Here we are to see the Preschool Director Interview Questions with answers.
The education industry has been thriving and booming for decades. The majority of the population has always had an interest in going after job opportunities in this industry. With the times changing, the competition has clearly increased and the race for limited job roles is as tight as ever. Aiming to become a preschool director is one of the most sought-after job posts these days and due to this reason, its interview process is getting tougher and trickier by the day. People working as preschool directors are role models for most children and hence, they play a role in shaping the child and his/her earliest school experiences.
The board looks at your holistic development and its assessment criteria are not just limited to your qualifications and experience. Over time, the kind of questions that are asked to the candidates has become more personal than professional. Since the post requires both nurturing children as well as duties that are business-oriented, the interview process is lengthy and time taking. The key is to practice and be familiar with the common set of questions that are asked by most of the interviewers. To make it simpler, here is a list of questions that are usually asked in an interview for a preschool director.
- Why do you want to work as a Preschool Director?
I feel that both the staff and the child care center need to be on the same page when it comes to values, morals, and philosophies on how to give children their best childhood school experience. After learning about your center and its mantras, I am eager and excited to work for your preschool since I feel that its values are aligned with both my personal and professional philosophies. I do not only look forward to contributing in my own way but also to seize this opportunity and polish my skills in supporting parents, families, and all the children I will get to work for.
- When it comes to preschool children, what does your disciplinary policy/motto look like?
My idea is to make sure that my motto aligns with the mindsets of my personnel. I am flexible to changes and constant feedback from my colleagues. I believe that children need to be provided with a balance in terms of freedom as well as restrictions. They have a voice of their own and I like for them to have their own opinions. However, there is a way to handle their needs and for that, I will have a framework in place that is in sync with the philosophies of child care.
- Do you have any experience in handling license procedures with reference to child care centers?
Yes. I have been heading the licensing facility at my 2 previous job roles. In total, I have 5 years of experience with licensing and its procedures. I keep myself updated with all the changes in the licensing guidelines and frameworks. As a result, the child care centers that I have incensed for have received a 100% approved license without any delay or changes required.
- What is your approach to staffing the child care center?
My priority is to ensure that the staff that I hire is aligned with the needs of the families and the high quality that they expect out of us. Each candidate would have to go through a recruitment process that will include interviews, group discussions, etc. The end result is expected to be excellent in terms of enrollment, work delivery, and reputation.
- Were you able to create and cultivate community relationships in your previous job role? How?
Yes, I feel that creating community relationships and encouraging children to learn about them from a young age is an important aspect of their growth and development. Community Service programs have been my approach to link the community with the children. In my last attempt, we organized a drive where children collected clothes and raw materials for the needy and visited NGOs. This not only made the children learn about the outside world but also created an overall positive impact.
- Do you think you are qualified enough to handle changes in the workplace?
Yes, in fact, I feel that a work environment that is constantly changing is where I do my best work. My adaptability to welcome change and help people around me to adapt to it is a plus point. In a field like a child care where the workplace settings are constantly changing and the needs of the children need to be kept in mind daily, I feel I can balance embracing change while making sure that the children feel stable and experience a consistent environment.
- What leadership experience do you have in a child care setting?
In my previous job role, I served as an assistant to the preschool director for 4 years and learned thoroughly about all the roles and responsibilities of a director. I was not only in direct contact with most parents but also understood the simple steps to ensuring the happiness and satisfaction of the children. In the last 2 years, our enrollment ratio has increased 2 fold and continues to grow steadily.
- What is your favorite part of caring for and nurturing children?
At the top of my head, my favorite part of caring for children is to witness them learn and grow every day. Becoming a part of their journey, helping them move on from their mistakes, and shaping them to be dignified citizens for the future is without a doubt, the best part. I also like to take out a few minutes each day to visit the classrooms and engage with them.
- According to you, what is the most challenging part of being a Preschool Director?
Taking care and accommodating the needs of all the children is one of the most challenging parts of being a preschool director. However, it is also the most satisfying and fulfilling. My main reason for applying for this job is to make sure that the children and parents we work for are happy and are receiving the services they paid for. Even though training the staff a certain way and making the families feel comfortable enough to share their likes and dislikes is a difficult task, it is definitely worth the hard work in the end.
- How will you help our center grow, expand and thrive?
Based on the research I have conducted on your center, I already have a few ideas. My top priority will be to make sure that we increase our enrollment ratio but at the same time maintain consistent quality. I would also like to implement some marketing practices that will help us reach our target audience and communicate our goals to them quickly and effectively. This will not only help increase enrolment but will also assist with attracting qualified professionals for our personnel team.
What are the duties of a Preschool Director?
A preschool director is responsible for a variety of day-to-day activities that take place in the child care center. The kind of work this post requires is inclusive of planning, organizing, monitoring performance, and allocating budget for day-to-day activities and equipment. The individual is needed on a full-time basis and also plays a role in the supervision and hiring of the staff needed in the center. Even though duties vary from school to school, given below is a list of few duties that are a must for the preschool director to follow through and perform –
- Organizing development activities for children, keep in mind their likes/dislikes and preferences.
- Preparing budgets and monitoring all finance-related activities to make sure that the budget created at the beginning of the academic year is in sync with the implementation.
- Creating curriculum at the starting of the school year and following the educational guidelines provided by the authorities.
- Weekly/Monthly discussions with parents on the progress of their child and how they can help them improve.
- Recruiting, Hiring and Training qualified personnel and teachers
- Training the staff in the area of communicating and coordinating with all parents.
These given roles and responsibilities can also be considered as a perfect job description for the post.
What is the salary of a Preschool Director?
One of the perks of working in the education industry and especially in the preschool area is the pay. According to the recent 2021 statistics, the average salary for a preschool director is $42,620 per year in the United States. However, research shows that the primary factor which drives people to apply for this job is not just the stipend but also the benefits that go way beyond the pay. This is one of the rare job roles that makes people want to work for the perks more than the salary. Just to name a few, the perks include –
- Employee Discount
- Paid Sick Time
- Paid Time Off
- Flexible Schedule
- Professional Development Assistance
Without a doubt, working as a preschool director is an extremely rewarding job. Your interview will either be with an individual or a group of interviewers who will mainly judge you on your personality, experience, communication skills, and confidence. Practice is the key and till the time you are prepared with these common questions and their sample answers, you are well on your way to ace the interview!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are my chances of getting hired if this is my first job as a preschool director?
In most interviews, it is likely that you will initially be considered on the basis of your experience. However, your qualifications and the ability to deal with children play a bigger role in this job position. During the interview, it becomes your sole purpose to talk about various skills you may possess like leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, etc. Even though your chances are slightly less as compared to the ones who have proven work experience, it all depends on how prepared you are for the interview and mainly, the practical aspect of the questions.
- Are leadership qualities as important as wanting to take care of children for this job role?
Yes. However, keep in mind that both these qualities cannot be compared. Leadership qualities point towards running the department, making sure the employees are fulfilling their duties and other work for smooth functioning of the preschool. On the other hand, taking care of children and nurturing them like your own while they are at preschool is a job that you need to do around the clock. Whether you are in direct contact with children or not, it is your responsibility to make sure each child is comfortable and satisfied.
- What are some qualities that make an ideal preschool director?
There is not one or a given set of qualities that will make you an ideal and most sought-after preschool director. However, here are a few skills that you are expected to acquire overtime for the board to consider you at the top of their hiring list –
- Interpersonal Skills
- Organization Skills
- Team Work and Team Building
- Effective Communication
- Business Oriented
- Is it advised to confess in an interview, some of the previous mistakes I made as an ex preschool director?
The degree of the mistake made has a major role to play in whether it is a good idea to share it in an interview or keep it to yourself. Keep in mind that no matter how major the mistake was, the interviewees are mainly understanding and considerate. Unless and until you are not asked a question related to this topic, it is advised to not mention it. However, once asked – try and not hesitate or hide important details.
- Is this interview strictly professional or do the questions go beyond work and qualifications too?
While most professional, there is a set of questions in this interview process that is personal and not related to your CV/Resume. Since working with and for children is a highly personal job, the board likes to know about your hobbies, personal interests, and the kind of person you may be outside the workplace.