Early Childhood Educator Interview Tips

21 July, 2017

Early Childhood Educator Interview Tips

Interview tips

So you have submitted your resume to your future potential employer, and now you have been invited to an interview. Congratulations on successfully passing the first stage of the recruitment process! I hope our previous article on resume writing tips helped you get this far. It is now time to meet your future employers and gain an idea of your prospective work place. 

An interview can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for even the most experienced educator, but knowing how to articulate your passion, experience and knowledge in a short amount of time is important to help you achieve your desired position.

Here are some tips on how best to portray yourself in an interview setting:

 

Be prepared

Investing some time beforehand to prepare yourself for the interview will help calm your nerves and help you feel confident in your abilities as an educator.

- Practice your answers to commonly asked questions! Ask your recruiter for insight into questions that are likely to be asked.

- Dress for success! It is important to look professional; good first impressions count.

- Arrive early. If you are catching public transport, ensure to plan your journey ahead of time. If you are driving, ask if there is parking available. “Remember if you are on time you are 10 minutes late!”

 

Refresh your memory on industry standards

Having an understanding of the industry that you have chosen to work in is extremely important in demonstrating your knowledge! This can ensure that you stand out from the crowd.

Here are a few reflection points to help guide your thinking:

- Are you able to confidently describe the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard? Can you identify how these are used in early childhood education centres?

- Can you describe your personal philosophy in working with children?

- Are you aware of child protection procedure and regulations?

 

Do your homework

Demonstrating that you have researched the company and the position you have applied for shows initiative and displays how keen you are for the position.

A simple internet search is the best way to get an understanding of the centre. Make sure to look at the centre’s Facebook and company page, as well as your interviewers’ LinkedIn pages.

Here are a few reflection points to help guide your thinking:

- Do you have an understanding of the organisation’s culture?

- Do you know the organisation’s philosophy and do you share the same ideals?

- Do you know what their expectations are for their staff?

- Is there anything on the interviewer’s background that sticks out to you and that you can bring up in the conversation?

 

During the interview

This is where you will put all of your experience and knowledge on the table.

- Relax and breathe - we expect you to be nervous and that is okay!

- It is not a race. Take your time to think about your answer; does it reflect you as an educator?

- It is okay to ask questions. Feel free to request clarification or elaboration on the question being asked if you don’t understand.

- Be responsive to the conversation. Listen to what the interviewer is saying carefully, and use the information to ask questions at the end.

- Try not to go off track. Answer questions the best you can without entering into a different subject.

- Your body language and body cues are indications of your interest! Remember to make eye contact, and not to look at your watch constantly or check your phone.

 

The key to effective interviewing

- Be positive and smile! It shows your enthusiasm for the field of work you have chosen to work in.

- Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. The interviewer has most likely already spoken to you on the phone and wants to get to know you and your skills further. Be confident that you have what it takes to land the position!

- Be open and willing to share examples of your knowledge, experience and qualifications. Try to answer questions as thoroughly as possible.

- Be professional. Don’t speak negatively about past employers or co-workers.

- Let you passion for early childhood come through!

The interview process is not as daunting as it sounds. If you are prepared, honest and open, the interview will be engaging and informative, and could lead to your dream position.