Nursery manager interview questions (with sample answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A nursery manager plays an important role in running the daily activities of a nursery, such as recruiting, training staff and managing finances. To ensure that you're a perfect candidate for this position, you can prepare by researching common nursery manager interview questions. Learning how to answer these questions with tactfulness and confidence can help increase your chances of getting hired for the role. In this article, we discuss the common interview questions to expect as a nursery manager and provide sample answers you can use to craft your responses.

General nursery manager interview questions

General nursery manager interview questions allow hiring managers to learn more about your interests, personality and career goals. The following are some general interview questions to expect:

  1. Can you tell me about yourself?

  2. Why are you quitting your current position?

  3. What makes you a good candidate?

  4. What motivates you to become a nursery manager?

  5. How did you learn about this position?

  6. Why do you want to work in our organisation?

  7. What are your hobbies?

  8. What are your greatest strengths?

  9. What are your goals for the next five years?

  10. Are you willing to relocate?

  11. What do you know about our organisation?

  12. What are your expectations for this role?

  13. Do you prefer working independently or in a team?

  14. What are your greatest weaknesses?

  15. What makes you different from other candidates?

Related: 31 common interview questions and answers

Questions about experience and background

Questions about experience and background can help interviewers assess your qualifications, past work experience and ability to perform in the role. Take this chance to highlight your strengths, proficiencies and accomplishments as a nursery manager. Possible questions you might expect include the following:

  1. Do you have experience working as a nursery manager?

  2. What did you learn from your previous position?

  3. Describe a challenging scenario you've encountered as a nursery manager.

  4. What can your previous employer and colleagues say about you?

  5. Tell me about the organisations you've worked with before.

  6. What were your roles in your previous position?

  7. How do you encourage your employees to maintain enthusiasm in their roles?

  8. Why do you have an interest in working with children?

  9. What is your experience working with difficult employees?

  10. How do you deal with conflict in your workplace?

  11. Are you familiar with any financial software programs?

  12. What was your most outstanding achievement in your previous position?

  13. What did you least like in your previous position?

  14. How can you use your experiences to improve our organisation?

  15. What do you think are the essential skills for a nursery manager?

Related: 11 jobs working with babies (plus duties and salaries)

In-depth interview questions

In-depth interview questions are specific to your role as a nursery manager. These questions help interviewers assess your knowledge, skills and ability to perform the role. Consider taking your time when answering these questions. Crafting well-thought answers can showcase your skills and experience, improving your chances of getting the job. The following are some questions to expect:

  1. What strategies do you use to reduce operational costs?

  2. What criteria do you use for hiring employees in a nursery?

  3. How do you deal with stress?

  4. What is your management style?

  5. How do you delegate duties to your employees?

  6. How do you motivate your team's productivity?

  7. How do you handle working with different personalities?

  8. Can you tell me about a time when you found it necessary to involve a parent in their child's development?

  9. What do you do to maintain an organised and positive working environment?

  10. What are your salary expectations?

  11. How do you ensure your employees stay updated on the latest practices and developments within the nursery field?

Related: 10 manager interview questions (with example answers)

Example interview questions and answers for a nursery manager

The following are some examples of interview questions and answers for a nursery manager:

1. What is your management style as a nursery manager?

Nursery managers are responsible for running daycare establishments or a nursery. They often oversee budgets, the facility's general administration and new staff onboarding. The interviewer may ask this question to determine if you have self-awareness of how you lead people and what you consider a good management style.

Example answer: ‘Management, to me, is allowing my team to develop and grow as individuals without holding them back. I believe in offering a framework for direction and being available when my team needs support. I also believe in giving positive or negative feedback, allowing my employees to work on their weaknesses and take pride in their strengths.'

Related: How to answer the question, ‘What is your management style?'

2. What makes you a good fit for this role?

The hiring manager may ask this question to see how your skills and experience fit the nursery manager role. Focus on your experiences and qualifications, and avoid being overconfident.

Example answer: ‘Before working as a nursery manager, I worked as a nursery teacher, allowing me to interact with children directly. With time, my employer promoted me to nursery manager. Having worked as a nursery teacher, I understand the people I manage and what they require to perform their roles effectively. In my previous role, I organised events to help my team socialise, allowing them to relax and share their challenges with me openly. That was one of my best achievements, as we were able to develop programmes that supported the nursery and the employees, which improved the work environment.'

3. How do you ensure you develop personally as a nursery manager?

In this question, the employer may want to know if you have any plans for developing yourself or your career. They may also want to see if you're goal-oriented and self-motivated.

Example answer: ‘I believe in continuous learning. I often attend various events in my field, allowing me to learn from other nursery managers and stay updated with any developments in my field. I'm also pursuing a short course in administration and management to help me improve my management and organisational skills. I believe the experiences and knowledge I have gained could be of great importance to this role.'

4. What tasks did you handle in your previous role as a nursery manager?

The hiring manager may ask this question to understand the roles you handled in your previous job to assess if you can take on the new job's responsibilities. Checking the responsibilities for the position you're applying for could help you know how to craft a practical answer to this question.

Example answer: ‘In my last position as a nursery manager, I was responsible for running the daily operations of a daycare establishment. I often played a role in recruiting and training new staff depending on the organisation's needs. I also helped with preparing the budgets and general administration of the establishment. Although not often, I also assisted in supervising the children, which helped me understand what they needed. Lastly, I liaised with parents to involve them with their children's development and educational progress.'

5. What are the top qualities of a nursery manager, in your opinion?

Your potential employer may ask this question to check your understanding of the roles and qualities of a nursery manager. Consider highlighting the skills in the job listing to allow you to mention several of them.

Example answer: ‘In my opinion, understanding early childhood development, safety practices and food hygiene are the most important skills in this profession. Leadership skills, organisation and decision-making are also necessary for a manager. Nursery managers often oversee the organisation's operations, including the finances, so business and financial management and marketing skills can also be important for this role.'

Related: How to develop your skill set for career success

6. How do you handle conflict among employees?

Hiring managers ask this question to see if you understand your responsibility of managing conflicts and what approach you can use.

Example answer: ‘I first allow each member to explain their side of the story to ensure I understand their different points of view. I also encourage them to try to solve the conflict by themselves, with calmness and understanding of each other. For the cases that require my input, I determine the source and then find the best solution for the problem. It's important to remain unbiased to ensure I give a fair solution for every member.'

Tips to help you succeed in your nursery manager interview

Here are several tips you can use to succeed in your nursery manager interview:

  • Research the company. Researching the company you're applying for can help you answer some questions about the organisation's mission and values. It can also help you get some insight into the job responsibilities, allowing you to know how to craft your answers to questions on roles.

  • Practise answering questions. It's important to practise answering questions to help you build confidence and review your previous responsibilities and skills. You can practise with a friend or family member and request them to give feedback on your responses.

  • Be honest. If the interviewer asks you a question you're unsure of, don't be afraid to let them know that you have no knowledge in that area, but you're open to learning. Avoid being dishonest or answering with unrelated examples.

  • Ask questions. Asking the interviewer questions about the role demonstrates initiative and enthusiasm. It may also help you understand whether you're a good fit for the position.

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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