Level 2 & 3
Employers looking to employ Childcare apprentices are looking for someone attentive with great interpersonal skills.
An essential part of making a good impression at interview is dressing smart. Dressing formally shows that you are serious about the role, are ambitious and are respectful of the business itself. Wearing a shirt and tie with trousers and polished black shoes or a smart blouse and trousers/pencil skirt is a good way to go.
Some childcare interviews may partly include a short practical trial; this means that wearing no large, chunky or dangling jewellery is essential. This is so children are unable to injure themselves. Flat shoes allow for more free movement for interaction.
Making sure your body language is open and confident is another method of communicating that you are reliable. Nodding your head occasionally shows that you are actively listening. Lowering yourself physically so you are on children’s eye level shows a natural ability to communicate with young children.
Interview Preparation Tasks
- Read the Interview Confirmation email thoroughly. Familiarise yourself with the location that your interview will take place at. Check transport times. Read through any extra details or helpful advice in the email ton help you prepare.
- Research the company you are interviewing for the position at. Look at their website and social media accounts. Find out who founded the company and when. Find out exactly what the company does. Find out who their clients or customers are. Find out 3 facts and features about the company that interest you
- Have 2 open questions prepared to ask the employer about their company.After you have researched the company prepare at least two questions to ask the employer about the company. Make sure you aren’t asking questions that are already answered on the website. Don’t asked closed questions (questions that can be answered with a yes or no).
- Study the Job Description and think about what your transferrable skills are.
Consider what would be expected of you in the role on a day to day basis and review your work experience and the skills you have previously gained. Work out which skills you have that would benefit the company and keep these in mind when you are talking about what you can bring to the company.
- Research the company’s competitors if they have any. Being able to give suggestions and ideas for improvement at the company is a great way to show you are informed and proactive.
Talk a little about your personality and related interests, mentioning any awards or achievements. Don’t over share information about yourself but don’t give too short an answer.
Implement your research on the sector into your answer, for example, mentioning if you have any prior training in Safeguarding or health and social care qualifications or experience. Explain why you are passionate about pursuing a career in childcare.
Reflecting on an example of prioritising tasks during a heavy workload is a positive way to show competency in a role and demonstrates organisational skills. This question can also give an indication of how well you react in an urgent situation.
An answer to this question requires an element of story telling and is a good time to show your positive traits and team – player qualities. You could discuss compromising and finding a solution to suit each person involved etc.
Strengths – Mention two or three strengths (for example, communicating effectively, time management and organisational skills) and give an example of one of them.
Weaknesses – This is where you can show you are honest, can self-evaluate and are keen to improve. Choose a positive aspect of your personality and mention how this can be slightly detrimental.
Although this is slightly personal this gives the employer an insight into yourself as a person as well as the roles you may wish to progress to. For example, motivation to build a successful career in the sector or your passion to work with children and young people, mentioning what makes you want to work with them.
Be honest about your reasons for leaving your last role but mentioning wanting a career with more opportunities for progression or how the role you are interviewing for is a much better fit for you and why is often in line with what the employer is looking for as an answer.
Use this time to ask questions about the business, daily operations or their expectations of you as an employee in this role. Do not ask questions about the company that could have been answered previously with an online search. Aim to ask open ended questions that won’t result in the employer just giving a yes or no answer.