Interview Preparation

Preparing for Interview

Here are some helpful hints to help you shine in your interview:

1. Do your research
We will give you as much information on the setting that you are attending the interview with, however it is essential that you also do your own research and find out as much information about the organisation as possible, we recommend that you  down load the latest Ofsted report and see how the setting has been performing, browse  their website and familiarise yourself of the setting’s background e.g. Are they a state or independent school, an independent nursery or part of a chain ? How many staff do they employ? How long have they been open for?  What facilities and extra-curricular activities are offered?  How many children attend the setting?

2. Show off your knowledge in  Teaching Subject,  The Early Years Foundation Stage, Safeguarding, Equal opportunities and Special Educational Needs
Make sure you really understand the EYFS – you will be asked questions on this in your interview in particular how you use it to support children’s learning and development.

Anticipate questions around equal opportunity, safeguarding and how to support children with special needs.

3. Appearance
It is really important that you look well presented. Hair should be neat, tidy and if long tied back. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum, studs not hoops for earrings,  you may be asked to take part in a trial with the children so it is important that you dress in practical clothing so that you can plan and interact easily with the children. i.e. black trousers and flat shoes.

4. Relax
Make eye contact, speak clearly and smile.

5. Take all of your relevant documents with you
Create a professional image and present your current CV, your original qualification certificates, DBS check, and other documents smartly in an appropriate document holder.

6. Plan you journey and arrive early.
To set the right first impression aim to arrive 15-20 minutes early.

Know how long it will take to get there, and where you will be able to park. If there is no parking at the setting, find out where the nearest car park is and make sure you allow enough to time to park and walk back to the nursery/school.  

If you are travelling by public transport allow plenty of time, don’t rely on the bus or train that gets in just in time as it may be late or cancelled. We suggest that you print off a map to take in case you get lost!

7. Be Positive
Never speak negatively about previous employers, children or agencies. This is absolutely essential as employers will always regard criticism and negativity as a flaw with the interviewee.

8. Prepare a list of questions you may ask at the end.
Remember to write these down!! , it might be about the hours, holiday entitlement, training and development, external courses etc. this shows that you are keen and again creates a good impression. We’ve listed a few questions you could include:

Q:  How many children do you currently have in the Nursery/School how many are you registered for? Are there further plans to expand on this?

Q:  Which room are you recruiting for and how many children are based in that room?

Q:  Does the Nursery/School offer any training?

Q:  Are there any chances for promotion in the Nursery/School?

Q:  How does the Nursery/School work in partnership with parents and promote inclusion?

Q:  When is a decision on my application likely to be made?

Although every interview is different there are a few questions that always pop up.

We have listed some on this page, we recommend that before you go to your interview, you have a look through and think about how you would answer them if asked.  

The interviewer will want to see what you are really like and how you will fit into the team, preparing for the interview will enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and ensure that you get your personality across.

Questions frequently asked by Employers include:

  • Why you left your previous position and what you are currently doing?
  • What is it you like about teaching or working in childcare?
  • Your strengths, achievements and development needs?
  • What are the seven areas of learning within the EYFS?
  • Your Subject knowledge, and current issues in your subject and education.
  • Are you flexible about working with any ages of children or do you have a preference of which age you like working with?
  • Give an example of an activity that worked well with children? How can this activity be changed for the different age groups.
  • How would you support a child who didn’t speak English as a first language?
  • How could you support the needs of someone who has a disability?
  • Why is observing children playing important? If a child is being left out of a group activity what would you do? How would you get the other children to include them?
  • How would you set out a room in the morning?
  • Have you ever had any ideas about how things could work differently in your room and if so what were they and what changes were made?
  • If a child needs reminding about behaviour e.g. biting, hitting and kicking- how would you go about this?
  • How would you deal with disagreements amongst children in the classroom?
  • How would you establish and maintain relationships with parents or key interfacing groups?
  • What would you do if parent approached you about working for them directly?
  • What would you do if a child had an accident?
  • How your interests outside of school/nursery could benefit extra-curricular activities
  • Your future plans and ambitions?

Please also visit our other career resources pages:

After The Interview
Useful Links


Please register your details now for a full career consultation or contact us for a confidential discussion.