head start director interview questions and answers

As a Head Start Director, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the program’s mission and the ability to effectively lead a team in achieving that vision. Hiring the right person for the job can be a daunting task. To help you in your search for the ideal candidate, this blog post will provide you with a list of relevant questions to ask during an interview, as well as sample answers to better gauge the applicant’s grasp of the program’s purpose and the qualities necessary for successful leadership. By asking the right questions and getting clear and meaningful answers, you can gain insight into the candidate’s qualifications and find the right person to lead your program. With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when selecting the right Head Start Director for your organization.

Head Start Director interview questions

What candidates say about the interview process at Head Start

  • Super easy. Shared on September 14, 2020 – Lead Teacher – Danville.
  • This is a typical interview for a position working with children. shared on September 7, 2019 – South Bend, Indiana, Headstart Instructor

How candidates received their first interview at Head Start

  • I called in after I had applied for the job. Posted on August 21, 2020 – Minot, North Dakota, Early Head Start Assistant Teacher/Classroom Aide
  • When my daughter visited, they had an opening in a different room. Shared on April 11, 2019 – Fayetteville, AR, Teacher Assistant

What advice do candidates give for interviewing at Head Start

  • If you’re unsure, make sure to ask questions, and be honest. shared on April 18, 2022 in Muskegon, Michigan’s Bus Capital
  • Be truthful, sincere, and certain that you truly want to work there for the benefit of the kids. Shared on November 15, 2019
  • Do not forget to complete your 90 days. Posted on March 6, 2019 by a BS teacher in Brookhaven, TX

How have you cultivated community relationships in your previous child care experiences?

This question may be asked during your interview to gauge how well you’ll build and maintain strong community ties in your capacity as director, which can be advantageous to kids. Answer by sharing a specific successful anecdote from the past.

Example: “In my current position, I have strengthened ties to the community by developing and sustaining programs for our providers to participate in with the kids.” For instance, at my current facility, we visit nearby long-term care facilities and collect canned goods for the food bank, which gives our kids a sense of worth and has a positive effect on our neighborhood. “.

What kind of leadership experience do you have in the child care setting?

Your interviewer might inquire about your prior experience with this type of work since you are applying for a leadership position as a child care director. Highlight your most successful experiences in your response.

Example: “I have worked at my current facility for three years as the assistant director. I assist the director in running our child care facility and ensure the security and fulfillment of our children and families in this role. Over this time, our enrollment has tripled, which I believe is evidence of our success. “.

What is your experience handling child care licensing procedures?

If you have experience managing the logistics of operating a child care facility, your interviewer might ask you about it. If you have experience with this process, be sure to mention it in your response. If this is a new process for you, be sure to express your willingness to learn.

For two years prior to taking on my current directorship position, I oversaw licensing at my current facility. Every year, we receive license approvals without any modifications or delays.

Interviews for Top Jobs at National Head Start Association

Marketing and Design Manager Interview


I applied online. The process took 3 months. I interviewed at National Head Start Association in Apr 2022


It was very intensive, took a lot of time out of my day to prepare and both create and answer questions. You interview with a panel of 6 people. I got through three rounds and was then ghosted. I asked them for a follow up and they said they were still interviewing for the position a month later and would follow up with me but never did. This was in April. Seems unprofessional, I liked the group of people, I thought I deserved a response.

Interview Questions

  • Best qualities, share your knowledge of NHSA and the Head Start program

Lead Teacher Interview


I applied through other source. The process took 1 week. I interviewed at National Head Start Association (Southfield, MI) in Jun 2021


Was over Zoom with three other people. They took turns asking very general questions that they had already prepared. Told me I needed to have a preschool-age joke prepared. Pretty laid back

Interview Questions

  • Preschool aged joke that I would use

Both are important. You need to stress that. Ask yourself this question as Head Start Director: Do you prefer to work “in the weeds” or do you prefer to be the one who paints the big picture?

Describe your volunteer work to demonstrate your commitment to the community. If you havent done one yet, go to www. globalguideline. GET INVOLVED! Charitable work is a vital component of society and a wonderful way to learn about other people.

Answers like “My boss was a jerk,” “The company culture was too politically correct,” or “They just weren’t giving me the opportunity to take my career to the next level” should not be used to vent or concentrate on the negative. Keep the focus on the positive instead, even though there are bound to be things you didn’t like.

The interviewer will attempt to use this as an opportunity to attack you. Answer firmly by listing three characteristics that are pertinent to that job role. For instance, a consulting position would probably look for someone who can think creatively. Ask them after they’ve responded, “Am I on point here? If not, what qualities would you look for?”

The purpose of this question is frequently to deceive candidates because acknowledging blind spots would mean they were aware of them. Also, do not disclose bad habits or other personal concerns. Allow your personal shortcomings to come to light during the interview without disclosing them up front.

Why do you want to work for our organization,and not for someone else?

Praise them for something. It could be their reputation, great working conditions, a standout service they provide to clients, or a worthwhile cause they support through their work (the last one is simple in a non-profit setting, but will be more challenging when you apply for a program director job in a for-profit setting).

Their perception of you should be that they are your top choice and that you have fond memories of their company or brand.

Another option is referring to their field of business. It makes perfect sense to select them over a company from a different industry if you have ten years of banking experience and the position of a program director is in a bank, even though the other one may provide a higher salary. Making reference to their area of expertise or particular line of work won’t ever hurt your chances of success.

Third option is personal recommendation. Connections play a big role in the corporate sphere. If a great manager or executive who is a part of the company that you know highly recommended the location to you, you should definitely bring it up.


What are the 7 most common interview questions and answers level?

How to master these 7 common interview questions
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time? …
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? …
  • Why should I hire you? …
  • Tell me about yourself/your work experience. …
  • Why do you want this job? …
  • What are your salary expectations? …
  • Why are you the best candidate to fill this position?

How do you prepare for a director interview?

How to Ace the Job Interview and Land a Senior-Level Role
  1. Be ready to show off specific accomplishments. …
  2. Make them picture a future with you. …
  3. Make it personal. …
  4. Research the people you’re speaking with. …
  5. Practice storytelling. …
  6. Prepare open-ended questions to create a dialogue. …
  7. Reference past conversations.

What are good interview questions for a director position?

What are you most proud of in your career to date? How do you create an effective work team? How did you inspire your team members in your previous position? How do you maintain composure when a project is not going as planned? These are some questions about the experience and background of the director.

How do you ace an interview for a director position?

Here’s how you can prepare for an executive-level interview;
  1. Do your research. …
  2. Study and prepare for executive-level interview questions. …
  3. Ask questions. …
  4. Prepare open-ended questions. …
  5. Dress appropriately. …
  6. Deliver your introduction with confidence. …
  7. Talk about your past experience. …
  8. Begin and end your interview professionally.

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