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Job Interviews - How Do We Choose The Right Person?


tess
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Can I have some ideas please on how we can choose the right member of staff this week at interviews?

 

We have been advertising in the local press for a new assistant and we have finally got some applicants. Really long story of disasters - we are committee run and our parent secretary sent all the applications out with not enough postage or to very odd addresses as she can't spell ( I found this out a week too late).

 

I came back off holiday to this mess!

 

We have re sent out the whole lot, with lots of apologies and I have arrangesd IV's for this week , but do you have any hints and tips on making the right choices - I have downloaded the questions from the web site, but I am slightly paranoid as we have made some disasters in the past.

 

I always thought I was a fairly OK judge of character, but I'm not sure any more. I can't decide the worst was it the one who told my staff on day one not to get all the continuous provision out as not needed or the one that quit after a week as she couldn't cope with taking children to the toilet (I didn't get as far as giving her a nappy to do)

 

We will interview with the chairperson, the deputy and me (supervisor) and normally score questions - but I really would love some advice about how you get it right as I am filled with dread just thinking about it.

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I was on an interview panel recently. We used some of the suggested interview questions from this site which were a great help and also scored their answers. I would suggest you break down what you really want from a person and ask relevant questions, using the person/job specification. We did include job specific questions such as how do you feel about providing intimate care for a child, how do you feel about giving injections etc. Can you see applicants in action in the setting as part of the interiew process, say after you have shortlisted, this can be very revealing.

 

Good luck.

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I have used practical assesment in the past and I agree it can be very revealing - i loved the applicant that poked her tongue out to the children at the snack table. It had interesting results.....

 

Unfortunatley we are not open at the moment and really need the applicant the first week back (the person we are replacing resigned the last day of term), I am not sure how practical it will be this time, but I will definatley consider it once we have had the interviews.

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Guest Wolfie

I too would certainly use some kind of practical assessment as part of the selection procedure as you can sometimes get candidates who really wow you with answers to questions but have problems with actually working with the children. Is there anyway you could cover shifts during the first week back, hold the interviews this week and explain that you want to observe them "in action" as well but can't do that until term starts again? I know it would be awkward and mean a delay but in my opinion it would give you a more comprehensive picture.

Edited by Wolfie
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As always you talk so much sense Wolfie I think I am just getting panicky because we so desperatly need this member of staff, but that sound so sensible.

 

I will shortlist the applicants at the interview stage this week and ask the successful ones back the first week for a practical, it is just so revealing and as you say it helps you assess who is just quoting text book and will let them see us.

 

I know not every practitioner likes us, we are free flow and with continuous provision allowing child intiated activities and busy. We have found many practitioners still want total control and can freak at the thought of children leading.

 

Hopefully it although it might mean a weeks delay in recruiting it might have longer lasting results and the right person.

 

Thank you

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I know not every practitioner likes us, we are free flow and with continuous provision allowing child intiated activities and busy. We have found many practitioners still want total control and can freak at the thought of children leading.

Oooh can I come and work for you?

 

If there's any way you can arrange it I would definitely see them in action before you make a firm offer. I was lucky enough to be able to get my new deputy supervisor on a half-term 'supply cover' contract before we advertised the job and held interviews. (I say 'interviews' but actually she was the only applicant - often the way for us because we're in such a rural location). By the time we interviewed her for the D.S. job we had seen her in action and she knew how the group ran. I should explain that she came and worked for us on her day off because when she first approached me I just needed staff cover - would hate you to think I wasn't an 'equal opportunities' employer!

 

To be honest, if I was applying for a job now I would want to see the group in action before committing myself - will I get on with everyone, do the stated policies and procedures actually get put into practice etc?

 

If you use 'scenarios' in your interview process, ask them for a situation they handled badly, how they reflected on it and how they would handle it differently in future. Sometimes the negative things people say about themselves say more about their professionalism than all the 'positive spin' they might put on their skills...

 

Hope that makes sense!

 

Good luck with the interviews.

 

Maz

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I absolutely agree with all of the above. Especially the pactical. A tip with interviewing is rather than asking well if this happened what would you do, ask more of "can you give me an example of an occasion when you ....". This means that you are getting more of the real person, than what she thinks the correct theoretical answer is, although knowing the theory is important too, of course. We are very fussy with our interviews, but it certainly pays off.

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