Interview Tips and Techniques for Early Years Careers

Applying for a new job can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to interviews. Being invited to interview is a fantastic achievement, and it marks the next step of your career journey.

Making the best impression during your interview is vitally important and preparation is definitely the key to success.

To help with your interview, we’ve included a few interview tips and techniques below:

Where are you going?

Find out the full address of where the interview is being held and familiarise yourself with how you are going to get there. If possible do a trial run so you are not lost or late on the day. You don’t want to be flustered because you are running late!

What should I take with me?

Please take with you proof of eligibility to work in the UK, documents to support your DBS (CRB) application along with referee contact details and relevant qualification certificates.

  • Passport, Birth Certificate or work visa
  • NI number (this can be on a P45,P60)
  • 2 x proof of address (photo card driving License, utility bill, bank and/or credit card statement dated within the last 2 to 3 months)
  • Marriage certificates (if applicable)
  • Relevant qualification certificates
  • Current DBS if you have one

What job am I being interviewed for?

If you are given a job description we suggest you read this thoroughly, as some of the questions in the interview may well be linked to the description. It will also really help you to understand the role and what is expected, so reduces the risk of you not liking the role if you are successful.

How do I find information about the nursery I have applied to?

Research the nursery that you have secured an interview with - visiting the Ofsted website (or Care Inspectorate in Scotland) and the nursery’s personal website (if they have one) will provide you with valuable information. Knowing the size of the nursery and the number of staff that are employed in the nursery will help you during your interview too.

What should I wear?

When attending an interview, make sure you dress smartly, avoid wearing jeans, trainers or T-shirts and clothing with large logos. You may get asked to perform a practical exercise so as well as smart, it needs to be sensible and practical to enable you to interact with the children.  It is also advisable to remove any large pieces of jewellery including rings, ear rings and piercings for practical elements.

What should I ask?

It is important you have as much information about the role, nursery and company as possible, should you get offered the job. We would encourage you to prepare any questions you have beforehand to help you feel confident about making any decisions.

Asking relevant questions also helps the manager interviewing you to see that you have prepared for this opportunity. Think of two or three questions to ask at the end of the interview – a few ideas include:

  • Ask the manager how long they have worked there and what it is like.
  • Find out how many key children you would have, if successful.
  • Ask the manager what the team dynamic is.
  • Find out the age group that you would be working with, if successful.
  • Ask why they are recruiting.

Who am I?

Your CV is a snapshot into your experience. You will be asked questions about your experience to date so make sure it is up to date, accurate and that you know your CV well. Consider prepping answers to questions such as why you left your previous employment, what you enjoyed/didn’t enjoy about your previous jobs, what attracted you to apply for this position.

Preparation for Interview – Check List

  • Know where you are going
  • Know what role you are being interviewed for
  • Dress smartly but sensibly
  • Prepare some questions
  • Know your CV
  • Research the company
  • Take the required documents with you