It is a good idea to tell the interviewer that you like to help create the structural environment where students succeed. Tell the interviewer that you enjoy leading teachers, working on curriculum endeavors, get excited about tackling areas for improvement, and most importantly you really desire to see the upcoming generations be set up for success in k-12 education. This is the time to be passionate, and you may even share how another Preschool Director has positively impacted your life.
At a high level, tell the interviewer where you went to preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and post-high school. Use this to lead into your favorite season as a student. Maybe you really loved painting and learning how to count to 100 using colored blocks in preschool. Maybe you were always the study guru who loved algebra and couldn't get enough of calculus. Tell the interviewer about how your experience positively shaped who you are today. Perhaps you grew up in a broken home, and it was your teachers who helped you achieve great success in life. Whatever your story is, this is the time to share how it positively impacted where you are today!
Tell the interviewer your highest level of education completed. Discuss what licensure that you hold, and tell them how many years of experience you have teaching as well as working with children. If you have experience directing a school or supervising a staff, be sure to mention that too!
Tell the interviewer that you are always on the look out for great activities that help your children grow! Pick one specific example of an activity that you implemented within the past year. Share how you came up with the idea, what steps you took to implement it, and share a concrete example of how your children improved. You may share a clever idea you found on Pinterest, how you worked with other teachers to develop it & carry it out, and how your children's enjoyment in learning to count to 100 was increased while 96% of the children were able to count to 100 within four days of implementing the activity!
The best answer to this question is to share your heart with the interviewer. Be a real person, and candidly describe the impact schools have on children, how someone positively impacted your life as a child, and how you would like to be that positive impact on other children's lives.
Safety is of the utmost importance! Tell the interviewer that proper safety is an essential element to directing a preschool. Talk about the need to have age appropriate structural safety rules such as no hitting or no running inside the building. Tell the interviewer that there always needs to be a proper number of adults supervising per number of children present, and each adult must go through a secure background check before being allowed to work with the children. Discuss the need for classrooms to be set up so that there is a main aisle for walking and for spills to be cleaned up right away. Finally, mention that security of the building and school grounds must be monitored, and that the school and parents should talk to preschoolers about 'stranger danger.'
Interviewers want to hear that you are determined to overcome any challenge that comes your way! What was the last challenging goal you had to achieve at work? Explain the goal at a high level. Share who assigned you the goal, and explain your initial reaction saying, "This might be hard, and I can do this!" Tell the interviewer that you immediately got to work jotting down a plan for how to conquer the goal. Define why the goal was challenging for you, and explain the great plan you came up with to overcome the challenge. Finally, re-iterate that your desire is to conquer your challenges with a positive outlook.
"This might be hard, and I can do this!"
We recommend always sticking with professional relationships when answering this question. If the interviewer has not already asked how your coworkers view you, immediately dive into their perceptions of you! The kudos you have received from your teammates and the handwritten thank you notes you have received following baby showers for co-workers all give you hints about how to answer this question. Think about all of the positive things your co-workers have mentioned to you along the way. Now is the time to share them! Pick 2-3 encouraging things these people have said about you, and share them openly. Maybe that baby shower thank you note mentions your caring attitude. Perhaps your teammate thanked you recently for always working so hard to achieve goals you are working on. Positivity is key! What if you have already talked about your coworkers perceptions? No problem! Talk about how your past managers have viewed you using the same technique!
This is a great opportunity to shine and be yourself! What keeps you waking up each morning and coming back to this job? Now is the time to share it! Be sure to tell the interviewer why you love this part of the job so much as well as how it encourages you to be the best you can be at your profession. Maybe you will mention that you really enjoy leading teachers knowing that they are directly impacting the children and setting them up for success in their lives. Perhaps you will talk about this job making you feel like a kid again! Whatever you love about it, be sure to candidly share it with the interviewer with a big smile on your face.
These situations can be difficult to discuss, and we want to ensure they are discussed with grace while not discrediting any specific person or place. Use general terms such as 'another teacher' or 'a coworker' instead of a person's specific name. Refrain from using the name of the business if possible. Start by talking about the situation at a high level throwing in a few positive remarks about the people or business involved. For example, you may say, "One of my coworkers who I worked with for several years was an awesome teacher, but he made a poor decision to take some of the school's belongings." Next, dive into how you saw the situation unfold first hand. You may say, "I saw him loading the items into his vehicle after school." Maybe you'll mention that you confronted the person and asked them about their actions to ensure there was no confusion. You may wrap up by sharing how you told the person you needed to report what they had done, and state who you reported their actions to. Most importantly, be sure to talk about the ethical challenge you faced without degrading other people or businesses.
"One of my coworkers who I worked with for several years was an awesome teacher, but he made a poor decision to take some of the school's belongings."
You periodically check-in with how they are doing by asking them, and sometimes you receive the productivity results via test scores on your desk. Remember, open and honest communication with your staff is key. Because you have spent time getting to know your staff and building relationships with them, they honestly tell you when you ask them. Are they where they should be in the curriculum for the year? Do they have a defined standardized test scores that their students must achieve, and if so, are they achieving it? Be sure to mention that their productivity is based on the defined metric or curriculum timeline for the school year. This gives you something to evaluate their work against.
This is a great time to talk about a person you enjoyed supervising! Tell the interviewer that you built a great relationship with the employee by learning a little about their life. After getting to know the person, it was easy to motivate them because they respected you! Be sure to mention how you provided this employee with ongoing feedback about their performance to help them develop, and be excited to mention any training opportunities or workshops you were able to send the employee to. Due to your ongoing feedback that you provided the employee, little direction was ever needed. Your ongoing feedback provided the employee with answers to all of their questions, and they were able to complete their job succussfully on a regular basis.
Think about the busiest day you have had in the past month. What set that day apart from all of your other days? Was there a special event that day? Was there a big project deadline that day? Your busiest day is a great example to talk about managing your time! Start by telling the interviewer what set that day apart from a usual day. Discuss how you got yourself excited to conquer that day, the to-do list you made categorized by each hour, and your strategy of wearing a watch that day to ensure you stayed on time.
Performance reviews are not difficult for you! As a Director, you ensure that you regularly spend time talking with your staff. When you hear about positive achievements, you can immediately praise them! When you hear of a need for a crucial conversation, you graciously pull the individual aside and address it right then and there. This way, there are no surprises during performance reviews, so they are not a challenge for you. Be sure to mention that you keep a file (electronic or paper) on each of your staff members. Each time you praise them for something, you jot it down in your file. Each time you need to have a crucial conversation, you put it in the file as well. When performance review season comes, you simply pull out the file, and re-state everything that has occurred.
Pick one of your weaknesses that is not a necessity for the role. Be candid and humble in your answer recognizing that you really aren't great at something and acknowledging your need to improve. Be sure you have an action plan in place for improving on this weakness too. Perhaps you are watching TED Talks about the weakness, reading the latest-and-greatest book on the subject, or maybe you are taking a seminar at a nearby community center in the near future. We are all human and all have weaknesses, so don't be afraid to share yours!
Absolutely! To be a Preschool Director, you must be trustworthy. After all, parents are leaving their children in your hands every day. You carry through on your word, build great relationships, and are a respected professional who has already achieved a few promotions or key recognitions in your career!
In your field, people sometimes need a listening ear to help them solve a people problem. That is where you come in! Think about a time two teachers were not getting along, two children were not getting along, or a teacher and a parent were not getting along. Tell the interviewer who the two people were without mentioning names - use children, teacher, or parent instead - and share that you had the two individuals sit down next to you at a table. Discuss how you defined ground rules first such as the intention for the meeting and that only one person will speak at a time. Explain your expectation that conversations such as this are considered a 'safe space' in your office to share feelings to help others understand each other better. Then, discuss at a high level how well the conversation went! You were able to successfully mediate the conversation, and you realized through listening that both parties had good intentions. There was just a misunderstanding! Finally, wrap it up by discussing how much better both people felt when they left your office.
As an education professional, you are always interested in continually educating/developing yourself! The interviewer wants to hear this from you as well as learn how they can serve you as an employer to ensure you are getting support for your areas of interest with professional development. Pick something that is not a requirement for obtaining the job. Perhaps you want to learn more about a fun new teaching trend you have seen or maybe you want to expand your expertise in working with children who are developmentally disabled. You may even want to pursue a second Master's Degree! Get excited to share how you really want to develop. The employer will likely turn around and make this happen once you are hired.
Be candid with the interviewer and share the highlights of your last recruiting or hiring experience. Recruiting: Perhaps you jovially encouraged your neighbor to apply for a job opening at your school. Maybe you met a student while you were leading a professional organization at your local college campus and later nudged them to apply. Whatever your experience, tell the interviewer about how you met the candidate, their great qualities, and how you sold them on the job. Be sure to mention that you succeeded in your recruitment efforts, and the candidate applied to the position! Interviewing/Hiring: Tell the interviewer how you prepared to meet the candidate. Was it a group interview, or did you meet one-on-one with the candidate. Be sure to mention that you used a structured interview guide and asked every candidate the same set of base questions. If you made the hiring decision, ensure that you mention you selected the candidate who had the best experience and demonstrated their support of the schools mission and vision in their interview responses.
As the Director of a preschool, interviewers want to hear that you are continually thinking about what can be done to improve the school; interviewers want candidates who expect more that mediocrity. Think about something you have done which has resulted in greater success for the preschool. Have you initiated a marketing campaign which resulted in greater student enrollments? Have you added additional teachers leading to higher measured performance in the classroom? Maybe you have initiated the implementation of fiber optic internet in your school which allows teachers to get more done in less time. Briefly overview how you identified the problem, and sell the reason for implementing your solution. Be sure to highlight the success that has been achieved because of your innovation!
We make a lot of quick decisions every day, and interviewers want to hear that these decisions are easy for you to make. Think of a recent decision that had some substantial meaning to it. Maybe you were responsible for deciding if the school would close down for a day due to severe weather. Or, maybe you had to change your budget at the last minute due to a change in funding. Outline the decision at hand, and tell the interviewer that you took on the challenge with ease! Explain that you made your decision based on the best interests of the students, and be sure to explain why the decision you made was the best choice for the school.
Yes. You understand that Preschool Directors have a lot of work to accomplish every day, and you must be efficient with how you use your time to achieve your goals. You may even mention that you spend time each day prioritizing your focus for that day to ensure you are meeting deadlines, responding to urgent needs, and staying on track with meeting goals.
Absolutely! This is essential for the Preschool Director role, so tell the interviewer, "Yes, I am! People seem to naturally follow me." This is a great chance to share your desire to be a leader. Take a moment to share that you strive to be a role model for students as well as your peers and colleagues. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be the face for the school because you understand that these are vital pieces of being a leader.
"Yes, I am! People seem to naturally follow me."
The kudos you have received from your teammates and the handwritten thank you notes you have received following baby showers for co-workers all give you hints about how to answer this question. Think about all of the positive things your co-workers have mentioned to you along the way. Now is the time to share them! Pick 2-3 encouraging things these people have said about you, and share them openly. Maybe that baby shower thank you note mentions your caring attitude. Perhaps your teammate thanked you recently for always working so hard to achieve goals you are working on. Positivity is key!
Almost all of us have something that we dislike about our jobs, and it is okay to share this. We recommend picking something that you dislike that isn't a major part of the role. Be sure to laugh about it, mention that you understand it is a necessary part of the role, and discuss that you happily do it even though it's not your favorite part of the gig.
Tell the interviewer that you understand a Preschool Director's role involves a lot, but you take it in stride! There are days when you may feel a bit overwhelmed, and you take steps to ensure these situations do not get the best of you. Share that you tend to talk to your Preschool Director friends about challenging situations to gain wisdom, and remember that you are a part of a team filled with wise people who are willing to help you out when your workload is not attainable some days.
Think of a time when you received praise for doing something awesome at work. These scenarios make great examples for this question! Layout the scenario for the interviewer, and be sure to toot your own horn by telling the interviewer about all the wonderful kudos you received for your work. It may even be something as simple as writing an encouraging card to a family in your school who you know is going through a challenging time. Talk about the situation at a very high level, and share how the parent came to you in tears thanking you for the encouraging note and how much it meant to their family.
Interviewers want to hear that you will be directing this preschool! Tell the interviewer that you see yourself actively engaged in the community directing the preschool in five years. Explain how you hope you have grown professionally in the community and are viewed as a top-notch director, and mention that you see yourself having continued to create a positive outlook for the school during your five years in the role.
This is the time to discuss the talent you offer, and employers want to see that you know yourself and work within your strengths. Jump right in offering your key strength! Maybe you are really good at mingling with large groups of people, speaking in front of large crowds, building connections with preschoolers, or getting a challenging parent to see eye-to-eye with you. Next, talk about how you use this strength in the workplace! Maybe you use your networking skills to build rapport for the preschool at community engagements. Perhaps you have received excellent reviews for the school due to your knack for building relationships with parents. Whatever your strength may be, link it back to how it positively impacts the school.
This one is pretty easy! Simply read the job description, and look for the skills that the employer is asking for. All you need to do is repeat them during the interview! Odds are, the first three that are listed in the description are the most important to the job. As a bonus, you can highlight why the skills are important. For example, the job description may ask for exceptional interpersonal skills. You can say that strong interpersonal skills are critical because there is a great need in the role to build relationships with parents, students, and teachers to continue to provide a great reputation for the school and develop relationships with staff. Be prepared to mention 3 or 4 skills during the interview and provide a quick reason for each skill in your response.
Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you the response to the question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your colleagues, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
Sometimes two brains are better than one! You have probably already thought of a time when another teacher came to you for help with solving such a situation. The key here is to express that you enjoyed helping with the situation by talking about it positively! Tell the interviewer that you saw how much the other teacher cared about the student's success, and you wanted to see the student succeed too. Talk about how you sat down, discussed what strategies had already been utilized, and brainstormed a list of possible solutions together over a cup of coffee. Be sure to mention the plan you put into place to follow up with the teacher each day to see how successful your agreed upon solution was working. Finally, be sure to mention how awesome the student progressed due to your collaboration!
With your busy workload, you must remain organized. Tell the interviewer that you keep a to-do list of all the objectives that you must complete, keep your electronic calendar up-to-date, and that you spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your day reviewing your calendar for the day as well as prioritizing your to-do list for that day.
You thrive in the environment of a preschool! Think about your favorite aspects of a preschool's environment, and share these things. Does a little bit of chaos excite you? Does the energy of the students motivate you? Does the thought of motivating teachers engage you? Do you like having your own office to go to for a couple of hours each day to refresh? Be true to yourself, and share the things that you like best about the preschool environment!
With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the school website to learn key information such as core school hours, awards received, upcoming events, special focuses for that year, and even fun facts such as school colors or a mascot if they have one! As a bonus, be sure to mention any positive interactions you have had with staff as well as what they have told you about the school.
This is a good time to pull out your old performance reviews. Check out the areas where you scored the highest. What did your manager say about your character in their responses? Use these characteristics to answer the question, and inform the interviewer that you have been recognized for these characteristics by past managers. You can even use the examples your manager gave you in your review as the example in your interview to demonstrate how you use these characteristics to make you effective! For example, if your manager stated that your ability to resolve conflict between peers has allowed you to create a more positive workplace environment, you would tell the interviewer that you have a gift for resolving tension among your colleagues by mediating problems for them resulting in a more positive and productive work environment.
Your career goal is to become a Preschool Director or be in another role at a higher level in early childhood education. The key here is to expand on this mentioning 2 or 3 honorable things you hope to accomplish in this career. Winning a prestigious award is a great option. Having a school attendance record of 97% or higher every day of the school year would be a stellar achievement! Or, maybe you want to turn a struggling preschool into an esteemed institiution in your community.
A preschool director is an administrator who in charge of creating policies, managing staff and preschool enrollments, and monitoring everyday operations at the preschool. They may also take classes when necessary.
This is a highly responsible position that requires formal education and relevant state license. Most preschool directors have completed their master's degree in early childhood education or a related field. They may work in public or private preschool settings. Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, along with a strong understanding of early childhood development and behavior are all essential attributes in this role.
Prospective employers looking for a preschool director will usually conduct a more rigorous interview than usual. They will want to make sure that you have a clean criminal record and that your principles align with theirs when it comes to caring for preschool children and interacting with their parents. One of the many questions you can expect to be asked is your view on punishing preschool children. How you answer these questions is key to getting hired as a preschool director. Mock Questions has put together several commonly asked questions at preschool director interviews. Check them out and ponder over how you will reply before going for the interview.