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Interview process


Gruffalo2
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Our staff team have recently suggested that interviews should include potential staff spending a day in the nursery as a way both to give them the opportunity to see if they like us, and for us to see how they interact with children. I can see that this would be an ideal but am concerned about the practicalities of this, and I also think a whole day is too long to expect someone to give. At the moment our candidates all have to tell a story or lead an activity, observed by a senior member of staff who reports to the interviewing panel.

I wonder if any of you do something like this, and how you organize it - particularly how you make sure all candidates are given a fair chance?

Thank you

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Those who get through to the final stages (usually 2) are invited to come in for a session....they are asked to play with the children and i observe. They are not paid for their time.If they are confident enough i ask them to read a story to the group but to be honest i will find out more from their interactions in the group.

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When we last went through this process I said a visit was a must.....

I do not understand how you can be serious about a job if you haven't visited beforehand to look, to meet the staff and children!

 

However I know this is not possible for everyone but I would prefer that someone got in touch and we tried hard to find time for a visit!

 

When the application forms were looked at we chose six and invited all six in to do some sort of activity with the children.

 

I wasn't looking for anything wow just the ability to work with the children at a suitable level and see how they interacted with staff too.

 

Out of six we invited three for interview!

 

I think seeing someone with the children is a must. If an activity isn't a long enough time maybe a morning in your setting?

One of the applicants on paper looked SO good but in reality she was mean with the children and told them how to draw and colour to give her the result SHE wanted!

I think even if you do all of these things there's no certainty that you get it right!

Good luck x

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We ask our shortlist of candidates (if we are lucky enough to get enough applicants to make a shortlist!) to come and play for a couple of hours. I wouldn't ask them for a whole day as I don't think it's necessary, plus we are full daycare and open 8 - 6.

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I have recently changed the way we interview. I invite all the shortlisted candidates in at the same time as there are never more than 5. They come at 9/9:30ish and I tell them to expect to be with us until 12pm. They can then have 20 minutes or so before I start interviewing - I just grab them randomly out of the room to 'have a chat' (our interviews feel very informal!) and then after their interview they go back out again. If they were rubbish I let them go straight away - just say 'you can leave whenever you're ready'. If I'm interested then I encourage them to stay and play (NB: The good ones usually want to anyway!). Once the morning has finished I speak to each of my members of staff to get their opinions of each candidate.

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We also ask short-listed people to come in for a couple of hours - unpaid - and so glad I introduced it because in our last lot of interviews we loved one of the candidates in interview and on paper she was ideal but she had no sense of how to interact with the children, what to do when a child was arguing etc - I know that it's an awkward situation etc but they were total rubbish and if we hadn't had that time to observe her we would have taken her on so it was a lucky escape!

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I havent interviewed for quite a while, but when I did, I tried to get a bit of both, got them to prepare a short activity for a group of about 6 children for 15 mins, and then half an hour playing with the children. Some did very well with an activity they planned but struggled with playing without an "agenda." Some were the other way around. A whole day in a setting is far too long not just for the candidate but for existing staff and for children who might not be used to seeing unfamiliar faces. We used to allow about an hour per candidate in the nursery, so once they had done their time in nursery, they would go and be interviewed (one question would be about the activity they did) and then go home. So we never had two candidates in the nursery at the same time. We could get through 4 -5 in one day, occasionally we spread over two days, but it worked well.

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We do similar but only 1 candidate per session for around an hour. Only see how they play and react with children in free play. Illuminating especially as on paper they can all sound excellent but in practice have no idea how to relate to children.

Just appointed after interviewing 6 candidates (all level 3 and supposedly experienced ) Only 2 had any idea about relating to children when they visited. We have found it essential for as many of the staff as possible to see them in action as we are a small team. Staff fill in a comment sheet about each candidate.

korkycat

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We invite candidates to come in for a stay and play session that lasts an hour.in that time I ask them to write a short observation.it can be on any of the children and any topic but it gives me a really good idea of their observing skills.the candidates are then invited back the next day for a more formal interview.i definately agree that you need to see each candidate with the children and asking for an observation just adds to your understanding of that person and their suitability.

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Thanks everyone for letting me know how you manage this. For a long time we have been asking candidates to either read a story to a group or lead and activity, according to the post. This is observed by one member of the staff and relayed to the interviewing panel. The children are also asked for their comments. A new member of staff has just been talking about the practice at her previous setting and just made us wonder if there is more we could do. I can now take your experiences back to share and include in the debate.

Thank you

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As a total packaway into a shed in the garden group - I get our candidates to come for the whole session plus set up and put away time too - this allows me to see them 'working with the team' some people although they say they are fine with packaway when they get to the reality of doing it; they're not great and if they don't 'muck in' then no matter how great they are with the children they just aren't going to 'get on' with the staff!!

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