Don't wear jeans on the first meeting. It will appear that you haven't bothered to make an effort to be presentable and many nurseries object to even casual members of staff wearing denim. But don’t go to the extreme and look like you are off for a night on the town. Wear something comfortable and practical for getting down and relating to the children on their level.
Don't wear too much make up, jewellery or painted nails for the same reasons as above. You are going to be changing dirty nappies, not walking down the catwalk on a modeling assignment!
Don't be late for the interview. Do a dummy run to try and find out bus times, how far the traveling will take whether by foot, bus, car, train or airplane! Allow for public transport not turning up, road works, or bad weather such as snow blizzards which suddenly come from nowhere!
Take along interesting activities for a shy child to look at such as finger puppets or a pop up book etc and the work which shows the practical side of your training e.g. art folders, photos of the children you've cared for etc. Most parents would be interested and do not have a clue about the depth of content of your course.
At the interview (without making it too obvious) ignore the parents and concentrate on the children and getting to know them. Get down on the floor, play with them, talk to them, listen attentively to them, read a story, play a game, the list could be endless. If the parents see the children relate to you, you're half way to getting the job! With babies it is a good idea to ask the parents if you can pick them up, feed them, cuddle them, even bath them if its bath time! Do not ignore any older children even if they're glued to "Neighbours" on the television screen. If the children are in bed, ask the parents if they have photos of them or if you can take a peep at them. Whatever, use your imagination but show an obvious interest in their most treasured possessions – it works!
If you are unemployed temporarily, do temporary work to show the parents that you have used your time effectively or perhaps do some voluntary work at the local playgroups, churches or schools. As well as giving you more experience with different environments, this will give you a chance to collect more references which will ultimately help you find the right job. One final point. Read lots of books on child care in your spare time and mention that you keep up to date with modern child care issues.
Collect ideas from the local libraries, sports centres and try to obtain a copy of the "Titch-Hikers’ Guide to Bristol" which lists all the local toddler groups, soft play, water baby sessions, rumpus rooms, city farms and other activities in the area. Alternate quiet times with busy times, and as well as their social and physical development, concentrate on encouraging the children's language development through stories, rhymes, jingles and songs and their creative abilities with art and crafts, water, sand and clay.
Make sure that you have asked yourself the full reasons why you want the job. Try not to say it’s just two blocks away from where you live or that the pay seems good, holidays are generous etc! You want the job because you want to work with one child (or two, three, four, five etc). Or perhaps it's because the children are the age you particularly like working with, or because the parents are keen on a holistic approach to child care, etc, etc. Details which you should be able to find from a good agency.
Next, the questions. This is going to form the core of the interview. Getting to know you is important for the parents but equally as important is the chance for you to get to know the family, and whether you want to care for their children!
Then, when your CV gets you the interview, this is usually your one and only chance of getting it right, face to face! So, to create a good impression, here are a few simple points to consider.
Normally, there are too few jobs available which seem ideal and too many candidates applying for the same jobs. Therefore, you have to set yourself apart from the masses, or look at alternative options such as those positions which are not quite as popular i.e. two or three part time vacancies which could still offer you a full working week.
The majority of the time, your unsuccessful application is down to the fact that you have not prepared yourself adequately for the kind of questions you are likely to be asked, and/or you are too nervous to present a positive image of your capabilities to the potential employer. We hope some tips will help overcome these problems. Most potential employees feel comfortable if they know what to expect as part of their duties, what should be included in a Contract of Employment, and who sorts out the Tax and National Insurance etc.
One of the most important objectives of Alphabet Childcare is to assist you, wherever possible, to secure the right job. Sometimes, you may have the qualifications and experience necessary for a particular position, but you are not successful in obtaining that job offer. This is where our Agency can help.