Smart but comfortable!
It’s essential to look smart and professional for any interview, but we all know working with Early Years isn’t the most formal of roles! Choose something comfortable that allows you to easily get down on the floor with the children. It’s a tricky road to navigate – jeans and trainers are too casual and ties and high heels are too formal. Try to aim for a comfortable shirt, dark trousers and sensible shoes.
Research, research, research!
Make sure you know as much as possible about where you’re interviewing. How many children are there? How many staff? What was their most recent Ofsted report? How do they handle their social media? Are they part of a chain or an independent nursery? If there is anything you can’t find the answer to, make a note to ask this in the interview.
Show how great you are!
If you are an experienced EY professional, build a portfolio of lesson plans and activities you’ve done in the past to show at interview. If you are new to the sector, do your research and make some draft plans to show you have what it takes. Also make sure to bring along any certificates, qualifications or awards you may have, relating to your EY career.
Make a list beforehand of any questions you may have for your potential employer. These can range from practical details (‘Is there a second interview stage?’, ‘When will I hear if I’m successful or not?’) to opinions (‘What would you say is the best thing about working here?’). Always write down more questions than you need, in case some of them are already answered during the interview.
Be prepared to play!
Many EY interviews have a practical section where you will be face-to-face with the children. Depending on your experience, this could be quite daunting. Make sure you have a simple game/lesson plan (that doesn’t need specific equipment) prepared, and that you are ready to get stuck in with any activities!