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Daycare Worker Interview

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated February 3rd, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Careers     Education    

Question 1 of 30

Do you have any fun or unique talents that a child would love?

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Do you have any fun or unique talents that a child would love?

This question is another way for the interview to inquire about how you stand out from other candidates. Why should they hire you? Feel free to have fun with this question. You see, a child doesn't care that you have an education in early childhood development; a child cares about the fact that you're good at making cupcakes with them! Discuss which unique talents you would bring to this daycare center.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have played musical instruments all my life and enjoy bringing new sounds into the center for the kids. Every week I will bring in a new instrument for them to learn. These instruments have included a keyboard, guitar, harmonica, flute, and even a didgeridoo! These musical experiences are always well received by the children and their parents, alike."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Before going into child care as a career, I was training to be a pastry chef. We have a commercial kitchen in my current center and, once a month, I bake with the 5-year-olds. It's hilarious to see them try to measure and figure out a recipe. They are so proud to show their creations to their parents at pick-up time. These experiences are fun but are also teaching kids about reading, hand-eye coordination, following instructions, and even figuring out fractions!"


How would you react if a child was choking?

Your training in CPR will teach you exactly what to do if a child was choking; however, the interviewer wants to see that you can recall your training under pressure.

When a child is choking you should:

1. Assess if the child can cough. Coughing is the best way to remove a blockage.
2. If the child cannot cough, call 911 and begin back blows and abdominal thrusts.
3. If the child cannot breathe, start CPR. Due to the blockage, the CPR will need to be modified.
4. Give chest compressions and rescue breaths until the item becomes dislodged and the child begins to breathe.
5. When emergency care arrives, let the professionals take over.

Walk the interviewer through these steps, showing that you have absorbed your CPR training to the point where you would be helpful in an emergency.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Only once in my childcare career have I had to help a choking child. It was so scary, but I knew what to do. It's amazing how quickly my instincts kicked in. I called 911 and, while waiting for the EMS to arrive, I performed back blows and abdominal thrusts. Luckily, I was able to dislodge the item, and the child was okay in the end."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I recently completed my CPR certification and learned a lot. I know the correct steps to take when a child is choking, and how to modify CPR should the blockage not become dislodged after administering back blows and compressions. I hope never to have to use this training; however, should the situation arise, I am ready to help."


How do you handle working under very close supervision?

These days, many daycares have cameras set up so that parents can log in and watch their kids play while they are at work. Technology has made it so that, if they wanted, they could have all eyes on their children (and you!) at all times. The interviewer would like to know if you can handle working under such close supervision.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my current role I work closely with my boss, we have cameras strategically located around the center, and we have regular check-ins every day. I think these measures are great because they reassure parents while protecting the workers and children at the same time. Could you share with me the supervision measures you take here?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am a fantastic employee, so you will not feel the need to supervise my every move; however, I understand that a lot of supervision is required when working in childcare. When you speak of close supervision, are you referring to micromanaging or are you speaking of close working relationships with the parents and children at your daycare center?"


Do you have any plans for continued education?

Daycare workers can enjoy a plethora of career choices within child care, and education, in numerous settings. Depending on the role, you may require a higher level of knowledge when it comes to teaching or child development topics. If you are interested in higher education, it is essential that you express your desire to work in tandem with your classes. The concern of the interviewer is that you will be hired, trained, and then want to leave your job to go back to school full time.

Some organizations will offer tuition support or a reimbursement program for their employees who wish to continue their education. If they do provide this type of perk, you can indeed show interest but make sure that your continued education aspirations are related to the industry and job. If you are a daycare worker, you want to avoid saying that you would like to take courses in zoology.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I believe that continued education is always a good idea. I like to expand my knowledge of child development whenever possible. With that said, my job would always come first. I understand that you have a tuition reimbursement program for your employees seeking related coursework. I would be interested in learning more about this down the road."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"As a daycare worker, continued education is vital to remain up to date and effective when teaching and leading my students. I am very interested in continued education opportunities. My current center has a few opportunities for professional development throughout the year, in which I always participate. Could you tell me more about your professional development and continued education opportunities?"


Are you currently certified in CPR and First Aid?

Most daycare positions require certification in CPR, First Aid, or both. It's wise for you to bring your current certification with you so that the hiring authority can take a copy of your valid documents and keep them for your candidate file. If your certifications are not up to date, at the very least, you should go into the interview with a plan in place.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My CPR certification expired last week, but my First Aid is valid for another six months. There is a recertification course being offered next week, at the community college, and I am registered to attend. If you would like, you are more than welcome to take a copy of what I have, and I will send you my proof of recertification the moment I have it."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I recertified my CPR and First Aid just last month. I brought my certificates with me so that you could make a copy for my file. Are there any other certifications you like to see, in regards to health and safety?"


Why did you choose a career path in child care?

The hiring authority wants to know the basics behind your passion for working with kids. This question is an excellent opportunity for you to show your genuine heart and interests. Since this is an open-ended question, be careful to keep your response clear and concise. Talk about what sparked your interest in a career as a daycare worker, expressing your excitement for this opportunity.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have always loved working with children. The moment I turned 12, I completed my babysitters' course. I couldn't wait! A path in child care is no surprise to anyone who knows me best. I enjoy guiding, teaching, mentoring, and exploring with kids, helping them to create a keen sense of curiosity for the world around them while building unshakable confidence."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I chose a career path in child care after realizing that neo-natal nursing was not for me. I took a year off after my first year of nursing school, traveled, and volunteered across the globe. Through that experience, I rediscovered my passion for teaching kids. When I returned from my travels, I immediately enrolled in early child care and education. Today, I am here, thrilled to begin my new path in child care."


What kind of people do you enjoy working with?

Workplace culture is a significant factor when looking for a new position. Talk to the interviewer about the types of personalities with which you best work. Be sure to remain positive and avoid using this as an opportunity to speak poorly of previous colleagues. Think of a few traits that co-workers should have, and include that in your answer. Such as, motivated to succeed, enjoys collaborating with others, and passionate about child development.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I best enjoy working with driven individuals, people who are positive, energetic, and take accountability for their actions. I do have the ability to work with a large variety of individuals; however, these are the ideal traits I would like to see in future colleagues."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I most enjoy working with driven educators and child care providers who are focused and have an empathetic heart for their kids. How would you describe the environment and culture at your daycare center?"


We believe in regular professional development. What skills would you like to learn?

This question means excellent news for you as you'll likely be offered chances to expand your education, helping you to push your career path forward. Think of the areas which you would like additional training and knowledge.

Perhaps you want to know more about early childhood education techniques. Maybe you would like to know more on the administrative side so that you can be a program director one day. Be specific about your learning goals and show enthusiasm for the opportunity to develop yourself professionally.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"If I were to further my knowledge in any area, I would choose a course on child safety and security procedures. I believe this knowledge will help me to grow into a leadership opportunity down the road. I appreciate the opportunity for professional development and would eagerly participate in any coursework your facility recommends."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I would love the opportunity to help create a core curriculum one day. From the research I have done, that would mean further courses in early childhood education. I look forward to the opportunity to grow and develop with your organization. Thank you, in advance, for the chance at further education."


How do you prevent stress from your personal life entering your professional life?

One of the most significant problems between employees and employer is that outside influences, and stressors, begin to affect work performance and outcomes. Assure the interviewer that you understand the importance of keeping your cool, and your focus, in the workplace. Discuss the action that you take to ensure professionalism is present at all times.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When I have a healthy balance in my personal life and responsibilities, I am much better at handling work-related stress. I keep very organized and draw boundaries well. Rest assured, I do not bring my personal life to work with me. These children deserve to get the best of my time and attention."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Stress management in the workplace is an incredibly important skill to master. I am assertive, in both my personal and professional life which means that when a stressor comes up, I nip it in the bud before the symptoms creep into areas of my life that it should not."


Name for me three activities appropriate for children age 3-5.

It's time to show the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a thoughtful, creative, and active daycare professional. Your response to this question is what could set you apart from other candidates, landing you the job! Think of the activities that your previous little students have loved the most, and be sure to draw in the educational component. If you are new to the child care and education industry, here are a few ideas to get you started:

- Puzzles (age appropriate)
- Matching games
- Letter tracing
- Scavenger hunts
- Musical chairs
- Eye-spy

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I know that kids age 3-5 are curious about the world around them. They need to explore, keep their hands busy, work on their vocabulary, as well as master their hand-eye coordination. Some of the activities that my current class respond to best include jigsaw puzzles with images they are familiar with, the game eye-spy where we guess from colors shapes and sounds, and also musical activities such as musical chairs."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"The top three activities I like for kids age 3-5 include one math, one musical, and one reading exercise. First, I would have kids trace numbers, so they get used to how it feels to write them down. The second activity I would choose as age appropriate would be games about animals and the sounds they make. I prefer to teach this knowledge through the use of visual aids and music. Next, I would introduce easy-to-read words so they can gain confidence early on when it comes to their reading abilities."


Would you consider yourself a creative person?

Kids love fun, exploration, and creativity. Talk to the interviewer about any interest that you have in creative activities and how you have implemented your creative desires in the workplace. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a 'creative person,' there is a significant chance that you have made creative minded decisions as a daycare worker.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Having been a musician all my life, I do believe that I am a creative person. I grew up playing the piano and still practice a couple of times per week. The kids I work with love it when I bring my keyboard. They dance and sing, and it's so sweet to see them express their creativity through music."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Yes, I do consider myself to be a creative individual. I will often work with my students on hands-on projects. I believe in the use of multi-media to teach, and learn, which takes a great deal of creativity."


Why are you the best childcare worker for our center?

Interviewers want to hear about that one unique skill that sets you apart from the other candidates applying for this job. Think of your answer as your 'elevator pitch' or your qualifying statement. If you can't think of ways that you are unique, ask a few friends or family members what they feel sets you apart from other people. Their observations may help you understand how you are perceived.

Perhaps you already know what sets you apart! This skill could include any additional industry related training, a second language, or how involved you are in the community. Don't be afraid to brag about yourself a bit. In an interview, you are your most influential advocate.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In addition to winning the 'Employee of the Year' award in my current daycare center this year, I also bring an elevated level of education compared to most candidates. I have my Degree in Early Childhood Education and have also taught Level I FirstAid courses. I look forward to bringing this knowledge and influence to your esteemed daycare."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I am known to offer creative solutions for educating preschool children, an approach many of the parents at my current center have praised. I have seen a ton of change in the early childhood education curriculum over the last few years and have adapted to every change or innovation with ease and excitement."


What is your favorite age group, and why?

The interviewer would like to know which age group of children you prefer to care for, and what your reasoning is behind your response. Some people love the baby stage, while others adore older kids who you can reason with and teach. Whatever your answer, be sure to avoid pigeonholing yourself into one age category. Be sure you understand the age of care offered by the hiring daycare center, before your interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I love kids of all ages; however, I would say that age 2-4 is my favorite. Preschool children, such as the ages you care for at this center, are so curious, inquisitive, and eager to learn. The attributes of preschoolers make it fun and rewarding to teach them the basics of math, reading, and socializing."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Kids aged 1-2 are so sweet and funny and, although more challenging to care for, I can't get enough. It's gratifying to work with children who are so young. I love helping them to develop a solid foundation right from the start. When your job advertisement asked for experience from baby to preschool kids, I knew I needed to apply!"


Are you able to perform the physically demanding activities related to this role?

You can keep your response straightforward when it comes to your ability to perform the work. If you do have restrictions when it comes to lifting, standing, bending, or more you should disclose this to the interviewer. Although legally, the interviewer may not be able to ask about physical hindrances or disabilities, it's in your best interest to be straightforward.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"From reading the job description I believe that I can perform the physical activities in this role. Nothing is restricting me from playing with the kids, lifting them, or standing most of the day. I am sure to wear practical clothing and comfortable footwear so that I can keep up with the little ones all day!"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"The only restriction that I have is my ability to lift more than 50 pounds. Seeing as most of the children in this age group will be under 25 pounds, I do not see any issues with my ability to perform the work as described in your job posting. I am active, fit, and energetic."


What has been the most formative experience you've had in your work with young children and families?

The interviewer wants to know about an experience you've had, within your child care career, that has left a lasting impression on you. Perhaps you worked with a special needs child, giving them the confidence to read aloud. Maybe you helped a child with an issue surrounding bullying. Whatever your experience, briefly tell your story to the interviewer. Show the hiring authority that you have a genuine passion for your career path in child care.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"The most formative experience was when I worked with a child, one on one, who was 7 and could barely yet read. Professionals were throwing out a diagnosis that included dyslexia, ADHD and more. Her parents hired me to work with her for three months. The progress she made was astounding. I feel that my work with her saved her from embarrassment in school, and even potential medication. This experience truly was one of the most gratifying times of my career."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"During my internship, I was working in a preschool. One of the students there was so cute and affectionate with me. I didn't know why she was drawn to me so much, but it was endearing. At the end of my internship, she made me a homemade card and cookies. Later, I learned from the director that this child had lost her mom the year before. I believe she saw qualities in me that made her feel safe, cared for, and mothered. This experience made me reflect on the fact that we spend more time with these kids than their parents can, some days. This fact means that we have to be even more aware of our actions and the overall vibe that we are giving to the kids we care for."

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30 Daycare Worker Interview Questions
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Interview Questions

  1. Do you have any fun or unique talents that a child would love?
  2. How would you react if a child was choking?
  3. How do you handle working under very close supervision?
  4. Do you have any plans for continued education?
  5. Are you currently certified in CPR and First Aid?
  6. Why did you choose a career path in child care?
  7. What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
  8. We believe in regular professional development. What skills would you like to learn?
  9. How do you prevent stress from your personal life entering your professional life?
  10. Name for me three activities appropriate for children age 3-5.
  11. Would you consider yourself a creative person?
  12. Why are you the best childcare worker for our center?
  13. What is your favorite age group, and why?
  14. Are you able to perform the physically demanding activities related to this role?
  15. What has been the most formative experience you've had in your work with young children and families?
  16. What do you consider key elements in a high quality daycare operation?
  17. Have you ever volunteered?
  18. Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine?
  19. Do people see you as a trustworthy and honest individual?
  20. Is compensation the most important factor for you when taking a new job?
  21. Tell me about a time when you improved communication between yourself and a co-worker, a parent, or a child.
  22. Do you have experience with special needs children?
  23. How do you keep your emotions in check when your patience is tested?
  24. What do you most enjoy about working with children? What is the most challenging aspect for you?
  25. We hire only those with a perfect background check. Is there anything that would prevent you from passing these?
  26. How do you prevent medical situations like a food allergy trigger in your daycare?
  27. Have you ever identified signs of physical or emotional abuse of a child? If so, what action did you take?
  28. How would you reassure an angry or concerned parent that their child is receiving the best care?
  29. What part of being a daycare worker brings you the most stress?
  30. How would you handle a physical altercation between two children? How do you address the issue of bullying?
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