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I have recently been appointed as Manager of an innovative Early Years Centre, opening in September, and quite unique where I come from.

The problem is that on Thursday I am interviewing for new staff, and although I know I want enthusiastic, well trained and experienced staff, with up to date knowledge of current practices. I am not sure how to ask what I want :oxD:(


I have never been in this position before, and find the whole process quite daunting :wacko: xD :rolleyes:


Do I ask how they feel about BTTM and FSC and it's relevance in our setting (non-compulsary, an option which some nurseries have adpoted)

I positively enthuse about them and really want a team that is equally committed.


Do I give examples of situations that they may find themselves in? What would their response be. Would they speak to parents directly or ask for advice and support from management?


Are these valid questions?


I want some really good and possibly unique scenarios. It's going to be difficult for me, I know most of the applicants, have worked alongside many of them and I NEED to look like I know my stuff :D:( :unsure: :(



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Congratulations on the new job jambo, I'm so glad things have worked out for you, and how exciting to be able to take on staff and run things how you want to. No ideas for interview questions I'm afraid, our committee always do those, but a question I've mentioned on here before is on someone told me about. Ask what is their favourite activity and why. It should hopeful give an insight into how they think and it's not something there will be a right or wrong answer for them to of swotted up on. I was once asked if I would ever smack a child!! Obvious answer for those sort of questions isnt there!? Good luck :D

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Hi Jambo,

An exciting, if scary, position to be in :o

I hope you find some of the questions from my article useful.

I was interested in your "not compulsory" bit; did you mean that some settings aren't following the FS or BTTM? Are these settings not registered for the nursery education grant?

Good luck with the interviews! Are your candidates going to do presentations? And are you doing the interviews on your own?

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sounds like a fantastic job, well done!


I would want people who are going to work within the ethos and vision you have for the centre: and who would contribute to developing that. I would link my questions towards finding out how they will contribute to that vision.


Good luck!

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Thanks everyone,

Helen's article was a great help, for my interview, and I have printed it off again to take inspiration from.


In answer to Helen's questions -


We do not have Nursery Education Grants, Ofsted, do not have to follow any curriculums. We are using BTTM and FSC, with profile "Style" All About Me records of achievement.


The "Family Centre" (a rarity here!!!) which was attached to the nursery where I used to work, was very secretive. No-one seemed to know it exsisted, what services they offered - and we did ask on many occasions, and they never came into the nursery.


Our Centre, although primarily a Day Nursery, will have a child psychologist attached, for the staff and parents to refer to. We have forged close links with the local "community beat" policemen, who have agreed to come and visit from time to time, taking the fear factor away. The firemen will bring an engine a couple of times a year, as we have a large secure car park. I already know the speech therapist well. We are aiming to have access to information from as many organisations, government and health departments and other sources for our parents. We are also aiming to have themed evening for parents and staff (could be simple recipes to cook with children, managing behaviour, parents and child craft or games evenings etc)


I know for a fact that this does not happen in many nurseries here. We really want to try and embrace the whole family.

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Congratulations Jambo,

From your intro to your service, may I suggest some questioning on candidates experiences of multi-agency liaison, How they would communicate with different professionals, why they think this would be of benefit to families and children ( answers may give some indication of the persons values, stereotypical view points etc.


Good luck



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Dear Jambo,


Well done on the new job, I am not sure where you are from and therefore the bits on legislation may not apply.


I supposed the first question to ask is do you have the job description, person specification and application forms if so this should be the first point of refererence. You shold then be in a position to consider what you consider the essential and desirable qualities that you require for the job.


Interviewing can be potentially filled with problems as far as equal opportunities goes and not to worry you, but there are quite stringent laws relating to the employment of staff. However, that being said there are simple guildelines to follow - a good site is the EOC site and they have a good easily understood section on recruitment and selection.


Reviewing the application forms against the person specification and the job description should in fact lead you into the questions you could ask. It is suggested that to avoid any issues that all the questions should remain the same for each candidate - this then avoids any possible recourse from any applicant who feels they have not been treated fairly, but if you don't have all the above information then you may find this difficult to achieve.


Questions raised could be either


structure situational based - work related hypothetical questions however, you may only get the answers based on the candidate's theoretical understanding - eg. what would you do if a member of staff kept on coming in late? They may be able to tell you but it doesn't tell you really about whether or not they have dealt with a similar situation and how they applied it.


Maybe more useful questioning should be through


structural behaviour based (competency questions) - this is based on a candidates evidence of what they have done is a certain situation in the past as you have suggested. For example, a question that might be asked would be:- working in a nursery can often be stressful esepcially when dealing with a member of staff conintually coming in late or anything you want) can you tell me about a similar situation you have been in and how did you deal with it.


There may be a case when the candidate clearly says that they haven't been in that situation and this in itself will tell you something about the canddidates experience. These type of questions structured around past experience and behaviours generally reveal a lot about the candidate as they often give a lot more information than the question requires.


Generally questions should always be open ended and probing they should never lead the applicant. Capability questions - like - how do you think you would be able to utilise your BBTM experience here will also give you a understanding of their skill and their application of it.


Getting the questions right can be difficult and you do not seem to have a lot of time to review the application forms and prepare for this but you are certainly looking at it in the right way and I am sure if you aim for a semi structured interview then you will be fine and ensure that you have a fair set of questions for all the candidates.


Not too sure if this has helped


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