.

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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25 Child Care Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. What do you like to do in your free time?
  2. How do you feel about supervising over five children at a time?
  3. How have you approached toilet training in the past?
  4. If hired here, how does this child care position fit into your career path?
  5. What role should outdoor play and interaction with other toddlers have in a child's playtime experience?
  6. Have you ever had to handle an emergency? If so, what happened and what action did you take?
  7. How would you handle a baby would just would not stop crying?
  8. Tell me about your experience with tutoring or assisting with homework.
  9. Tell me about your experience working with toddlers.
  10. What is your stance on discipline?
  11. What are the most challenging aspects of working in child care?
  12. What is the most interesting aspect of working with children?
  13. How would you handle a temper tantrum in a grocery store?
  14. For children over the ages of five, what are your feelings about outdoor play without direct supervision?
  15. What was your most difficult babysitting experience? How did you overcome it?
  16. Describe ways you can turn everyday household activities into a fun activity for children?
  17. What television shows do you feel are appropriate for children of ages 3-5?
  18. How would you react to a toddler who was not responsive when you told them to do something?
  19. Tell me about your experience working with kids.
  20. How do you think your closest friends would describe you?
  21. What activities do you typically facilitate when working with toddlers?
  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?
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