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How Do I Prepare for my Childcare Job Interview?

 

When preparing for your childcare interview it's normal to feel a little stressed: this will be unlike interviews for roles in other industries, and on top of that, you've got a whole family to impress! Luckily we've done the research and put together some information to help you prepare for your next nanny, governess or babysitting interview, as well as tips that will hopefully leave you feeling a bit more confident.

Getting there

Find out the route to where your interview is going to take place. If it's going to be at their house make sure that you know how to get there by whatever means that you are planning on using, and plan to arrive at least 10/15 minutes early. You can always wait outside in your car until nearer the time, but arriving at their door at least 5 minutes before the interview will show the parents that you are serious about the prospect of becoming their nanny and that they can rely on you.

What to bring

Remember to bring with you anything that the parents have asked to see. This could include: your CV, references and their contact details, any relevant certificates (education, CPR etc) and a printed background check or the information that they need to access it. Bring along anything else that you think might be relevant, or let them know about the official documents that you do have and ask whether they would like you to bring a copy round or email it over. This can be a little less overwhelming for parents who might otherwise just be concerned about how well you get along with their children!

At the interview

The interview might take place with just one or both parents, but there's a good chance that the kids will be around to test you in their own way. If you're preparing for a childcare interview, it's likely that you have spent time interacting with children and enjoy spending time with them. So if the kids are around, you shouldn't have any problems! Give them the opportunity to get to know you, spend a little time engaging with them in play or conversation, and just be yourself. That's the person that you're going to be throughout your new childcare role, and the parents are likely to be looking for somebody that is personable and kind as well as a mature and responsible for their children to spend time with. This is also important to remember when deciding what to wear to your interview, keep it fairly smart but approachable – your prospective employers are not looking for a PA.

Keep in mind that childcare interviews with a family can branch off into casual conversation and chit-chat, so don't plan anything after the interview that might mean that you have to leave early – be prepared to spend at least an hour there and let the parents guide the length of time that you stay there.

The questions

When hiring someone to care for their children, parents may ask you questions in an interview style, or embedded into conversation. Either way, these are some of the questions that you'll want to be prepared for:

  • What experience do you have in childcare?
  • How would you solve a dispute between our children?
  • What would you do in an emergency?
  • What activities might you do with my children?
  • Do you have a preferred age to work with?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • What are your plans for the future?

As well as these questions, they might ask you about your availability, schedule, and whether you're able to help out last minute or do occasional extra babysitting. Make sure that you give detailed answers to your questions, and be ready with your own questions too! Having your own questions will let the parents know that you are ready and willing to become a part of their family, and that you respect the parents' primary role in raising their children.

 

Here are a few questions that you might want to ask:

  • Are there any house rules that are in place? How do they want you to help keep these rules in place? (have a look at our previous post on laying the ground rules)
  • What will be expected of you? Is the job solely about childcare, or are you required to help with homework, prepare meals or do some light cleaning?
  • Do you follow any religion?
  • Do you or the children have any allergies?
  • Are there any recurrent behavioural issues?
  • What are your children’s favourite activities?

Once it's over

You could follow up with a text or email (depending on how you have been communicating) to thank them for their time and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them. Even if you think that you've found the perfect family to work for it's important to keep applying, they may well find somebody who can fit in easier with their family routine or who has a qualification that they consider to be important.

Try and relax before your childcare interview, it's as much about your qualities on paper as it is about you as a person. Families will be looking for somebody that they are happy to have around the house and who their children like and respect, so smile, be yourself, and don't be too disappointed if your first interview doesn't turn out in the way that you hoped it would. This will just be great experience and practice for the next time!

If you’re keen for more job interview tips, check out our post on how to ensure your interview gets you the childcare or education job you want.


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