What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses” has not only become an interview question that potential employees have learned to knock out of the park, but it has become redundant, boring, and tells very little of a candidate’s true character and ability.

When looking for a child care worker for your center, it’s important to get to know them professionally and personally so you can evaluate whether they’ll be a good fit. Shake things up and truly get to know who you’re interviewing with these affirming and unique questions.

  1. What do you like the most about working with children? What do you like the least?

This is a great opener question. This question skews just enough from a basic childcare interview question to allow you to get to know why they’re working with children and begins to give you a glimpse into their personality and passion.

  1. Why is clear communication so important in child care?

Most mistakes and hiccups within the daycare industry are made due to a lack of communication between administration, staff, parents, and/or children. In order to limit the inevitable human error that is poor communication, your candidate should understand that being open and honest with everyone they work with is a key aspect to being a successful teacher and employee.

  1. How do you self-evaluate your teaching strategies? What’s the difference between success and failure when working with a child?

No one is perfect, and acknowledging areas in need of improvement is essential to a growing, willing-to-learn teacher. This question will give insight into the extent to which they are able to self-critique and learn from both mistakes and achievements.

  1. In what ways can you reassure parents that you’re providing quality care for their child?

Happy parents make for a happy care center. Communication between staff members and parents can make or break the success of your center, so hiring someone who is willing and able to prove to parents that their child is in good hands is a must.

  1. If you were running your own care center, what would you do to ensure the success of both staff and children?

This question is what is referred to as a “crystal ball question.” Not only can this question look into the past and reveal previous experiences that have led to successes and failures, but also gives shows you their creative abilities and ideas for your center. Having long-term employees saves you time, money, and energy, so hiring one with good ideas may lead to their eventual promotion and growth within your center.

  1. As a teacher, what skills would you like to develop? In what areas do your teaching abilities need to improve, if any?

As we’ve already covered, no one is perfect, and it’s important for a future employee to acknowledge this. While this may look similar to “what are your strengths and weaknesses,” this question is formatted more to give you an understanding of their ability set goals in their work and their personality in an ever-growing professional setting.

  1. Scenario question: You are suspicious that one of the children in your group is bullying another child. How do you approach this issue?

A scenario question is your secret weapon to set apart the good candidates from the great candidates. A teacher’s ability to notice and solve conflict is essential to a happy and healthy child care environment, and reveals whether they are able to quickly adapt and react to unexpected situations.

Pro Tip– use a scenario that has actually occurred in your care center. You can use their response to compare to your solution and help put their abilities towards a real life test.

The feeling you get after interviewing an all-star candidate is great, but the feeling of interviewing a great worker and knowing that you were able to access their honest and full character is even better. You want outstanding staff for your center, so don’t let a boring, run-of-the-mill interview slow down your search. Ask the best questions, and you will get the best teachers.