Top tips for a great childcare apprenticeship interview

An apprentice at a nursery.
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The thought of a job interview can be scary but it’s important to remember that your potential employer REALLY wants you to be right for the job.  

Your interview is a great way for you to showcase your skills and experience. 

With the right preparation and a small amount of research, you’ll be able to approach your childcare interview in a calm, relaxed way and land your dream job. 

Remote Interview or Face-to-Face? 

The pandemic has meant that many interviews are now held remotely but remember that most normal standards still apply. 

Below are our top six tips and techniques to ace your interview. 

1 Research 

Once you know that you’ve been offered an interview, spend time researching your potential new employer. Nurseries, schools and creches usually have detailed information on their websites. Have a read and get to know them before the interview. For extra points you could even look at their Ofsted Report. Knowing a few key facts about your potential employer will show that you’re interested in the role and will help you answer any questions.

Rebecca Moore, Operations Manager at The Village Nursery Group, explains all about apprenticeships at her nurseries.  

2 Prepare your answers

There are certain questions that regularly come up during any job interview. If you already have a few answers ready, you’ll feel more at ease during the interview. Some frequent childcare interview questions include:

  • Why do you want to work in our nursery/school?
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • Can you give an example of how you dealt with a problem?
  • Why should we hire you?  

3 Plan ahead  

Whether the interview is face-to-face or remote, what you wear will matter. A lot of nurseries ask staff to wear a uniform but in your interview it’s important to make a professional first impression.  You can’t go wrong with typical smart office wear. Remember to get everything ready the night before so that there are no last-minute panics on the day. 

For face-to-face interviews, planning your route is really important. Whether you’re travelling on public transport or driving yourself, do a trial journey at a similar time of day to the actual interview. That way you’ll have an idea of any traffic or potential delays – you really need to be on time! 

If the interview is being held remotely, you still need to plan the location. Choose a quiet room with good lighting, away from any noise or distractions (including pets). Familiarise yourself with the equipment you’ll be using, check that your microphone and speakers are working properly and have a test call with a friend… and make sure you’re not on mute! Listen to more top interview tips from Julie Podesta, our Learner Recruitment and Engagement manager. 

4 Body Language 

Even if you feel nervous, greeting your interviewers with a welcoming smile is a fantastic ice-breaker. Childcare employers are going to want you to be friendly and they’ll want you to make eye contact, especially as you’ll be helping to mould little minds. Listen carefully, speak clearly and try not to talk over anyone. 

5 Ask Questions  

Your childcare interviewer will probably end the interview with “Have you got any questions for us?” so be ready! Prepare some questions about the venue before the interview. A really good question to ask your interviewer is “Why do you like working here?” It’s a friendly, open question and it will help to give you a flavour of what working for the company will be like. 

6 Lastly, enjoy it!  

Interviews are your time to shine so do your best. Every situation provides an opportunity to learn and that’s a great thing! If you need extra inspiration, you can read about our former apprentice Tia Cavanagh who has risen through the ranks from nursery practitioner to Deputy Nursery Manager. 

View our open childcare apprenticeships

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