Hiring a new staff member for your child care center is a big step that can cause apprehension. However, doing so is required for the growth of your business, which heavily depends on the passion and skills of the staff members who make it great.
By taking a more strategic approach to the interview process, you’ll feel confident in your hiring decisions and, ultimately, make your child care center a better place for children and current employees.
What makes for a successful child care interview process? Early childhood requires a unique set of skills and a passion and personality that many other jobs do not.
Therefore, in order to make the most of everyone’s time, it’s important to narrow down your questions strategically. When you ask candidates the right questions, you’ll have a holistic view of their credentials, get to know the interviewee on a personal level, and be able to determine if their care-giving style will work well with your center’s distinct vision.
10 Child Care Interview Questions to Ask
With these ten questions, you can judge each candidate fairly and find a new employee that everyone feels comfortable and excited about. Here are some essential questions to consider asking:
1. Why is childhood development so important to you, and how do you think caregivers can provide it more effectively?
This is a great question to kick off an interview with because it gives interviewees an opportunity to relax and talk about something that should be easy: their passion for childhood development and how they hope to make a difference.
2. What is your parent communication style?
More than ever, parents are wanting to be a part of their child’s early educational journey. In order for child care centers to improve parent engagement (which should be a focus for all centers nowadays) and communicate effectively, the right staff members need to be hired.
3. Can you describe a time you resolved an issue with an unhappy parent?
This is a great follow up question to the one above as it gives the interviewee an opportunity to walk you through a real-life scenario they experienced. Their answer will help demonstrate to the interviewer how they approach difficult exchanges with parents, their patience, and ability to resolve issues.
4. What are the most valuable qualities that a child care staff member can have?
With this question there is an opportunity to let a candidate’s personality shine through. Their answer is also a great way to evaluate whether or not they will fit in with the rest of your current staff members and their style of teaching and care.
5. Why is clear communication so important in child care?
This is another question where your candidate has a chance to emphasis the importance of communication in their job role. Whether it’s among other staff members, parents, or the children under their care, they should have a method that works for them. In addition to communication – this question could be tailored to any core value of a center such as honestly, transparency, integrity, and so on.
6. What is the biggest child care challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
There’s always going to be conflict that arises in a child care center and it’s important that the interviewee has a plan for when it does. Understanding the challenging nature of this unique workplace is important to ensure that staff members won’t get discouraged and can work through things. The wrong approach could hamper the reputation of your organization.
7. You suspect a child in your group is bullying another child. What are the steps you take to approach this issue?
Child care centers are continuously working hard to ensure bullying doesn’t happen. However, in the chance that it does arise, staff members need to be equipped to handle it.
Whoever you bring into your center should have every intention to ensure that children under their care are happy and safe. Of course specific protocols can be taught and applied, but this question will give you a solid understanding of their awareness, problem-solving skills, and overall approach to conflict.
8. What are some ways that you stay organized and structure your day, so that a classroom runs smoothly?
The nature of a child care job involves dealing with busy, and sometimes hectic moments. Learn what the interviewee would do to manage these challenges and create a better daycare experience moving forward. Ask them what kind of technology has been helpful to them in the past and introduce them to the daycare software that you use.
9. In your opinion, what are the most important skills to teach to young children in a classroom setting?
The right candidate will understand that there are a multitude of skills young children develop in child care such as following directions, sharing, and fine motor skills. Learning about which ones they plan to emphasize is a good indicator of what they value and how they plan to run their classroom.
10. How do you ensure that parents are staying up to date on classroom activities and skill development?
Young parents are always on the go, but that doesn’t mean they don’t expect to get updates on what activities their child is doing at childcare. Parent engagement benefits everyone and candidates should have a plan to utilize technology and software to leverage this engagement.
Bringing in a new staff member for your child care center can be a challenge, but it should also be exciting. The interview process is a great opportunity to bring in someone who can enhance the center and bring in new expertise. However, finding someone that is the perfect fit can be a challenge.
Start with thinking about what qualities you desire in an employee and develop questions from there. With a mix of personal, educational, and real-life scenario questions you will provoke thoughtful answers and be well on your way to finding your next great staff member.
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