Interview With The Parents
Prepare for the interview:
- Be calm, centred and focused during the interview. Work on achieving this by thinking positive thoughts about yourself. Being nervous is normal. Now breathe in good thoughts!
- Familiarise yourself with the job description. Think about what would be expected of you.
- What are the ages of the children and what activities would you do with that age group.
- What is your approach to discipline with this age group
- What questions would you ask the parents about the family and the position that you are applying for. Ask questions, be interested in their family.
- Research or read up on any difficulties you might have been told about during the profiling of the position by the agency. For example: ADHD - what is it, how do you deal with it?
At the Interview:
- Even though you have been profiled the job please explain to the family that you would like to hear directly from the family what their requirements are.
- If asked, briefly discuss your background, but DETAIL your experience with children.
- Be upfront and honest about your future and your long term goals but don't mention a ‘dreamed of' plan, like an overseas trip, that you haven't thought through properly.
- Let the family see ‘who you are'. Allow your personality to come through.
- Talk directly to the parents, using plenty of eye contact but if the children are present always spend time acknowledging them, even if you have to stop the interview process with the parents to interact with them.
- Be upfront about your past employment. If something didn't go well in the past explain as briefly as possible and do not breach the confidentiality of your previous employers.
- Talk about your childcare experiences - what you enjoyed most, what your responsibilities were, what fun things you did, how you handled the difficult situations.
- Don't be shy to talk about your strengths and what you are good at - if you don't say it, the family can't know it.
- Show interest. Ask questions. What is the family's approach to nutrition? Are there any special needs, allergies or issues their children might be experiencing.
- Ask about the parents approach to discipline. Are you adaptable? Does your approach fit in with theirs?
- Don't talk about salary in the first interview unless you are asked. Many parents will view this as being money hungry and showing disinterest in the ‘real' focus - children.