The KiddyKare guide on how to prepare for a successful Nursery interview!
1. Decide what to wear.
You should be smart and tidy, no jeans or trainers, we would suggest some dark trousers and a smart top! If you are staying after the interview for a play session ensure you are wearing something comfortable and no high heels!
2. Take a look at the Nursery website for information about the nursery.
It is always looks good if you have researched about the Nursery, take a look at their photos and if you are interested in a senior or management vacancy it is a good idea to take a look at their most recent Ofsted report. If the Nursery is part of a chain, look at where their other Nurseries are – you could mention this in your interview.
3. Take all of your relevant documents with you.
We suggest that you put them into a file with your Current CV as this will look professional. You may also want to take any written references that you have gained or testimonials you may have received from children or parents.
4. Find out exactly where the nursery is.
Know how long it will take to get there, and where you will be able to park. If there is no parking at the Nursery, find out where the nearest car park is and make sure you allow enough to time to park and then get to the Nursery. Print off a map to take with you in case you get lost! www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk or www.maps.google.co.uk Allow plenty of time to get there – if you are running late it may get you flustered and you won’t have a positive interview. Try to arrive on time – not too early as they may not be ready for you in a busy Nursery!
5. Have a look through the possible questions you may be asked.
And think about some answers. Take a look at section A in preparation.
6. Make sure you know exactly what position you are applying for and which room they are recruiting for.
If you are unsure check with KiddyKare beforehand. If you know what age children they are looking to place you with, you can think of some activities appropriate for that age range beforehand.
7. Prepare a list of questions you may ask at the end.
Write these questions down so you don’t forget them, this shows you are interested in the position (see section B).
8. Make sure you refresh your knowledge on the EYFS
Take a look at the Early Years Foundation Stage website to update yourself www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/eyfs
Can you name the 6 areas of learning?
1. Always arrive on time to the interview
If you are running late just call them and apologise: remember to take the Nursery’s phone number with you and a note of who you will be seeing, so that you can ask for them when you arrive.
2. Try to stay relaxed
I know it’s easier said than done, but keep smiling and try to stay calm!!
3. Be polite and professional
Greet the person interviewing you with a handshake and smile, this will look professional.
Do not smoke before the interview they will smell it on you and it doesn’t look professional.
4. Give detailed answers to questions
When you are asked questions, try to give them a detailed answer not just yes or no – they want to find out more about you and your ideas and the way you would work within their team.
5. Try to keep eye contact
This shows you are confident in what you are saying.
6. Stay for a play session if asked by the Nursery
This is where you will spend some time in the Nursery rooms to give you a chance to see if you would be happy working there. They may also ask the staff for some feedback on what they think of you! Ensure that you interact with both the staff AND the children as you will be assessed on this.
7. Be prepared to ask some questions of your own
They may ask at the end of the interview if you have any further question, this is when you can use your pre-written questions (see section B).
8. Thank them
As they are showing you out, thank them for their time, wish them a good day and again shake hands.
9. Let us know how you got on
Once you have left the interview – call KiddyKare to let us know how you got on!
Section A – Typical Nursery Interview Questions
Below are some questions that you may be asked in a Nursery interview:
They will ask you about your career to date. They may ask which positions you enjoyed the most and why? They may also ask why you left each position?
Q: What do you most enjoy about working with children? What do you enjoy the least?
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Q: How would you discipline a 3 year old?
Q: How would you deal with a child who has bumped their head?
Q: If a parent came to collect a child who you didn’t know, what would you do?
Q: What is your understanding of the EYFS? Have you had experience in documenting a child’s development and doing observations?
Q: Can you name the six areas of learning?
Q: Who are OFSTED?
Q: Could you tell me what activities you could prepare for a 2-3 year old?
Q: Could you tell me what are the ratios for 0-1years (1 staff:3 babies), 1-2 years (1 staff:3 children), 2-3 years (1 staff:4children), 3-5 years (1staff:8 children).
Q: Do you have any experience in working with children with special needs?
Q: What training courses have you attended? (Remember first aid, manual handling, music courses, and activity courses). Is there any training that you would like to do in the future?
Q: What are your best attributes or what can you offer the Nursery? This is basically what you are best at in a team.
Q: They may ask if you have any holidays planned – Most employers will honour any previous commitments.
Section B – Questions to ask future employers in your nursery interview
Now some questions that you could ask – Remember to write these down!!
Q: How many children do you currently have in the Nursery/how many are you registered for?
Q: Which room are you recruiting for and how many children can you have in that room?
Q: Does the nursery offer any training?
Q: Are there any chances for promotion in the nursery?
Q: Does the nursery have parent meetings; would I be involved in them?
Q: When is a decision on my application likely to be made?
Call us anytime with any queries or questions you may before or after an interview and remember – keep smiling!!!!
Author: Jen Wilson