Nursery Interview Tips: How to Prepare for a Nursery Interview
Researching nursery Interview Tips? Preparing for an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience; from deciding what to wear to where to park, and that’s all before you’ve even prepared what to say!
As the old saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, and this has never rung truer than in an interview situation.
Decide what to wear
Dress smart and tidily, with no jeans or trainers. We’d suggest some dark trousers and a smart top. Your hair needs to be tied back and no long and painted nails.
Most interviews will require you to have a play session within the nursery rooms, therefore, wear something comfortable that you can move around in.
Take a look at the Nursery website for information about the nursery
Researching the nursery is essential. Read every part of their website and take a good 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. Every nursery manager wants their nursery to stand out from the crowd so make notes of what makes their nursery unique and be sure to compliment them on it at the interview.
Take all your relevant documents with you
Get organised. Put all your folders into a file with your current CV. You may also want to take any written references that you have gained or testimonials you may have received from children or parents.
Find out exactly where the nursery is
Plan your route and know exactly how long it will take to get there. If you are going to drive, find out if you can park close by. If there is no parking at the nursery, get public transport or find out where the nearest parking area is and make sure you allow enough time to park and then get to the nursery.
Give yourself plenty of time and aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Being late for an interview is a cardinal sin and will have lost you the interview before you even arrive.
Be polite, professional and stay calm
If you feel anxious before going into the interview, take a moment, take some deep breaths and smile!
Smiling increases endorphins, replacing anxiety with calm and making you feel good. Smiling also exhibits confidence and enthusiasm. Greet the person interviewing you with a handshake and maintain your smile for a professional and confident start.
Prepare answers for likely questions
Below we have selected some questions that often crop up in a nursery interview. Read them carefully and make sure you are confident in answering them all. If you are not, then Google is your friend and your consultant will also be more than happy to help so give them a call!
Give 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.
Try to keep eye contact and maintain positive body language; face your interviewer, sit-up straight and lean in slightly when they are talking. This shows you are interested and keen to impress.
Q: What is your understanding of the EYFS? Have you had experience in documenting a child’s development and doing observations? DO YOUR RESEARCH: EYFS Gov Information
Q: Can you name the six areas of learning?
Q: Tell me about your career up to now. Which positions have you enjoyed the most? Why?
Q: What do you know about our Nursery?
Q: What are your best attributes or what can you offer the Nursery? Sell yourself!
Q: What is OFSTED?
Q: Could you tell me what activities you could prepare for a 2-3-year-old?
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: Could you tell me what the ratios for 0-1 years are (1 staff: 3 babies), 1-2 years (1 staff: 3 children), 2-3 years (1 staff: 4 children), 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?
Be prepared to ask some questions of your own
Asking questions at the end of an interview is a great way to show that you are interested in the role and are a proactive person. Having nothing to ask can lead the interviewer to question how much thought you have really put into applying for the position.
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?
This is where you will spend some time in the nursery 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. Ask the staff questions about the children, activities, timetable, etc. Impressing the staff and children is just as important as impressing the Nursery Manager/Directors.
As they are showing you out, thank them for their time, tell them how much you enjoyed visiting their nursery, wish them a good day, smile and again shake hands.
Register your CV on our website and our EYFS team will be in touch to help you with your career search.