Interviews


The aim of any application, by letter, CV or application form, is to get an interview. Having got the interview it is very important that you prepare yourself properly, do as well as you can at the interview and, if you are unsuccessful, learn from the experience.


Preparation

Find out about the nursery - Is the nursery part of a group? How many nurseries do they have? How long have they been established? What facilities do they offer? Try to find out as much as you can about the nursery.

Think about yourself - What skills, qualities and achievements have you got that would interest the interviewer. Read your application again and pick out the things youd like to come out at interview.

Plan your journey - Make sure you know exactly where and when the interview will be and let them know you will be attending. Plan Your Journey and aim to arrive at the reception area of the nursery at least 10 minutes before the interview. If possible, have a dry run beforehand and an alternative plan in case something goes wrong. Check the location on a map if you need to. For interviews in another town or city, the nursery will probably send you a map and details of how to find them by rail, car, bus etc. If they dont, telephone them and politely ask the receptionist to send you details. Have a pen and paper handy in case these are given over the telephone. Decide on your preferred method of transport and check the timetable with the bus or rail company.

Dress appropriately - Aim to look clean, neat and tidy. Get your clothes ready the day before.

Prepare a list of questions - About things you want to know. Keep it short, take it with you and ask the questions when the interviewer/s ask you if you have any questions to ask. The answers given to the questions you ask will help you to decide whether you want to join the nursery.


At the interview - the start

- As soon as you arrive behave as if the interview has started. Reception staff may be asked for their impressions of you. Take deep breaths to calm yourself before you go in.

- The interview will either begin or end with a tour of the nursery/building. Remember this is still part of the interview. Take this opportunity to find out whether you think youd like working there.


During the interview

- Be polite, courteous and respectful. Thank the interviewer(s) for seeing you.

- Sit up and appear interested, alert and enthusiastic.

- Be positive, you have been successful at getting an interview when others were not.

- Smile and look at the person to whom you are talking.

- Listen carefully to the questions and think before answering.


What does the interviewer want to find out?

Passing the interview is important to you, getting the right person is important to the interviewer. The interviewer/s wants to know if you:

- are well motivated

- have initiative

- have prepared

- have taken responsibility for your future

- have made plans for the future and will be looking for evidence of all these things.


Some questions that may be asked:

- The ice breaker: Did you have a good journey? or Did you find us all right?

- What can you tell us about yourself?

- Why do you want to be a...?

- What can you offer us?

- Why do you want to work for us?

- What do you see yourself doing in 5-10 years' time?

- What are your hobbies/interests?

- What do you consider your greatest strength and weakness?


After the interview

If you are successful remember to thank the people you have met. You should be given details of what will happen next, for example they might write to you formally offering you the placement/job, if not, ask. If unsuccessful, try to get some feedback from the interviewers. Contact the interviewers and ask politely about your performance. There are many applicants for each job and each person has to compete. The reasons for not being successful may be minor. If you feel that you could have done better:

- ask yourself whether you prepared well enough

- ask yourself what your strengths and weaknesses are and make notes on these for future reference

- learn from the experience and try to improve in the future

- be positive and keep trying!




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