Hiring in Child Care--The Interview

We talked last week about conducting Pre-Interviews to screen applicants and determine which ones to grant interviews.  We ask our applicants to arrive 15 minutes prior to the interview so that they have time to complete our Employment Application.  While they are completing the application, we review the Pre-Interview Questions, the resume and transcripts.  Once the application is completed, we allow ourselves 5 more minutes to review the application before beginning the interview.  During this review time, we make note of any additional questions that we want to ask the applicant regarding any of the information they have provided.

When interviewing, we try to have two people conducting the interview and, ideally, the same two interviewing each of the candidates.  This provides a couple of benefits.  We have two different perspectives on each candidate.  One person might notice something that the other doesn’t.  Two interviewers also provides better note-taking; sometimes it’s just really hard for one person to ask the questions, get a feel for the candidate, and take notes at the same time.

Preparing our Interview Questions in advance allows us to ensure that we ask the same questions of each candidate and don’t ask questions that are not legal to ask.  Consistency in interview questions is very important if there is ever a complaint regarding our hiring process.  With our interview questions, we strive, just like when working with children, to ask open-ended questions.  I’m reasonably sure that if you’ve made it through my pre-interview process, you believe that a child’s education should be developmentally appropriate.  What I want to know from you is what that looks like.  Don’t just tell me that you can soothe an upset parent; tell me about a time that you did it.  But, if my questions don’t elicit those responses from you, that’s my fault, not yours.

We schedule our interviews so that we have time left at the end to allow the applicant to ask questions, then walk the applicant through a couple of classrooms and get a feel for our program.  We need to make sure not only that we are comfortable with the applicant, but that they are comfortable with our program as well.  This has to be a good fit for both parties.

Next week we’ll talk about the actual hiring decision.

Misty