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Ideas For 2nd Interviews


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Hi all and happy new year!

 

We've been snowed under with applicants for our current vacancy, so much so that we have decided to shortlist and invite people back for a 2nd interview.

 

Does anyone have any fab ideas about what we can ask them to do? We had thought planning an activity for a specific set of children and relating it to the EYFS (not actually setting it up, just planning) and then someone had suggested an observation, or reading a story.

 

The issue is we would let to get them all in on the same day to compare them (maybe 30 mins for each candidate, not all at once), but we can't bombard the poor children with lots of story time!!

 

Any ideas gratefully received.

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I used to ask applicants to come in for 30 min slots to observe them just interact and play with the children. I didn't ask them to carry out a specific activity as planning without knowing the children would be difficult.

 

With the invite to come in I included a short summary of what we would be looking for during the observation, ie: interaction with children and staff, their own observational skills re: safety, ie: noticing anything that needs attention and how they respond, observation skills on environment, etc.

 

I had my own observation checklist, ie@ body language, at childs level, appropriate dress, ability to use open ended questions, intervention timing, etc.

 

After the 'practicle' obs I would discuss with applicant how they felt it went, what they learnt about the ethos of my setting, did they notice were the fire drill poster was on the wall, what other notices did they notice. What they thought about certain children, is the response factual or assumptions ( a good guide to applicants observation and reporting skills.

 

I always gave all my applicants written feedback even the unsuccessful ones.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Peggy

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I like the structure of what you did Peggy. We too invite them in for a on observed time, but nothing as organised as that. I might pinch some of those ideas if you don't mind - although I hope we won't be advertising for a while! We have found that seeing the applicants in action so to speak has made a big difference to our view of some. Where they came across a bit stiff in interview they have come to life with the children, and others have talked the talk but not followed that up with interactions in the setting.

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I have often asked candidates to plan and deliver a short activity with a small group, and found this vey effective, using a different group of children each time. This might be logistically difficult in a small setting, or with a lot of candidates, of course. I do remember attending an interview myself years ago where I played with the children, with no agenda, and from an inteviewee point of view, I quite liked it (and got the job..I am going back a few years). Doing a group acitivy gives the advantage that it's possibly easier to get the childrens's voice about the candidates.

 

So its about weighing up what is best for your circumstances, but I do feel you see so much more if you have the candidates have some opportunity to interact with the children and staff.

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Thanks all, lots of food for thought.

 

For the 1st interview they did 30 minutes with the children before the interview so we have an idea of how they interact but maybe we could do that again. I love the idea of seeing what they 'notice' and how well they spot different 'characters'!

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Thanks all, lots of food for thought.

 

For the 1st interview they did 30 minutes with the children before the interview so we have an idea of how they interact but maybe we could do that again. I love the idea of seeing what they 'notice' and how well they spot different 'characters'!

 

 

The objective of me asking an applicant to say what they thought about the children is to see if they respond with 'negative' statements/labels such as ....he was a bit boisterous,....she can't share.....or whether comments are more factual and less opinionated / subjective, such as........he went to about 4 different activities and didn't seem to settle at one............when she was role-playing she stopped another child from laying the table with her, by pushing her out the way and saying "No, I'm doing this".

 

Then from the statements I would ask the applicant how best to respond in these scenario's, or not.

 

Peggy

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Thanks Peggy, that's great, I will have a chat with my leader and we will sort something.

 

It's so lovely to actually have a CHOICE, normally we only get about 3 applicants and just have to plump for the best of those or readvertise. Mind you, I suppose perhaps it says something a bit sad about the financial climate that we have so many people applying.

 

We have had a man apply which is great, but we've already had a chat about how the parents might react (apparently there were negative comments about a male volunteer in the past!). We will try our very hardest to make it a completely level playing field, but it is tricky to manage parental expectations. I really feel for men in this profession.

 

May the best candidate win!!

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