The process of hiring teachers for your center is one of the most important decisions you will make. Finding qualified staff can be difficult. With more and more teachers experiencing burnout, and less and less loyal talent seeking positions in the industry, hiring quality teachers has become even harder. One of the biggest deciding factors for many people right now is the work culture. Determining if a candidate will be a good fit for your center’s culture is one of the most important factors when it comes to hiring and retaining your staff. Here are six questions you should ask during each interview to help you determine whether or not each applicant will be able to provide high-quality care at your center!
Start with an icebreaker
It’s natural for job candidates to be nervous about their interviews. A great way to ease the tension and learn a little bit more about your candidates is to ask them to tell you a little bit more about themselves. You might inquire about what got them interested in childcare, or how they enjoy spending their time outside of work. This is a great chance to learn more about them as individuals, and it also allows you the opportunity to see if they would fit in with your existing team.
Dig a little deeper regarding their previous positions in the child care industry
Learning about each candidate’s prior experience is a must! If applicants have any previous experience as teachers or assistant teachers at other centers, dive deeper into their backgrounds. This will help you gain a better understanding of how they performed at their previous jobs, and also how successful they were at previous child care centers. This will help you find out whether someone’s prior employment was simply due to lack of opportunities elsewhere, or if they were truly a good fit for the center and wanted to grow in their position.
Ask how they handle conflict
Asking interviewees how they would respond or behave in certain situations can be extremely beneficial when deciding whether or not someone would fit well within your center’s culture. A question such as, “How would you deal with a situation in which a parent is upset?” will essentially put them on the spot, and is a good way to determine whether they would be able to handle conflicts that involve parents. Consider bringing up a hypothetical situation. For example, ask candidates, “How would you respond if Timmy’s parents were upset because another child hit him?” If their answer aligns with how you would hope for the members of your staff to handle that type of situation, it will give you more insight into how they might handle conflict resolution when real-life scenarios like this arise.
Learn how they respond to a variety of children’s behaviors and needs
When you’re in the process of hiring teachers, particularly for infant rooms, finding out how candidates respond to children who are upset or frustrated is very important. Baby rooms tend to have a variety of sensory equipment that stimulates infants’ senses, which can result in crying from time to time. Some babies become easily overwhelmed by new people or environments, while others may simply cry more frequently than others. Asking questions about this topic will let you know whether or not your candidates have effective problem-solving skills, and whether they will be able to address the unique needs and demands of certain age groups.
Ask them what they like and dislike about their last position
It’s always important to get each candidate’s perspective on his or her last position. Asking your candidates what they liked or disliked in their previous job is an easy way to do just that. This will give you a better understanding as to exactly what they are looking for in a new position. Additionally, the answers to these questions will also let you know if they have realistic expectations of what your potential role entails.
Focus on education
At the end of the day, hiring teachers whose one single focus has consistently been early childhood development is going to benefit any child care center more than hiring teachers who have bounced around among positions. Consider asking candidates about their teaching philosophy and goals for children who progress through the early stages. From there, you can talk to them a little bit more about what your educational expectations are for the children.
Hiring teachers for a child care center has become more difficult than ever. With the number of open positions increasing and so few qualified applicants, it’s hard to find someone who will be a good fit for your institution. The best way to vet these candidates is by asking questions that help you gauge their personality and also learn how they would handle various situations that occur in your field.
Do you need help hiring the perfect candidate for your child care center? Contact Local Child Care Marketing today to get in touch with one of our dedicated marketing specialists.