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How To Get Time Off For Interview


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Dear all,

 

I feel I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Having been very unhappy in my current job, I have finally decided enough is enough and have started to look for jobs. I have found one advertised which I would like very much and will apply for it. But here is my question: how do I get the time off to attend the interview? I work term-time only, so not allowed to take holiday. my current manager obviously doesn't know that I've started to look for other jobs and I'd rather not say anything yet for obvious reasons.

Also if I do somehow make it to the interview and they ask me 'why do you want to leave your current position', what am I to say? I am not a good actor, I am usually quite open and honest and would feel dreadful pretending there wasn't anything wrong .Though obviously I can't say 'because I believe the setting is managed badly', as that would look judgemental and probably wouldn't give a good impression. Help, what shall I do? :o

The deadline is in a few days, so think I'll reply anyway, as that job really does sound lovely!

Looking forward to your replies.

 

x Titania

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I understood your employer had to release you, but check this out.

 

As to why you are leaving, you could say that the setting doesn't suit your style of practice.

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Could you ask for an interview time for after you finish work; I've done this before; had an interview at 6pm once!

 

I might be wrong but I think your current employer only has to release you for interview if you are being made redundant!

 

As for why you want to leave; this is something I always struggle with. Have you been in your present role long? Perhaps you could go along the lines of you are ready for a new challenge?

 

Good luck

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reason for leaving.. find something about the new job you really want to do - could be a very good reason for applying... nothing to do with current setting but want to join them because xxx ... putting a positive spin on it... perhaps xxx gives more of a challenge for you , or is something you have always been interested in...

 

Time off.. it may well be they want references before offering an interview.. so no reason to conceal taking a day off..

 

but if not does depend on the new post.. some may work with you, others may not... other than telling them cannot see an easy way out... unless you become ill, or child does, or appointment you cannot change! ( no I did not say that really)

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Thanks for your fast replies! It's so good to know I'm not alone, even this time of night. xD

 

but if not does depend on the new post.. some may work with you, others may not... other than telling them cannot see an easy way out... unless you become ill, or child does, or appointment you cannot change! ( no I did not say that really)

tempting that :o

 

I really don't think manager would allow me a day off if she knows what it's for. Even though she treats me badly, she probably doesn't want to lose me, as currently I'm the only one qualified and Ofsted is watching us closely.

We are just a personality clash, I believe in treating children with respect and dignity, she believes in strict discipline and time-out chair. I believe in the creative process, she believes in a beautiful end product, even if that means she's done most of it herself etc etc.

 

I like the idea of focusing on the positive in the interview, this new job is something I have indeed always been passionate about (Children's Centres).

 

Does the reference always need to be from your current employer? I've only been there for 5 months and sadly we didn't fit from the start (I should have listened to the person I replaced, as she left for the same reasons and warned me), so I'm worried the reference wouldn't be very good. I do however volunteer at my local CC, whose manager has written me an excellent ref before. I think I should give them a ring and ask if there is any flexibility re interview time.

 

Titania

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will depend on the application form and the setting.. most do want something from current or previous employer... but as second and sometimes third you can ask whoever you feel is best.

 

If interested it is always worth giving it a go, not doing so you will always wonder what If?

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Does the reference always need to be from your current employer?

Good practice would suggest that you would need a reference from the most recent/current employer, but in the circumstances you describe you might not want to do that. This would definitely come up at interview I would imagine (I'd certainly ask) and then you'd have to explain - and given that you've only been there for five months it is likely that any prospective employer would want to explore the reasons for that with you. You'd probably want to choose your words very carefully, and might want to rehearse this beforehand.

 

I'd just say you have an appointment that you just can't change and need the morning off, if you can't arrange a time outside of nursery hours.

 

Good luck!

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I would just be bit wary because if you did not tell your present employer and they are asked for a reference before your interview, it could make things very uncomfortable. A Children's Centre may very well ask for the reference first as part of their safer recruitment policy. As Maz has pointed out they would probably ask why you haven't put down your current employer as a referee, again they would be looking for gaps in employment or other issues which could be warning signs about someone's past. I think you need to choose your words carefully but be honest about finding that your current setting is not the one for you. Just be sure to sell yourself in other ways. Your interview panel will probably understand what you are trying to say but will respect you for saying it tactfully and with a positive slant. If you haven't been asked for two referees you could also ask the CC you have volunteered at to write a character reference to include with your application.

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I would just be bit wary because if you did not tell your present employer and they are asked for a reference before your interview, it could make things very uncomfortable.

Yes, so would I - although I'd check the application form carefully, most ask if they can approach your current employer before the interview.

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Personally, I'd be honest about it.They already know you're not happy there, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise? As to interview questions, I'd go from the 'I really like the CC ethos and would enjoy the opportunity to work in one. Had there been a vacancy when I was job-hunting, I would have applied' Say you have learnt a lot in your current setting ( well, you have, haven't you?!) and although you have only been there a relatively short time, you really see yourself in a CC, where you can continue your professional development. I don't know where you currently work, but can you also say you wish to work with all age ranges and families too, which isn't happening where you are now? If your current manager won't allow you the time off for interview, then see if you can negotiate a later time for it, and if not, can you apply on paper..........explain why to them and see if you make it through to second interview that way?

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Personally, I'd be honest about it.They already know you're not happy there, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise? As to interview questions, I'd go from the 'I really like the CC ethos and would enjoy the opportunity to work in one. Had there been a vacancy when I was job-hunting, I would have applied' Say you have learnt a lot in your current setting ( well, you have, haven't you?!) and although you have only been there a relatively short time, you really see yourself in a CC, where you can continue your professional development. I don't know where you currently work, but can you also say you wish to work with all age ranges and families too, which isn't happening where you are now? If your current manager won't allow you the time off for interview, then see if you can negotiate a later time for it, and if not, can you apply on paper..........explain why to them and see if you make it through to second interview that way?

 

Thank you. After all my worries, I have just realised that the interview is in half term, pheww!

So I will write my application tonight. Hope I'll make it through to interview stage now, but I usually do. It's the interview itself that has let me down before. I'm not very good at selling myself. I guess many people in this profession are too modest to blow their own trumpet. It just doesn't feel right.

Oh well, I'll do my best. Wish me luck!

 

x Titania

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Can I just offer another perspective? My deputy supervisor told me early on that she was going for interviews, which was good because I was able to offer her time off for interviews and be generally supportive. However it took her a long time to get a job and I know she got very demoralised and I think she regretted telling me that she was looking for another job. Somehow it seemed worse to her that I knew she was getting rejected, if that makes sense.

 

From an employer's perspective, I knew that it was the right time for her to move on, and I was happy to provide references prior to interview. However I think I would have found it more difficult to be so supportive had there been issues between us or difficulties within the setting that had led to her decision to leave.

 

Good news that the interviews are during half term - good luck and I hope you do well!

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Thank you. After all my worries, I have just realised that the interview is in half term, pheww!

So I will write my application tonight. Hope I'll make it through to interview stage now, but I usually do. It's the interview itself that has let me down before. I'm not very good at selling myself. I guess many people in this profession are too modest to blow their own trumpet. It just doesn't feel right.

Oh well, I'll do my best. Wish me luck!

 

x Titania

 

Hi Titania

 

I've done a lot of interviewing recently for our preschool and I have a couple of tips from an interviewer's perspective.

 

Firstly, I was really keen on any candidates who showed how much they like children - the ones who smiled when they talked about them, or who had picked up children's names while playing with them (we give candidates 30 mins to play before interview).

 

And secondly, I liked the ones who made it clear that they understand this was 'more than just a job'. For instance, we had one question about preparing resources at home. Ostensibly the question was about whether they would do extra hours in their own time, but one candidate said 'oh but I love that part of the job!' which really made me warm to her.

 

Good luck!

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Oooh I'm with Suzie on that one! The last person we took on was so genuinely enthusiastic about doing stuff at home I was concerned she might be a bit of a nutter or lying but she has turned out to be totally genuine! Even to the point where she shouted at myself and the manager because we didn't ask her to come in on Sunday evening to help finish some displays (as we are waiting on a visit from Ofsted)! Certainly try to let your natural ability with children show through if you get any time to interact with some, and don't let nerves affect that. And I think I would certainly talk up the fact that you are looking for somewhere that more suits your child centred approach, if you can find a way of saying that without bad mouthing your current setting. Practice it a few times first to make sure you know exactly what to say without being negative about them. Good luck!

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Is it common practice to expect staff to do work at home? I have just joined a private nursery and apart from a very brief period at a prep school I have not worked in a private setting.

 

Some of the team have signed contracts that say they will complete annual reports at home etc.

 

I know that I work out of hours and often go in at the weekend but I get paid a pretty reasonable rate whereas others don't. I will try at all costs to avoid staff having to work at home.

 

Am I deluded? (Sorry to highjack the post..good luck!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yippieee! I got the job! :o

 

Thank you all for your good advice. In the end the interview was just lovely. There were only two interviewers and they were both really lovely and made me feel at ease (My last interview for a CC job was the complete opposite, with a panel of five, being very serious and formal and giving me a real grilling into details of the EYFS etc. which made me so nervous that I couldn't remember anything :( ).

 

Better go and write out my notice now xD .

 

Lots of Love

Titania

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Hi Titania

 

Wonderful news about your new job. Congratulations.

You won't regret going to work in a CC. Every day is different and you will gain a whole new range of experience.

 

Good luck.

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Well done Titania - many congratulations!

 

Out of interest - how did you handle the inevitable 'why do you want to leave' question? Whatever you said it must have worked - I'm sure writing your notice letter was very therapeutic!

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Well done Titania - many congratulations!

 

Out of interest - how did you handle the inevitable 'why do you want to leave' question? Whatever you said it must have worked - I'm sure writing your notice letter was very therapeutic!

 

 

Thank you all. I'm over the moon! I have worked in a CC before, but it was a temporary post, and I was very upset when I had to leave. Reg. the leaving questions, they phrased it as 'why have you applied for this position?' so I just shared my passion about CCs and that was easy. :o The feedback was very positive and I really look forward to working with what seems to be a lovely, supportive manager.

 

Haven't written my notice yet, as assignment due tomorrow, but I do look forward to that bit.

I do worry about the children though, esp some of my key children. There is one little one who was really upset for the whole day when I was off for training one day (she's fairly new), so will have to handle the 'handover' very sensitively. xD

 

Thanks again for all your support and encouraging words.

 

x Titania

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Just wanted to add my congratulations.

Well done!

Biker

 

Thank you all!

I've done it! I handed in my notice today, it felt very strange, quite unreal. Manager took it ok, I think. But she kept asking why I'm leaving. I didn't know where to start and I'm feeling all mixed up. I haven't told anyone else at the setting yet, but presumably she will have told them after I left (I only work mornings). Now I'm really dreading going in again. I really don't want to talk to her about my reasons for leaving just this yet, as I'm worried I will say too much and it will escalate. I can't even say it's not personal, because sadly it is.

The main reason I'm leaving is that I believe this setting is unprofessional, not following best practice and that the manager does not act in the best interest of the children. She is also unsupportive of my studies and does not like to delegate ANY decision making. (I'm a qualified, very experienced practitioner and she doesn't even trust me to choose the colour of the paper to use!).I'm not sure I should tell her all that, though. What do you think? Honest feedback or smile and pretend it's not personal? I just don't know what to say to her.

I've got another whole month to face her every morning :o

 

 

Titania

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Normally I'm all for honesty and openness, but I think you need to be careful how you handle this. What will you gain by telling her everything that's going on in your head and in your heart? You'll get it all off your chest, but you run the risk of a difficult situation becoming almost unbearable and that would make your last few weeks very difficult for both parties. If it were me I would just say that an opportunity arose to work in a setting where I could develop my own ideas and challenge myself. From your earlier posts I think you have tried to get through to her but without success, and I can't see that you'll have any more success with that now that you're leaving. You'll probably find that now you've resigned you won't feel quite so resentful and frustrated by your situation and hopefully this will make your last weeks more bearable.

 

I think it can be very tempting to go out having told an employer exactly what you think of them, given all their shortcomings and failings. However sometimes I think the old adage 'least said soonest mended' has a lot to recommend it.

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